The 2016 edition of the engage International Conference will have a strong focus on arts activism, exploring how it impacts on gallery and visual arts approaches to education and outreach.

Organised by engage, the UK-wide advocacy and support organisation for gallery education, the conference takes place 13-14 October at Hope University and various venues across Liverpool (including The Bluecoat, Tate Liverpool and the Liverpool Everyman). The event will look at how activism has changed not only society’s response to art, but also how it has altered the way in which the art world now engages with society at large.

A raft of speakers have been announced, including: Rabab Ghazoul (artist), Steffan Hughes-Jones (director, Oriel Wrecsam), Polly Brannan (education curator, Liverpool Biennial) and Lizzie Crump (Cultural Learning Alliance). The broad programme of discussions will debate four key themes: arts activism, accessible arts and social cohesion, a redefinition of education, and sustainable careers.

Among the sessions taking place over the two days will be a discussion chaired by Sarah Fisher, director of Open Eye Gallery, which will look at the ‘validation’ artists need in order to develop a practice post-art school. The panel includes a-n director Jeanie Scott who will talk about how emerging artists can be best supported to achieve sustainable careers.

Another session will discuss what makes art activism different from other forms of activism. Chaired by Bryan Biggs (artistic director of Bluecoat) there will be contributions from artist Nina Edge, Dave Beech (Professor of Art at the University of Gothenburg) and Anna Galkina (member of Platform).

The event will also examine how the arts can effectively engage with schools and ask if the curricula, or styles of interaction, need to change. A Fringe programme includes tours, talks and satellite events showcasing visual arts and culture in and around the city, including the Liverpool Biennial.

engage International Conference is at Hope University and various venues across Liverpool, 13-14 October 2016. 

engage International Conference

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