The 2013 engage International Conference, Extraordinary Change, which takes place in Birmingham in November, will set out to explore the challenges that education in galleries and the visual arts face in a period of uncertainty.

Bringing together arts and education professionals from the United Kingdom and overseas, the conference programme will focus on three key areas: Looking to the Future – exploring the impact of change in formal education on galleries and visual arts education; Change in an International Context – focusing on learning from practitioners’ experience outside the UK; Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability – looking at new models to support visual arts education.

Director of engage, Jane Sillis, said: “The international conference will focus on the impact of change within the visual arts and education. Through breakout sessions, presentations and discussions, the programme will explore responses and ways forward for individuals and organisations facing challenges in the visual arts and education.”

Confirmed speakers

The conference will be based at City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Centre, with sessions at additional cultural venues across the city, such as Ikon Gallery. Speakers include artist Caroline Wright, who will deliver a presentation on the Paying Artists campaign and talk on behalf of AIR about the challenges artists experience in a period of austerity.

Other confirmed speakers include: Lesley Butterworth, National Society for Education in Art and Design, discussing plans for a sector-led alternative curriculum; Joan Parr, Creative Scotland, profiling the organisation’s strategic initiatives in arts education; and Sarah Thelwall, Director of and author of Size Matters, on the value of the arts to society beyond the economic.

A conference Fringe programme will also showcase the arts and culture in the West Midlands – organisations involved include Compton Verney, Craftspace, Eastside Projects and mac birmingham.

a-n’s continuing partnership with engage means that, until 31 October 2013, a-n members can currently receive a £5 discount on engage individual membership – and benefit from a discounted place at the conference. Full details of this and other a-n subscriber benefits here.

Extraordinary Change: The 2013 engage International Conference, venues across Birmingham, 7-8 November 2013, Fringe events 6-7 November 2013.

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Ed Adam reports from last year’s engage conference in Cardiff.