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Früit, Hull Minster & Humber Street Area

Substance Future Forum invites creative industries, businesses, organisations, artists, digital pioneers, social commentators, policy makers and change makers of the future to a day of active debate and discussion on the culture, creativity and future of the north.

Through panel discussions, keynote speeches, installations and debate; Substance aims to deliver a day that sets out how the rich creativity and culture of the north can lay the foundations for future generations, using the regenerated areas of Hull UK City of Culture as a backdrop.

We are looking for an excellent group of participants to enjoy and take part in discussions and talks throughout the day. In order to make sure we have the right people in the room we believe there should be no barriers to access for those who struggle to afford the ticket price.

If you might struggle to pay the ticket price and feel this day will really benefit you, we do have a small amount of bursary places available. Please contact substance@hull2017.co.uk with a short paragraph about yourself and what particular elements of the Future Forum are of interest to you.


From stage to screen

BBC Arts discuss routes into being commissioned for broadcast.

BBC Arts and Channel 4’s Random Acts discuss routes into being commissioned for broadcast.

BBC Arts, and a panel comprised of the UK’s leading arts broadcasters share their insights into connecting with arts organisations and how digital changes are impacting their decisions.

Panelists include Lamia Dabboussy, Editor for BBC Arts, Jeremy Routledge from Channel 4 film Random Acts, Peter Groom, who directed the short film Herd as part of Random Acts and Rocia Cano, a TV producer who has worked mainly on arts and entertainment series for Sky Arts.

Lamia Dabboussy is the Editor for BBC Arts. This year the BBC Director General, Tony Hall said the BBC will create a new Artists First BBC commissioning fund that will prioritise artists and arts organisations who want to create new works for broadcast and online. It will have £4m of funding in the first year, with BBC Arts overseeing the project.

Jeremy Routledge is co-founder of Calling The Shots based in the South West. The film production company also provide educational workshops around filmmaking. Jeremy started off his career helping to run the Bristol 1980s music club the EEC Punk Rock Mountain. Peter Groom is a Newcastle based actor, dancer and choreographer working mainly with dance and theatre. He directed the short film Herd as part of Random Acts, the Channel 4 short film strand and Rocio Cano is a TV producer who has worked mainly on arts and entertainment series, most recently both Portrait and Landscape Artist of the Year for Sky Arts.

It’s a little bit leave it

How the next generation of artists are responding to Brexit and see their future.

When the decision wasn’t yours, but the impact will be life-long, we discuss the concerns of younger people across the north. This group will address the findings of the Next Generation UK commissioned by The British Council and carried out by Demos which surveyed young people across the country on their views about their future in the world and that of the UK’s following the EU referendum, addressing the findings and recommendations through interviews, spoken word and discussions.

Hosted by spoken word artist Joe Hakim and young people from The Warren Project Hull.

Panelists include Emma Hardy, MP Jack Foster from North Hull Estate, Andrew Gooch a writer, actor and poet from East Hull, Jodie Langford, spoken word artist who lives and works in Hull and Frank Mathers, who has had an extensive career supporting Hull’s music scene.

Jack Foster was one of the first members of the Warren Spoken Word Collective, taking part in the Talking Doorsteps project with the Roundhouse and British Council. This culminated in an appearance at BBC’s Contains Strong Language festival. Andrew Gooch has written and performed work at Hull’s Freedom Festival and BBC’s Contains Strong Language. Andrew is also a member of Northern Lights Drama, and has performed in plays at Hull Truck theatre.

Jodie Langford began writing and performing as part of Arts Celebrating Equality at the Warren. Since then she has risen to be one of the most distinctive voices in Hull’s burgeoning youth spoken word scene. Frank Mathers is currently studying theatre/stage tech, and continues to play a key role in Warren’s Spoken Word Collective.

How arts can save the NHS

Should art be available on prescription?

An all-party enquiry this summer showed how a thriving arts and culture scene has a huge impact on the health and well being of any town or city, leading to a fall in hospital admissions. Can arts relieve the pressure on the NHS?

Panelists include Nicky Taylor, Theatre & Dementia Research Associate, Vicki Amedume, Artistic Director Upswing, Dr Dan Roper, Chair of Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and Alex MitchellArtistic Director Silent Uproar and Sarah Emmott, Creative Director at Art with Heart.

Theatre & Dementia Research Associate at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Churchill fellow – Nicky Taylor has pioneered the way in dementia friendly performance at West Yorkshire Playhouse, the largest regional repertory theatre in the UK outside London and Stratford

Vicki AmedumeArtistic Director of Upswing, has over 18 years of experience of working in circus arts following her initial training as a research scientist.  She founded Upswing, a contemporary circus company, in 2006 after years performing and devising with circus companies in the UK, France and the US. 

Dr Dan Roper is the Chair of Hull CCG, one of the major sponsors of the City of Culture, an association that recognises the strong links between art, culture and health. Artistic Director Alex Mitchell founded theatre group Silent Uproar in late 2012. Alex has worked and been trained by practitioners and companies throughout the UK. Originally from down south, Alex went to Hull University and preferred to root himself in the north

What is the role of a capital city?

London calling? Not anymore. Why musicians are better off away from the capital.

The Quietus host a discussion about whether London is really the best place for musicians and artists.

Panelists include: Anna Wood from The Quietus, musician Nadine ShahVanessa Reed, Chief Executive PRS for Music Foundation and Chiedu Oraka, musician from Hull.

You’re only here for the Culture

What’s the point of a city of Culture?

What are the measures of success for a city of culture? How does this manifest and what is the promise in relation to the reality? Are they brilliant examples of culture as a change agent or an apology in disproportionate levels of arts funding? The panel will be comprised of representatives from previous cities of culture.

