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This free online event hosted by The Philip Barker Centre for Creative Learning at the University of Chester will explore how artists who work in the community are viewed by the education, and arts and culture sectors and how artists are trained for practice in the 21st Century.

Context for the day will be provided by Professor Helena Gaunt, Principal at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. The day is being facilitated by NHS Research and Development North West.

The event will gather together people from diverse backgrounds working within the culture and higher education sectors, including artists; CEOs; producers and managers of arts organisations; leaders in further and higher education; all of whom support, train, recruit, fund or manage professional artists who work alongside non-professional artists.

Director of the University’s Philip Barker Centre for Creative Learning, Nick Ponsillo, said: “This event will provide an opportunity to examine how the higher education, arts and culture sectors view, value and prepare artists to work with and alongside members of our communities. Some of the questions I hope we may start to tackle are: Should we redefine artistic excellence in the 21st Century? Should we value more those artists working predominantly alongside members of our communities? How could we transform the current training and pathways for artists looking to develop careers based within community practice and what might be the drivers for change?”

He added: “Although this is an online event, there will be regular breaks, including for lunch – so rest assured that we won’t be in front of the screen for the entire day.”

Spaces are filling fast, but bookings are currently still being taken until 5pm on Friday, September 4 at:

Final details of the programme – plus a Zoom invitation - will then be shared with those who book to attend.

For more information about the Philip Barker Centre for Creative Learning, please visit:


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