CAKE: Exploring Diversity, Connecting Creativity


Date: Thursday 8 July 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online
Event type: Creative Fuse: CAKE

Would you like to explore the different perspectives on how to achieve diversity and inclusion in everyday business practices?

Our next CAKE event takes place on Thursday 8 July where we will be joined by an inspiring panel of speakers, each providing their own insights into delivering inclusive projects in the creative industries, along with practical tips on how to innovate when designing products and services.

Following the panel discussion, there will be an opportunity to take part in breakout conversations with like-minded peers. Together we will:

  • Highlight the importance and benefits of achieving better inclusivity
  • Discuss ways to move towards a more inclusive workforce
  • Share ideas on how the creative sector can embrace and celebrate diversity

We’re pleased to confirm the speakers below will be joining the panel, with more to be announced in due course – watch this space!

Sarah Perks, Professor, MIMA School of Art & Design

Sarah Perks is an interdisciplinary curator, academic, consultant and writer. She is Professor of MIMA School of Art & Design and Head of Art & Design at Teesside University, England. One of Creative Review’s 50 Creative Leaders in 2017, Sarah has led major participation, performance and curatorial projects with international artists including Rosa Barba, Phil Collins, David Lynch, Rachel Maclean, Noorafshan Mirza & Brad Butler and Qasim Riza Shaheen.

Sarah has published over twenty essays and books across critical and creative writing, most recently Artists Moving Image in Britain Since 1989 (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art & Yale University Press, 2019). Sarah is also senior researcher and co-curator of Asia Triennial Manchester (ATM) and last year established the first online school of art for a mental health care and social organisation, Turning Point School of Art. Sarah is also chair of Islington Mill Foundation (Salford), a trustee of Alchemy Film & Arts (Hawick, Scotland), editor of the Engage Journal (the international journal of visual art and gallery education), business advisor for Prosper North and Programme Advisor (Artist Moving Image) for the BFI London Film Festival.

Simon McKeown, Professor, MIMA School of Art & Design

Simon McKeown is a Professor in the MIMA School of Art and Design at Teesside University. He is an active researcher involved in digital practice and culture, having worked at a senior level in both the broadcast and computer games sector and was excited to join the Creative Fuse team as a creative digital expert. 

As a fine artist, he is renowned for his work in disability art. He exhibits internationally, including at DOX Centre for Contemporary Arts in Prague, creating work which seeks to challenge the cultural presentation of disability. 

When Head of 3D and Animation at Reflections in Newcastle, working on the Driver series, Simon introduced the company to the idea of subtitling the game, thus make it accessible in a disability sense, but also making it much more accessible to players whose language wasn’t covered by the core translations, i.e. English, German, French, Italian, Spanish. 

He has creative performative works with Graeae Theatre in London and Las Fura dels Baus of Catalonia and has closed the city centre of Cork, Ireland, for a large-scale digital outdoor performance, which formed the culmination of Culture Night, Ireland. 

As well as working internationally, he is very active regionally, and is voluntary director and trustee for Platform Arts, one of the region’s most exciting artist and craft-based studios. 

Simon is a member of the External Advisory Group to UKRI and the AHRC Peer Review College. 

Phil Douglas, Director of Artistic Programmes and Artist Development, Dance City

Phil has worked in the Arts & Culture sector across the North East since 2007. During this time, he has undertaken a variety of freelance roles focused around Arts and Cultural Development, Diversity, Marketing and Participation working with organisations including Theatre Royal Newcastle, Theatre Hullabaloo, Dance City, Gateshead Council, Middlesbrough Council and Hartlepool Borough Council. He has also worked in the private sector managing an LGBTQ magazine, social events and a bar & nightclub complex for a number of years before focusing on Arts & Festivals Producing. Prior to and alongside his current role at Dance City, Phil manages a portfolio of freelance arts and events projects within Dance, Outdoor Arts, and Queer Arts sectors, in particular Curious Arts the North East’s LGBTQIA+ arts organisation which delivers year round activity and the award winning Curious Arts Festival.  

Shahda Khan, Director, Borderlands Creative People and Places

Shahda Khan is Director of Borderlands which is a Creative People and Places programme, funded by Arts Council England. This is a major programme of creative growth, covering Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland. It is also supported by Tees Valley Combined Authority, Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland local authorities and Teesside University. Borderland is focused on significantly increasing the number of local people taking part in cultural activity, as well as embedding culture as a part of our approach to wellbeing and resilience. It’s about getting together; talking, sharing, experiencing and creating new things and making exciting things happen in our communities and places.

Shahda has a substantive portfolio of leading multi-disciplinary programmes, which has involved working with communities, especially those from underrepresented groups as well as strategic partners. She has track record of commitment and innovation around equity, inclusion and representation. She is a former Governor both of Middlesbrough College and Teesside University and has also undertaken a number of advisory roles including those for national government, the US Embassy in London and the MoD. Shahda is an alumna of several national and international leadership programmes including the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Programme as well as the Senior Faith Leadership Development Programme (University of Oxford and St Georges House Windsor). She is also a member of an International Brains Trust which is facilitated by Cambridge University.

Is this event for you?

Whatever your professional background, this event is designed to support potential by inspiring new conversations and allowing introductions to take place that will enable collaboration.

The event will take place on Zoom, the video conferencing platform. You don’t need to have an account but we recommend that you sign up for a free account and use the desktop program.


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