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Tuesday 11th July 2023

9:30am - 2:30pm 

Post Hall Gallery, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 2AY

Free to attend and open to everyone

Click here to book your free ticket!



9.30-10.10 Post Hall

Join us for:

·  Registration

·  Choosing your preferred break out sessions (1st come 1st serve basis)

·  Tea and Coffee

·  Take a look at the exhibition curated by Sheffield Hallam University:

“The Future Now Schools and Colleges Show 23 ” is a celebration of creative work made by young people in Sheffield region Schools and Colleges in the form of a public exhibition.  Exhibition open to the public 1st - 15th July.

·  Optional Tour of the department of Art & Design: 30minute tour of the facilities and workshops.   


10-10.15 Move to studio space for conference

10.15-10.30 Welcome and opening talk; Luisa Golob CEO, Ignite Imaginations.


“How volunteering can shape a person”

Luisa discusses how volunteering is essential to the creative sector to continue to attract the next generation of artists and creatives from across the community. She reflects on the need to exercise freedom and creative choice in exploring your career path and where she and her team have supported the nurturing of Sheffield’s’ artistic community across the past 19 years!


Introduction to our compere: Rosamaria Cisneros, Associate Professor.


10.30-10.40 Amer Sarai; Head of Community Engagement, Kala Sangam Arts Centre, Bradford.

"Survival Secrets"

A talk about the highs and lows of Amers' life and how she navigated adversity. The power of working within the Arts & Cultural sector and the many volunteering roles she has undertaken, as the golden thread throughout her career.  She will explore the magic of working in Community Engagement and using arts as a catalyst to unlock the richness of our communities and what they bring to us all.

10.40-10.50 Mahboobeh Rajabi ; Creative Producer, CAN (Community Arts North), Manchester.

“How effective is creative community engagement and volunteering, at changing lives?”

Creative community engagement can be life-changing by providing volunteering opportunities though a variety of art and creative projects. Mahboobeh gives evidence of her own life journey and projects she has encountered, in the last 13 years, within the arts and cultural sector (in the UK and internationally). She reflects how these experiences, including working with Community Arts North West has impacted her career and led her to become a cultural leader with forced migration background.


10.50- 11.00 Q and A session


11-11.15 Break- Tea and coffee served in the Post Hall


11.15-11.20 Proceed back to the studio space


11.20-11.30 Geo Law; Illustrator/Mural artist

"The Power of Trying"

Geo Law talks about how trying, failing and trying again has been part of his creative process in a career that spans a decade having worked with brands such as Walt Disney Animation, Taco Bell, Apple, New York Times and Google. Through the practice of trial and error and exploration, Geo will talk about the process needed to keep yourself sane and open to many experiences and how that has led to his stint in teaching and creating Doodle Club.


11.30-11.40 Diandra McCalla ; Creative Producer , Birmingham Opera Company

"Open Doors: Some Thoughts on Volunteers and Inclusion. "

How do we work with volunteers in a way that embraces the magic each individual will bring? This talk features insights into Birmingham Opera Company's unique approach to inclusion and collaboration with volunteers.


11.40-11.50 Q and A session


11.50- 12.30- Lunch served in the Post Hall


12.30-12.35- Return to studio space and welcome back


12.35-1.00: Break out Sessions (choice of 4, each person will engage in 2 sessions in total across the hour). Titles and descriptions of break out sessions tbc.


Breakout 1

Geo Law: "Doodle Club"

In 30 minutes we will explore your ambitions, download your thoughts onto paper and figure out how you'll get there by the simple act of doodling


Breakout 2 

Rosie Carnall: "Moments of inspiration - the gift of time"

If time is our most precious resource, is it the greatest gift you can give? In this workshop, you'll take part in a short discussion activity with one or two others, to share ideas about the inspiration for giving time to volunteering. Question prompts will help you to delve deep into short but thoughtful conversations to inspire ideas for a playful creative writing activity. You'll take away your own poem on a postcard.

Breakout 3

Diandra McCalla: "Birmingham Opera Company, an inclusive approach to volunteering"

Birmingham Opera Company are known for working with people to be part of Opera, removing the preconceptions and barriers they may have. In this workshop you'll experience what it's like to be one of our volunteers and understand more about our inclusive approach.

Breakout 4 Mahboobeh Rajabi

Mahboobeh Rajabi: "What is the role of trust, and how do we build trust when engaging with communities?" A talk and doodle session to explore the topic and unpick how welcoming is it for volunteers and participants to truly engage with a project.

1.00-1.30 Break out sessions


1.30-1.40 Thank you and close from Luisa Golob


1.40-2.15- Networking and reflection space back in the Post Hall

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