CAN Network Events

​Cambridge Arts Network delivers a range of different events and initiatives to bring CAN members together, strengthen connections and enable better arts networking in Cambridge.  CAN organises regular informal meet ups, talks, workshops, information and skills sharing sessions, debates and conferences.  Please see the listings below for all the latest CAN network events.

If you have a launch or event that you would like to link with a CAN meet up please email your idea to

Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT

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CAN Conference 2016 - Arts and Culture: Taking the Lead


23rd Mar 2016 9:15am

23rd Mar 2016 3:45pm

£5 (to include lunch and refreshments)


A year on from launching the Cambridge City Council Arts Plan, Arts and Culture: Taking the Lead is an opportunity to update and engage the network on the three thematic areas of the plan: children and young people, growth, and health and well-being. 

With a combination of thought provoking key note speakers, breakout sessions, local and national case studies, and networking opportunities; the conference will explore the benefits of taking an inclusive partnership approach to these areas and will discuss ways that local arts and cultural organisations and practitioners can get actively involved. 



Registration and refreshments


Welcome to the CAN Conference 2016   Antoinette Jackson, Chief Executive – Cambridge City Council

Introduction   Jane Wilson, Community and Culture Manager – Cambridge City Council



Arts, Health & Wellbeing: Six Ways to Wellbeing   Tony Witton, Arts and Culture Service Manager – Kent County Council

The conference will act as a platform to launch the development of the Cambridge Arts, Health and Wellbeing Partnership.  Tony Witton, Arts and Culture Service Manager at Kent County Council will give a keynote on ‘Six Ways to Wellbeing’, an innovative pilot project developed by Kent's Arts and Culture Service and co-funded by Public Health, Artswork Bridge and Royal Opera House Bridge. The partnership worked to find creative and innovative approaches that increased awareness around health and wellbeing, and represents a pioneering example of how arts and culture can be used to reach wider outcomes.  This will be followed by two breakout sessions with roundtable discussions on the practical potential for an arts, health and wellbeing partnership for Cambridge.



Children and Young People: My Cambridge    Rae Snape, Headteacher – The Spinney Primary School and National Leader of Education

My Cambridge is the first cross sector partnership to develop out of Cambridge Arts and Cultural Leaders (CACL) and the new Cambridge City Council Arts Plan.  Now recognised as one of fifty national cultural education partnerships by Arts Council England, My Cambridge brings together arts and cultural organisations, schools and youth service providers, and local authorities, and is developing links with businesses and skills agencies.  Rae Snape will deliver a keynote on recent developments by the partnership and the My Cambridge proposition: by supporting children and young people to develop rich cultural lives, their life chances will be significantly improved, both in terms of education and employment, and their overall quality of life.  This will be followed by three breakout sessions relating to each of the three partnership goals of working with children and young people: taking the lead, making arts and culture visible and accessible, and building understanding and commitment.           


Refreshments break                               


BREAKOUT SESSION 1 (NB: delegates choose 1 from the following 4 options)

Breakout Group 1: Children and Young People

Circuit Cambridge: Young People Taking the Lead  Tahira Fitzwilliam-Hall, Circuit Programme Manager – Wysing Arts Centre; Lucy Wheeler, Assistant Education Officer – Kettle’s Yard and Steph Burwitz, ChYPPs Project Worker – Cambridge City Council

Circuit Cambridge is the young peoples’ programme run jointly at Kettle’s Yard and Wysing Arts Centre, and is part of the wider national programme connecting 15-25 year olds to the arts in galleries and museums by working in partnership with the youth and cultural sector.  Based on their experience of delivering a young peoples led festival, and learning and evaluation of the project and its outcomes; Circuit Cambridge will share their methods with other organisations and practitioners.  In this roundtable discussion, delegates will be able to explore approaches to how young people can lead their own learning and create cultural activities across art disciplines for themselves.  Steph Burwitz from the City Council’s Children and Young People’s Participation Service (ChYPPs) will also present the findings of the recent ‘Agenda Days’ consultation sessions with young people from across the city.  

Breakout Group 2: Arts, Health and Wellbeing

A New Arts, Health and Wellbeing Partnership for Cambridge  Tony Witton, Arts and Culture Service Manager and Emily Bradfield, Community Learning Manager – Cambridge Community Arts

This breakout session marks the launch of a new Arts, Health and Wellbeing Partnership for Cambridge.  Following on from his keynote presentation on developing the ‘Six Ways to Wellbeing’ pilot project; Tony Witton will lead this session and discuss the practical potential of using a similar model to develop a partnership approach in Cambridge.   The roundtable discussion will explore how local arts and cultural organisations and individual practitioners can work together by supporting joint outcomes for health and wellbeing, and identifying what the key objectives are for taking the partnership forwards.  The discussion will be facilitated by Emily Bradfield.  Please note there are two opportunities to join in this discussion, with a second session repeated in the afternoon.  

Breakout Group 3: Children and Young People

Access All Areas: Taking Creative Action through Local Exploration  Prof Helen Weinstein, Creative Director – History Works, Ruth Sapsed, Director – Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination & Dr Esther Sayers, Consultant - North West Cambridge Art in Education Strategy

How can placemaking and the work of artist’s help children relate to their city?  How can children help others to think creatively about where they live, and what creative action can they take as they investigate and learn about their local environment?   To explore these themes, this breakout session will have two presentations from Cambridge based organisations that work creatively with children and young people, their families, schools and teachers; to improve access and visibility of arts and culture.  ‘Clicking to Connectivity’ by Historyworks, is a project that worked with young people in Abbey Meadows using history, film and creative writing to connect them with their area; and ‘Artscapers’ is part of the North West Cambridge Art in Education Strategy and is being led by Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination, a project exploring change in the area through the North West Cambridge Development artist residency programme.    Delegates will have the opportunity to discuss these projects and their approaches to working with children and young people with the breakout session leaders.  

