Junction Arts host the first Derbyshire Creative Heritage Conference

The aim of the conference was to celebrate and raise awareness of all of the excellent heritage work that is currently being delivered across Derbyshire.

DCHC Junction Arts present the Derbyshire Creative heritage Conference, 2017

The aim of the conference was to celebrate and raise awareness of all of the excellent heritage work that is currently being delivered across Derbyshire. We hope that by bringing people together we can explore new ways of working, ask some challenging questions and discuss potential new partnerships.

The theme of the 2017 Conference: 
Utilsing the Arts to Ensure an Authentic Experience for our Young People

On the 13th October our Derbyshire Creative Heritage Conference took place in the Gothic Warehouse, within the stunning Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

We were encouraged that the event was sold out well in advance and delegates attended from across Derbyshire and further afield, including Shropshire, Cheshire and the Black Country.

The arts, museums and library sectors were all well represented, as well as the key national funding bodies. We were also thrilled to see a number artists who work in, or would like to start working in arts and heritage, join us too.

The day began with Paul Steele, managing director of Junction Arts welcoming everyone to the conference before introducing Jane Wells who began the programme of presentations. Jane spoke about the JA40 project and how cataloguing the Junction Arts archive revealed that the charity has a long tradition of delivering Creative Heritage projects.

Karen Millhouse from the Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock spoke next, followed by Lesley Owen – Jones from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The final speaker before lunch was Michael ledger, the Education Officer at the Arkwright Society who introduced us to his work and the site, a perfect end to a very busy morning. You can download a more comprehensive list of the conference presentation by clicking on this link to the programme.

Cromford Mills is a wonderful place to explore and during the lunch break our delegates were able to enjoy the new Arkwright Experience to find out more about Sir Richard Arkwright himself!

DCHC Junction Arts present the Derbyshire Creative heritage Conference, Exploring the Arkwright experience

Refreshed, we returned to welcome our keynote speaker Stella Duffy, Fun Palaces Co Director, author and theatre maker. Stella spoke passionately, in particular about the need to recognise all of the amazing talent that exists within our communities and how it is so often overlooked and undervalued.

Following on from Stella were presentations by artist Emma Reynard, Hannah Fox Director of Derby Silk Mill and Rosanna Cant and Lorrie Stock from The Mighty Creatives.

The facilitated plenary rounded off the day and before departing, delegates were asked to leave some feedback on our evaluation mobile. Here are some of the comments:

“Really useful day. Felt like there was a narrative to the speakers and how creative heritage is linking and growing”.

“Excellent day. Good variety of talks and speakers. Really informative and inspiring linking arts, culture and heritage”.

“Just fantastic! I ♥ small ‘get togethers’ like this. A great mix of energetic, passionate speakers! Thoroughly inspired, thank you”.

“Very good conversations at lunchtime. New connections made and old ones re informed!”

The whole event was documented by Derby based film-maker Chris Bevan. You can watch the film to get a flavour of the day below.

What’s Next?

After the conference we invited all delegates and speakers to complete a survey monkey evaluation. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, and of course, there was some learning to be gained too!

One of the outcomes of the survey was that 100% of respondents said that they felt a Creative Heritage Network would be a valuable next step, a great opportunity to keep in touch and share good practice.

We are now taking this forward and devoting a page to the Network, initially a series of monthly blog posts. We will continue to explore what else the Network might be and respond as appropriate, to members ideas and suggestions.

To learn more about the Network, become a member or view our monthly blogs visit our DCH Network Page.