17 Mar 2021 - 18 Mar 2021


9:30 am - 4:30 pm



CHEAD Annual Conference 2021

The Challenge of Change: The value of creative education supporting inclusion and diversity

Aims of the Conference

  • The fusion of cultures within CHEAD has created a unique community characterised by “Unity without Uniformity” – our diversity is our strength. This conference will explore how our community is responding to change by embracing diversity.
  • To celebrate the union of art and design across culturally diverse domains, how our openness and differences are our strengths and are a powerful catalyst for change.
  • To advocate for step-change in the dynamics, benefits and value of an increased and expansive focus on diversity and inclusivity in arts education.

Content: To explore how we can develop the breadth of art and design education to encompass diverse and underrepresented art forms, engage all audiences and enrich creative education by embracing a wide range of influences and practices.

Context: To engage with emerging opportunities and contexts for transformational change addressing how our people, practice and provision should draw on and reflect the full range of backgrounds and perspectives to be found in our contemporary society.


  • Drivers of change: Political, Economic, Societal/Cultural and Technological.
  • Dynamics of change, diversification and transformation: Embracing a diversity of influences and cultural inclusivity as an opportunity for transformational change. Making change strategically significant.
  • Capturing change in the academic role. Future academic leadership roles, inclusive recruitment, developing and reflecting better workplace representation, equality, resilience and adaptability.
  • Showcasing diversity in people, practices and provision across arts schools and multi-disciplinary institutions as a catalyst for change. Addressing imbalances of power, who speaks, who listens, who hears and acts?
  • Critiquing the civic engagement agenda, who leads change in place-based strategies and regeneration, the challenge of working proactively and inclusively with communities, partners and diverse organisations and settings.
  • Exploring our commitment to diversity and equality and the changing demographics of academic and student profiles. Are we fit for purpose?

Conference Papers

The full conference theme paper can be downloaded here

Dr Angela Partington, Kingston University: Understanding the Learner-consumer: market-led Higher Education, diversity and inclusive practice. The Abstract can be downloaded here

Delegate Information

Delegate joining instructions can be downloaded here

Conference Programme can be downloaded here

Recommendations of places to visit in Birmingham can be downloaded here

Recommendations of places to eat and drink in Birmingham can be downloaded here

Ikon Gallery Map can be downloaded here

Birmingham City University campus map can be downloaded here

Birmingham City Centre map can be downloaded here

Birmingham Art Map Spring 2020 can be downloaded here

About our Sponsor

a-n is the largest artists’ membership organisation in the UK with over 23,000 members.

We support artists and those who work with them in many practical ways, acting on behalf of our membership and the visual arts sector to improve artists’ livelihoods. We have a reputation for providing compelling insights and playing a catalytic role in influencing and informing cultural policy.

By being part of a-n, our members benefit from guides, insurance, bursaries, jobs and opportunities, events and resources and lend their voice and weight to the advocacy work we carry out on behalf of the sector. We offer a range of memberships for artists, including a Student membership package and a license membership for higher education institutions via Jisc Collections.

a-n has produced an annual Degree Shows Guide for over a decade, which profiles UK courses, presents new talent and supports up-and-coming artists.
As an acknowledged leader in the field of research and information about contemporary visual art, a-n provides tutors and lecturers with practical resources about the art world and job market. We support student learning and employability in the visual arts, equipping students with the kinds of information and advice they need to navigate the transition from education to professional practice as artists, alongside opportunities to build their networks.

To find out more

Recommended Hotels

Hotel Du Vin 
25 Church St, Birmingham B3 2NR

Premier Inn 
3-6 Waterloo Street, Birmingham B2 5PG
0333 777 3903

Radisson Blu Hotel
12 Holloway Circus, Queensway, Birmingham,B1 1BT
0121 654 6000

CHEAD Conference on Social Media

We will be using the hashtag #CHEAD2020 to record outputs from key discussions at the conference, we hope you will join in the discussion online.

Hourly Schedule

Tuesday 16th March 2021

18.00pm - 20.00pm
Pre Conference Reception
Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2HS

Wednesday 17th March 2021

09.30am - 10.00am
Birmingham School of Art
10.00am - 10.15am
Welcome to Birmingham City University
Birmingham School of Art
10.15am - 11.00am
Keynote: Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE
Birmingham School of Art
11.00am - 11.30am
Refreshment Break
Birmingham School of Art
11.30am - 12.00pm
Panel Sesssion: Drivers of Change
Birmingham School of Art
12.00pm - 13.00pm
Flex or Flux?
Birmingham School of Art
13.00pm - 14.00pm
Birmingham School of Art
14.00pm - 16.30pm
Afternoon Tours
Various locations
18.30pm - 10.00pm
CHEAD Annual Dinner
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH

Thursday 18th March 2021

09.15am - 09.15pm
Refreshments, CHEAD Trustee Elections Voting window
Floor 5, Curzon Building, Birmingham City University
09.30am - 9.35am
Introduction to the second day
Floor 5, Curzon Building, Birmingham City University
09.35am - 9.45am
Statement from our sponsors a-n
Floor 5, Curzon Building, Birmingham City University
09.45am - 10.15am
Professor Alison Honour, PVC Birmingham City University
Floor 5, Curzon Building, Birmingham City University
10.15am - 10.40am
Dr Angela Partington, Associate Dean Learning & Teaching, Kingston University
Floor 5, Curzon Building, Birmingham City University
10.45am - 11.1.15am
Panel session: Drivers of Change
Floor 5, Curzon Building, Birmingham City University
11.15am - 11.45am
Refreshment Break
Floor 5, Curzon Building, Birmingham City University
11.45pm - 13.00pm
Breakout session
Floor 5, Curzon Building, Birmingham City University
13.00pm - 14.00pm
Floor 5, Curzon Building, Birmingham City University
14.00pm - 15.00pm
CHEAD Annual General Meeting
Floor 5, Curzon Building, Birmingham City University
15.00pm - 16.00pm
Workshop session
Floor 5, Curzon Building, Birmingham City University
16.15pm - 16.30pm
Plenary & closing refreshments
Floor 5, Curzon Building, Birmingham City University