Breakout Group 4: Growth  

Community and Cultural Facilities in Cambridge  Speaker (tbc)

This is an information session presented by Cambridge City Council on the existing and new community centres in Cambridge, which provide flexible space for community, arts and cultural activities.  Community facilities perform an important role by stimulating and supporting social cohesion and interaction, and the breakout leader will give an overview of how you can creatively engage with your local community centre. 


Lunch and networking



The Growth Agenda – What does it mean for Arts and Culture?   Neil Darwin, Chief Executive – Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership is focused on helping to drive forward sustainable economic growth in our area – with local business, education providers, the third sector and the public sector working together to achieve this.  The LEP do this through residential and commercial development schemes, investment in infrastructure and buildings, as well as business growth programmes in both urban and rural areas.  Neil Darwin will give a keynote presentation on the planned growth of the sub-region, including the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone, major changes to infrastructure and development of new communities, and their relationship to the arts and culture sector.  This will be followed by two breakout sessions exploring potential models for affordable workspace, and examples of arts and culture capital projects in Cambridge. 


BREAKOUT SESSION 2 (NB: delegates choose 1 from the following 4 options)

Breakout Group 1: Growth

Exploring Affordable Models for Creative Workspace  Donna Lynas, Director – Wysing Arts Centre

In 1989, Wysing Grange Farm was purchased with the intention of developing the site into low cost studio space and converting an old hay shed into a gallery.  Today, the rurally based organisation has ten buildings including a live-work residency space, specialist new media facilities, a gallery, education spaces, studio spaces and artist accommodation.  Join Donna Lynas to discuss alternative models and new opportunities within the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone for creating affordable workspace for experimentation, innovation and organisational development, both urban and rural; where arts organisations and practitioners can think and plan, debate and make, and develop ideas.   

Breakout Group 2: Children and Young People

Rising to the Cultural Education Challenge  Michael Corley, Head of Bridge – Norwich and Norfolk Festival and Steph Hogger, Programme Manager – Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Festival Bridge 

In October 2015, Arts Council England launched the Cultural Education Challenge – a call for the arts, culture and education sectors to work together in offering a consistent, and high quality, arts and cultural education for all children and young people.  The Challenge aims to make sure that more children and young people can create, compose, and perform; visit, experience and participate in extraordinary work.  NNF Bridge will lead this session, introducing how they are driving a joined-up arts and cultural offer locally through Cultural Education Partnerships (CEPs) including My Cambridge, and exploring with delegates the opportunities for organisations and practitioners to work with their local CEP, and help meet the Cultural Education Challenge. 

Breakout Group 3: Arts, Health and Wellbeing

A New Arts, Health and Wellbeing Partnership for Cambridge   Tony Witton, Arts and Culture Service Manager and Emily Bradfield, Community Learning Manager – Cambridge Community Arts

This session is a repeat of the earlier breakout, and presents another opportunity to engage in the discussion on how we can successfully develop a new partnership approach to Arts, Health and Wellbeing for Cambridge.  Please note that there are two opportunities to attend this session, morning and afternoon.

Breakout Group 4: Growth 

Fit for the Twenty-First Century: Cambridge’s Capital Arts and Culture Projects   Daniel Brine, Artistic Director & Chief Executive – Cambridge Junction and Matthew Gunn, Head of Cambridgeshire Music Services – Cambridgeshire County Council

Planning and consultation are underway for two new complementary creative space projects in Cambridge.  The Music Education Hub is proposing to convert a building in Arbury – the CREATE facility will be a place where people and organisations can connect and work together, including a range of spaces for rehearsal, community use, artists and arts education development, performance and workshops, and cross art form activities or events.  Cambridge Junction is proposing a redevelopment of its J1 site with the aim to provide enhanced foyers, new spaces for learning and community, and creative and cultural workspace. The result will be an interdisciplinary creative industries hub, with enhanced community engagement that focuses on nurturing and retaining creative talent.   Both proposals acknowledge the future importance of technology through digital creativity and learning, and this breakout is an opportunity for delegates to learn more about their proposals and be part of their wider consultation with the arts and culture sector.


Refreshments break


Plenary: Conclusions and Recommendations

Led by Jane Wilson, Culture and Community Manager – Cambridge City Council



Please not there is a charge of £5 toward the cost of refreshments and a delicious lunch of freshly prepared sandwiches and wraps, finger foods and fresh fruit. You can book your tickets on eventbrite here



Please email your name, role, and organisation as you would like to appear on your delegate badge; your two breakout choices (morning and afternoon) and if you have any special dietary requirements.  If you are buying more than one ticket, you will need to email these details for each additional person/s, together with their email address to Michelle Lord, Arts Development Officer, Cambridge City Council by emailing as soon as possible.   Please note that we will endeavour to accommodate all breakout choices where possible, if this is not possible an alternative will be offered. 

Please bring your printed ticket with you for registration on the day of the event (between 9.15 and 9.45am) and the conference will begin promptly at 9.45am. 

Thank you for booking, and we look forward to seeing you at the CAN Conference 2016!

CAN reserve the right to change speakers and the conference schedule as appropriate.

Posted by CAN network on 27th January 2016.