New contributors announced for No Boundaries 2015
No Boundaries 2015, the annual conference exploring the role of arts and culture in contemporary society, has unveiled the latest contributors set to take part.
Speakers include Munuve Mutisya, Akamba Peace Museum in Kenya, Seb Chan, Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York USA, Jacqui O’Hanlan, Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK, Dr Maria Balshaw, Whitworth Art Gallery, Moira Sinclair, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Prof Wang Xingquan, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences in China, and Pip Rush Jansen, Arcadia, offering an international and diverse perspective on the questions and challenges that face the arts and culture industry in a rapidly changing world.
“Many in the business world treat the arts as a marginal form of distraction. They think of the arts as ‘soft’ and tiptoe around artists they consider to be fragile, weak, or prima donnas. But they’ve got it all wrong.” Margaret Heffernan, entrepreneur and author, at No Boundaries 2014
Moira Sinclair, new director of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Dr Maria Balshaw, director of Manchester’s Whitworth Gallery, which has recently undergone an award-winning multi-million redevelopment and just been announced as, ‘Art Fund Museum of the Year 2015’, and Dr Sugatra Mitra from Newcastle University will be putting forward provocations for delegates to consider. They will be joined by Prof. Wang Xingquan from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences in China, a country whose policy decisions on culture and creativity are now considered by many to be some of the most forward thinking in the world.
Speaking for the first time in the UK, Munuve Mutisya, Founder, Community Peace Museums Heritage Foundation and Curator, Akamba Peace Museum in Kenya will discuss the work of his Foundation and how culture can support peace building in a post-conflict landscape, he says, “I am really pleased to be able to contribute to No Boundaries 2015, and talk about the work we're doing in Kenya with the Community Peace Museums. It is really important that perspectives from across the globe can come together to debate the positive role culture and heritage can play in society.”
For more playful moments between discussions, No Boundaries has invited artist and singer Jen Bell to R&D a new project live from the conference, recording phrases and snippets of delegate and contributor thoughts, which will then be transformed into an original piece of music with no boundaries.
The conference will take place 29-30 September 2015 at HOME Manchester and Watershed Bristol. It will follow last year’s innovative format, which live-linked two venues as one. In September 2015, HOME and Watershed will provide delegates with a rich and diverse schedule of events and speakers, alongside connected breakout areas for conversation and networking designed to bring ideas, spaces and delegates together.
Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair, Arts Council England says, “Last year’s conference was a huge success and we look forward to a similar meeting of minds in September - something which will be even more important given that by then we will have had a general election and a spending review so the arts and culture landscape may have changed. The State of the Arts events are great platforms to encourage creative thinking and to stimulate debate.”
Graham Sheffield CBE, Director Arts British Council says, "We are pleased to be working with our partners Arts Council England, Watershed and HOME to bring No Boundaries back this year. It is ever more important that the UK and international cultural sectors work together in partnership to make an increased positive impact in international relations and understanding. We look forward once again to lively and inspiring debate."
Director and CEO of HOME Manchester Dave Moutrey, says, “We are delighted to be teaming up with Watershed, Arts Council England and British Council to produce No Boundaries 2015. Part of the joy of our new HOME is the opportunity to test new ideas, create new experiences and collaborations and break down the boundaries between art forms. We aim to challenge and question with all our work, so it’s fitting that our first major symposium is so in tune with our ambitions.”
Watershed Managing Director Dick Penny says, “We are excited to be working on No Boundaries again, this time alongside new partner HOME, as well as Pilot Theatre and Bristol Festival of Ideas. We promise provocations and surprises as we debate the role of culture at the beginning of a new parliament.”
No Boundaries is produced by a consortium of Arts organisations including Watershed (Bristol), HOME (Manchester), Pilot Theatre (York), Festival of Ideas (Bristol). The event is supported by Arts Council England and British Council, with sponsorship from TLT. The conference, part of Arts Council England’s State Of The Arts thought leadership programme, seeks to find positive approaches to influence change and support the sector’s growth in a world where there is a new normal every week.