Derby conference unites cultural and care sectors

Published: 7 November 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

Top left: a performance from the first Culture Cares Conference. Top right: Sophie Willan. Bottom left: Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England. Bottom right: Ashley John- Baptiste

Chief executive of Arts Council England Darren Henley will be one of the speakers at the Culture Cares conference at Derby Theatre in November 2021.

The conference will “celebrate how arts and culture are making a positive impact and creating pathways in the lives of care-experienced young people”.

It will be Derby Theatre’s second conference bringing the cultural and care sectors together for conversations, presentations and workshops. The aim is to “challenge and change injustice and structural inequality for care leavers”.

Sam Porter, one of ten care-experienced young people involved in the project, will be co-hosting the conference with Lucy James. He said, “I’m looking forward to being a part of the conference to see the amazing achievements that care-experienced people have achieved and to have the opportunity to share this with professionals and all the guests attending.”

Other speakers include broadcaster and presenter Ashley John-Baptiste and writer, actor and producer Sophie Willan.

Commissioned by Arts Council England, Culture Cares features a new performance, Riverside, co-created with care-experienced young people. Director Toni Mcelhatton and writer Laura Lindow have worked with a group of care-experienced young people in Derby to explore their ideas.

Henley said, “when I attended the first Culture Cares conference three years ago, I was struck by the way it celebrated the talent and creativity of children and young people who are currently living, or have lived, in foster and care homes right across the country.

“I firmly believe that if we’re to have a truly vibrant cultural sector, everyone whatever their background and wherever they live should have access to the best in culture and the chance to develop their creative talents.”

The conference takes place on Tuesday 16 November from 10AM until 5PM.