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Creativity & Climate Change: A Conversation

28 October 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Portraits of panel speakers

Creativity & Climate Change: A Conversation

This event is part of Creative Responses to Climate Change, an evening of creative sharing and topical conversation.

This important conversation will delve into how cultural leaders act as agents for change and explore the ways creative practitioners can successfully resource their work.

The panel talk will be split into two elements Cultural Leaders and Creative Practitioners.


Panel 1: Cultural Leaders

Our major cultural organisations are leaders in their fields. Through creative programming, collaboration and engagement their work reaches local, national and international audiences receiving critical acclaim and placing our area on a global stage. As Arts Council England NPO’s they share a goal to support the sector and build a more sustainable future.

The first session in our discussion will explore how leaders in the culture industry can use their influence to drive change while supporting emerging creatives in the sector.


Helen Featherstone

Helen Featherstone, Deputy Director of Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Before taking her role at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Helen Featherstone previously worked as Director of Sheffield’s Industrial Museums Trust and held senior management roles at Arts Council England. With over 20 years of experience in the arts and cultural sectors, Helen passionately believes that the arts should be for everyone.

Simon Wallis

Simon Wallis, Director Hepworth Wakefield
Simon Wallis has overseen The Hepworth Wakefield‘s development since the beginning. Previously the Director of Chisenhale Gallery in East London, Simon has also worked as Senior Exhibitions Organiser at the ICA and as a Curator for Tate Liverpool and Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge.

Sydney Thornbury

Sydney Thornbury, CEO The Art House Wakefield 
Passionate about the role that arts and culture can play in our communities, Sydney Thornbury became CEO of The Art House Wakefield after working as Project Director at Beckenham Palace, CEO of Blackheath Conservatoire and Executive Director of Web Play. 

A black and white portrait of Pete Massey

Pete Massey, Director North; Northern Economy & Partnerships and Yorkshire & the Humber, Arts Council England
Pete has worked at Arts Council England for 14 years. He previously worked in theatre and festival production at his own independent arts development agency and had a short spell as interim Director of Culture & Tourism at Bradford Council


Panel 2: Creative Practitioners 

Natalie Bellingham and Helen Thomas are two local artists that have created topically resonant work that invites to us to reconsider the world around us and make positive change.

So how do they make their work happen?

In the second half of the conversation we will explore how creative practitioners can realise their ambitions through collaboration, fundraising, business support and financing.



Natalie Bellingham

Natalie Bellingham, Freelance Theatre Maker
Natalie Bellingham is a theatre-maker, performer, clown, physical comedian and creative arts facilitator. Born in South Africa, raised in Manchester, now living in Wakefield.

Helen Thomas

Helen Thomas, Freelance Visual Artist
Helen Thomas is a visual artist based in Wakefield. Helen works mainly with painting and drawing in response to themes of plants and place. When not at The Art House, Helen can often be spotted sketching on path edges and in corners of carparks.

Additional industry insider, to be announced.


David Johnson

The discussion will be hosted by David Johnson, Director of Strategy and Programmes at Cause4, a social enterprise that supports the charity sector to be more resilient. David’s role includes leading large scale cultural sector support programmes including Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy supported by Arts Council England, and Heritage Compass, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Creative Responses to Climate Change will run on Thursday 28th October, 4 pm – 8 pm.

Creativity & Climate Change: A Conversation is scheduled to start at 5 pm.

Click HERE to book your tickets.


28 October 2021
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Tags:
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WX (former Market Hall)
Union Street
Wakefield, WF1 3AE
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