CHEAD Annual Conference 2022

The Civic Agenda: Art and Design Engaged

The Civic Agenda: Art and Design Engaged

Tuesday 15th & Wednesday 16th March, 2022, University of Northumbria, Newcastle

The Civic University Commission challenges universities to re-shape their role and responsibility to their communities to realise their potential as drivers of a new civic agenda, to develop and embed civic aspirations at an institutional level, as well as working with government and strategic partners to ensure that a university’s geographic role and responsibility is used more effectively as an agent to drive positive societal change, to increase their civic impact, and connect universities with other ‘anchor’ institutions.

  • How can we ensure that social justice is embedded in a new civic agenda starting at an institutional level?
  • What impact, if any, is the levelling up agenda going to have on the potential for societal change and the resources to deliver that change?
  • How does the civic agenda fit into a local, regional, national and international context?
  • How can HE institutions, working with partners and ‘anchor’ institutions, make the drive towards a new civic agenda more visible to colleagues, students and the wider community?

This conference aims to explore the way forward for creative higher education institutions to engage with a new civic agenda and provide an opportunity to hear from key speakers in this field, offer case studies from leaders in creative HEI’s, explore themes in dedicated workshops and network with colleagues.

We are hosting talks from keynote speakers, panel discussions, local tours, student panel discussion and participatory workshops.

January 2022 UPDATE

The Board of Trustees have decided to go ahead with our Annual Conference in person with the necessary measures in place at the conference venue and selected online content offered to those members not able to join in person.

Dates & times

Tuesday 15th March 2022, 11am – 22.00pm

Wednesday 16th March 2022, 9am – 17.30pm


Northumbria University Students’ Union, 2 Sandyford Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 8SB

Sponsored by

Delegate Information


CHEAD Annual Conference 2022 Prices:

CHEAD Members: £0 – One free place per institution
Additional CHEAD member place: £310
Non-member place: £350

CHEAD institutional members receive one free place at the Annual Conference, institutional members with over 3,000 art and design students receive two places.

January 2022 UPDATE: The Board of Trustees have decided to go ahead with our Annual Conference in person with the neccessary measures in place at the conference venue and selected online content offered to those members not able to join in person. Given the current uncertain situation, we recommend that all delegates ensure they reserve hotel rooms they can cancel and train tickets that can either be refunded or credited. Some delegates may also wish to consider taking out insurance to cover for any loss of expense relating to the CHEAD Annual Conference 2022.

For any queries relating to free places, please contact the Director of Membership and Operations via:

Selected online content

Selected online content will be available as a live stream via:

CHEAD will be arranging for coach travel to the following hotels after the annual dinner at the Baltic. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer coach travel to any other hotels.


Vermont Hotel: / 0191 233 1010
£85.00 B&B for sole occupancy
Please contact the hotel to receive a discounted room rate by quoting ‘GA01221’.
Individual cancellation policy – 24 hours prior.
Please note, this discount will expire on Monday 14th February.


Maldron Hotel: / 0191 640 9500
£75.00 Bed & breakfast based on single occupancy.
Please contact the hotel to receive a discounted room rate by quoting ‘Northumbria University’ and the dates of the conference.
Please note, this discount will expire on Monday 14th February.


Premier Inn City Centre (The Gate): / 0333 234 6442
Best available rates via the website.

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art 
Sage Gateshead
Bessie Surtees House
Centre for Life
Discovery Museum
Great North Museum: Hancock
Hatton Gallery
Laing Art Gallery
Newcastle Castle
Seven Stories
Side Gallery
St. Mary’s Heritage Centre
The Biscuit Factory 
The Lit & Phil
The Victoria Tunnel
Tour Start Point

Peace and Loaf
British Cuisine

House of Tides
Fine dining, modern British

Lezzet Restaurant
Turkish Cuisine

Magic Hat
Not for profit, food waste kitchen

Lola Jeans

Locally sourced food

Conference Programme


Conference – Day One

11:00 – 11:30 Registration, Refreshments
11:30 – 11:45 Welcome and Introduction
11.45 The role of civic universities: the pursuit of a fairer society and stronger communities
Richard Brabner, Director, UPP Foundation
12.10 Dr Debbie Squire, Programme Manager, Civic University Network
Dr Michael Eades, Head of Civic Engagement, Goldsmiths, University of London

Panel Discussion:

Professor Sally Wade, CHEAD
Richard Brabner, UPP
Floriane Fidegnon, APDIG
Dr Debbie Squire, Civic University Network
Dr Michael Eades, Goldsmiths, University of London

13.00 Lunch

Afternoon Tours

Tour 1 Architecture and Interior Design
Tour 2 Art
Tour 3 Design
Tour 4 City

16.00 Refreshments
16.30 Sponsor presentation: ARTSTHREAD
16.45 Keynote: Sarah Munro, Director, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
17.45 Depart for the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art by coach from conference venue
18.00 – 19.00 Sutapa Biswas private view
19.00 – 22.00 CHEAD Annual Dinner


Conference – Day Two

09:15 CHEAD Annual General Meeting
10:00 University of Northumbria Student Panel
11:15 Break


National Saturday Club
Contemporary Visual Arts Network
CHEAD/APDIG Policy Roundtable Learnings

13:15 Lunch
14:15 Keynote: Dr. Rachel Schreiber, Executive Dean, Parsons School of Design
15:00 Workshops
16.30 Plenary
17.30 Close

Our Speakers

Richard Brabner

Richard Brabner

Director of UPP Foundation

Richard Brabner was appointed Head of UPP Foundation in July 2016 and was promoted to Director in 2018. Working with the trustees, he sets its strategy and leads on all aspects of the UPP Foundation’s activities. Richard joined UPP in 2015 as Business Development Manager and his responsibilities included setting up the UPP Foundation.

