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Creative Bridges Conference

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The Creative Bridges Conference is an annual event that brings together arts, museum and education professionals to share best practice and provoke new ways of thinking about young people with additional needs/abilities.

Professionals interested in attending the event can register for their free tickets here: 

The conference is an opportunity to rethink approaches to equality, diversity and accessibility. It takes place in Coventry, and is co-delivered by people with additional needs and abilities. It offers the chance to hear from experienced professionals and share practice. Discussions will inform a series of workshops (Spring 2019) to address barriers to this work and support new approaches.


Richard Hayhow
Open Theatre Company
Richard has worked with young people with additional needs for 25 years and will present a keynote speech on “Doing Difference Differently”.
“What can “neurotypical” learners discover about themselves, their creativity and their lives through working with Young People with Creative Differences? What if young people aren’t “hard to reach”, what if arts organisations are? What if facilitators enter a room not asking what young people can’t do, but what is unique to that child that they can do?”

Katherine Alker and Rachel Sharpe
National Trust
“The Potter and Ponder sensory experience, led by Katherine Alker (Garden and Park Manager) and Rachel Sharpe (Creative Partnerships Manager) at Croome has been described as ground breaking in its approach, co-producing the experience with a seldom heard audience.”

Jessica Hartshorn
Rugby Art Gallery & Museum 
Jess will showcase her work with Brooke School to enable work experience, learning and art projects for young people in an art gallery setting. Jess is also a West Midlands Engage Network Co-ordinator, Engage is the lead advocacy and training network for gallery education.

Workshops at the Conference

Delegates will be able to choose two of the following practical workshops (one for the morning slot, one for the afternoon):

  • Let’s Animate – Explore animation (inspired by collections) as a means to develop creativity and independent thinking offering young people a tactile and digital experience
  • Open Theatre Company – Learn non-verbal physical theatre-based techniques to develop self-expression for those with additional needs.
  • Herbert Media – Explore film making as a tool for engaging and co-developing storytelling with young people with additional needs/abilities

More information is available at:

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