Panelists Include Chris Baldwin, Creative Director: Galway 2020: European Capital of Culture, Paula Murray, Creative Director Croydon Council bidding for Borough of Culture, Shona McArthy, Chief Executive at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Martin Green, Former Chief Executive for Culture Company 2013 for Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture.

Show me the money!

Culture and business: the benefits of investment in culture

Hull 2017 raised more corporate money for its year as city of culture than the London Olympics did for the Cultural Olympiad. The benefits of working with a range of businesses and organisations whose investment in City of Culture go far beyond the obvious. The discussion focuses on the crucial nature of this investment and highlights the benefits to place, people and the local economy when business and culture find the correct synergy.

Panelists include Dominic Gibbons, Managing Director at Wykeland Group, Fran Hegyi Executive Director at Hull UK City of Culture 2017, Pat Connor, Head of BBC Development & Events, UK & Director, BBC South West, Dr Kevin Moore, Chief Executive at Humber Bridge. The panel will be chaired by Sussanah Simons, Director of Arts and Outreach for Canvas, the Arts Council England funded project.

Sussanah Simons was previously the Head of Policy and Outreach for BBC Radio and Music and was the Project Director of the BBC’s engagement with the Cultural Olympiad between 2008 and 2013 , in which role she was also responsible the pilot phase of The Space. Dominic Gibbons works for Wykeland, a property development and investment company based in Hull. As a business, Wykeland can’t operate without social and cultural regeneration.

Fran Hegyi has worked in culture and the arts for the last 20 years. Fran joined Hull 2017 in February 2015, her role is to manage the UK City of Culture company and secure the funding and partnerships to deliver 365 days of transformative culture to the city.

Dr Kevin Moore was in charge of the world’s leading football museum since 1997. An experienced museum professional of international stature. Regularly invited to speak at museum conferences around the world, and has published a number of major books about museums and heritage, including ‘Museums and Popular Culture’, ‘Museum Management’, ”Management in Museums’ and ‘Sport, History and Heritage’.

Tell The World

How digital integration can build new and global audiences

Panelists include Dominic Gray (Opera North), Nina Rogers (Yorkshire Sculpture Park), Daniel Elms (New Sound Collective) and Katherine Jewkes (MIF/Space) who will discuss how embracing digital technologies can bring new and global audiences to artists and work.

Chairing the panel will be Susannah Simons, Director of Arts and Outreach for Canvas, the Arts Council England funded project designed to grow the audience for arts based online video particularly among the 18-30 year old demographic. The project simultaneously develops the skills base of the sector with a mixture of online tutorials, workshops, one-to-one surgeries and advice on digital strategy.

In 2001, Dominic Gray became Opera North ‘s first Projects Director, with a brief to develop new work across music, performance and the visual arts. Partners have included the RSC, Tate and Manchester International Festival, and commissioned artists include composer Gavin Bryars, film-makers the Quay Brothers and novelist Hilary Mantel.

Daniel Elms studied composition at the Royal College of Music under Joseph Horovitz and was mentored by Kenneth Hesketh, Peter Stark, and Carlos Bonell. Katherine Jewkes, Digital Producer at MIF & Associate at The Space helps artists and organisations to playfully integrate technology into their work. Katherine supports policy makers and large organisations to nurture the sector as it develops talent in this area, designing adventurous experiences that use technology at a range of scales from intimate one-on-one interactions to city-wide games and performances that surprise and delight audiences.

Northern Souls

Poetry of place

Northern Fiction Alliance lead a discussion on how independent publishers and new voices are flourishing in the North, and how there has never been a better time to get your voice heard in the North.

Panelists include Saba Ahmad from And Other Stories, Jacob Ross Associate Fiction Editor at Peepal Tree Press, Shane Rhodes from Wrecking Ball Press (Hull) and Jamie McGarry at Valley Press in Scarborough.

Stefan Tobler founded And Other Stories out of frustration at the great books not being published in English. His translations include the 2015 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize shortlisted Água Viva by Clarice Lispector and the 2016 Man Booker International Prize longlisted A Cup of Rage by Raduan Nassar. Jacob Ross has been hailed as ‘a writer of formidable technical range and emotional depth’.

Valley Press is an independent publishing house based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK. They publish poetry, including collections, pamphlets and the occasional anthology; fiction, including novels and collections of short stories; and non-fiction, including memoirs and travel writing.

How to Avoid an Identity Crisis

Hullness Revisited

In 2011 – before Hull’s designation as UK City of Culture 2017 –  Arc asked resident associations, community groups, school children, university students, volunteers and artists what Hullness meant to them.  Was Hullness something physical, to be seen in streets and buildings, or was it something else – people, relationships, an attitude or way of life?  The idea of Hullness has since made progress. Hullness was referred to by the UK City of Culture selection panel and the spirit of local identity has underpinned much of the 2017 cultural programme.

At the end of a phenomenal year, the way that Hull is perceived by external observers has undoubtedly changed.  But what does this mean to those who live here?  In this discussion, we revisit Hullness to ask if a year in the spotlight has changed what people think about what their city is, and what it could be in the future?  And we explore how an international city can retain its identity and sense of pride on a local scale.

Panelists include Dr Jo Byrne – Research Manager, Culture, Place and Policy Institute (CPPI), University of Hull and Professor David Atkinson – Professor of Cultural and Historical Geography, University of Hull.

Dr Jo Byrne has worked for over 20 years as a practitioner in the cultural sector, primarily in the fields of the historic and built environment. Professor David Atkinson is a cultural and historical geographer who has taught and researched at the University of Hull since 1998.



Date Time Price  
Thu 7 Dec 9.30am £20 - £25  
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