Prior to joining UPP, he was Head of Policy at the University of Hertfordshire, advising the Vice-Chancellor and senior management team and leading the University’s public affairs function. Before this, he worked as a researcher for two MPs in Parliament. He graduated from the University of Essex in 2007 and holds an MRes in Public Policy and Management from Birkbeck, University of London.

Sarah Munro

Sarah Munro

Director, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Sarah Munro is currently Director of the UK’s largest contemporary art institution BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. She is an inspiring and respected cultural leader with significant skills, knowledge and experience gained over 25 years working with artists, curators, writers, producers and the public. Previous roles include Head of Arts, Glasgow Life; Artistic Director, Tramway and Director, Collective Gallery Edinburgh.  She is currently Chair of SCAN, the Scottish Contemporary Art Network, which provides a voice and advocacy for Scotland’s visual arts community.

Dr. Rachel Schreiber

Dr. Rachel Schreiber

Executive Dean, Parsons School of Design

Dr. Rachel Schreiber joined The New School as Executive Dean of Parsons School of Design in July, 2019, following more than 22 years in senior leadership and faculty roles at the San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art, and other institutions. An American gender historian, artist, and designer, Rachel has taught design, studio arts, and interdisciplinary humanities at all levels – from first year through graduate studies. She holds a PhD in History from Johns Hopkins University, an MFA in Art and Critical Writing from California Institute of the Arts (Valencia), and a BFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design. Her visual works have been screened and exhibited internationally, and she has published three books with academic presses, numerous peer reviewed articles, and other writing. Her recent book, Elaine Black Yoneda: Jewish Immigration, Labor Activism, and Japanese American Exclusion and Incarceration was issued by Temple University Press in 2021 and her article “The Graphic Satire of Robert Minor and Art Young: text and image in political cartoons” is forthcoming in the Radical History Review’s special issue on text and image in modern periodicals.

Dr Michael Eades

Dr Michael Eades

Head of Civic Engagement, Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr Michael Eades is Head of Civic Engagement at Goldsmiths, University of London. He leads on a range of range of initiatives, including delivering on the University’s Civic Strategy and Civic University Agreement. Prior to coming to Goldsmiths, he ran the University of London’s Being Human festival, a UK-wide initiative dedicated to public engagement with humanities research. He has a background in participatory research, particularly in the field of arts and health, and writes regularly about cities, urban cultures, the arts and engagement.

Our Contributors

Lucy Kennedy

Lucy Kennedy

Chief Executive, National Saturday Club

Lucy Kennedy has over 20 years of experience in the cultural and education sectors. She took on the role of Chief Executive of the Sorrell Foundation and Saturday Club Trust in November 2018 and is leading the strategic expansion of the National Saturday Club programme to increase access to this transformational creative education opportunity for young people nationally. She is working collaboratively across the country, in partnership with further and higher education and cultural institutions, to achieve this vision.

Formally Managing Director at cultural consultancy Futurecity, Lucy headed the organisation’s international offices in London, Boston and Sydney in the development of cultural placemaking and multidisciplinary public art projects. From 2017 to 2018 Lucy was Executive Director of Research Centres at the Royal College of Art, leading the establishment of the Intelligent Mobility Research Centre and the Material Science Research Centre.

Paula Orrell

Paula Orrell

National Director, Contemporary Visual Arts Network

Paula joins CVAN bringing extensive experience as a Curator and Director, with a deep understanding of contemporary art both domestically and internationally, from grassroots organisations to larger governing bodies. Paula’s experience and passion for social, economic, and environmental change within communities are reflective of the ambitious plans that have been expressed for taking CVAN forward.

Paula Orrell spent the early part of her career invested in Plymouth’s cultural development in 2006. She was the curator of Plymouth Arts Centre and Artistic Director of the River Tamar Project. Paula has worked with and commissioned artists such as Lucy Orta, Marina Abramovic, John Akomfrah, Melanie Manchot and produced citywide exhibitions, including the Hayward touring exhibition British Art Show 7 in 2011. Paula’s ten years led to working in New Zealand as the Director of Contemporary Art Christchurch Toi Moroki – transforming a gallery space from a conservative artist society to a bilingual public art gallery as part of the social transformation of the city post-earthquake. Touring exhibitions of David Shrigley and commissioning the first significant exhibition in fourteen years of Paemanu–Ngai Tahu Contemporary Visual Arts.


Are you look to support your graduating students with their end of year projects?

As you may know ArtsThread created an app for the Global Design Graduate Show and another for the British Fashion Council in 2020. ArtsThread to create one for your institution. Please see an example here

ArtsThread can create an app for your university which would house all of your students online portfolios. This can be embedded on to your own university website. The students work can easily be filtered by course & specialism, so you find exactly what you are looking for in seconds!  Find out more here

Skip to content