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Wednesday 12th May 2021

10am - 1pm

Free online conference


Join us as we explore Arts and Wellbeing in 2021. We will discover how the arts has influenced our wellbeing in these changing and challenging times. For more information and to view the conference timetable please click here


Opening: A segment from "Ode To Black Thought", "Insert Sleep Here" and "We Were Never Derelict" all which are short pieces from Otis's debut poetry collection "Safe Metamorphosis"

Otis Mensah, writer, performing artist and first Poet Laureate of Sheffield

Otis Mensah is a writer and performing artist with an alternative take on Hip-Hop music and abstract poetry. Focusing on art as a means of documenting journeys of introspection, Otis’ work aims to demonstrate the personal and political power of vulnerable expression. Otis takes influence from the rhythmic and expressive freedom of Jazz and uses aesthetic language as an instrument to solo through themes of identity, masculinity and coming-of-age.

Keynote: "Lockdown learning: What do we take forward? What can we leave behind?"
Rachel Adam, Project Director
Museums Northumberland bait


Rachel will describe how the Museums Northumberland bait programme has been adapted during the pandemic and what has been learned. She will draw out themes from this learning, which delegates are invited to add to during the conference, to build personalised answers to the question ‘What do we take forward and what can we leave behind?’

More about Rachel:

Rachel is Project Director of Museums Northumberland bait, the Creative People and Places (CPP) programme in South East Northumberland. She has been in this role since 2013 and since 2017 has also worked on the CPP National Peer Learning and Communications programme, involving all thirty CPP Places in England.


“Creatively Active, Actively Creative.”
Teo Greenstreet, Centre Manager
Greentop Community Circus Centre


Greentop has been delivering one off circus classes in schools across the region for many years. But we know that enjoyment and being physical is such a great way to engage creativity and our ‘This is Circus’ 6 week programme was intending to do just that when Covid arrived. This talk tells the story how then pandemic enabled a co-creating process with Beck Primary school and Hallam University resulting in a remotely deliverable programme that engages the least active with a firm focus on resilience and creativity.


Greentop Community Circus Centre Based in purpose converted centre in Brightside, Greentop is 25 years old this year with a mission to promote excellent circus that inspires young people, strengthens communities and develops artists.

We provide weekly class programmes for adults and young people, specialist programmes for schools, our local neighbourhood and young people with autism. Troupe is our performance platform supporting development of aspiring young performers and we provide creative development support and training for professional performers and performers and teachers for events across the region.

More about Teo:

Teo Greenstreet has over 30 years experience in growing creative resources; formerly co-founder and CEO of The Circus Space, now National Centre for Circus Arts, CEO The Media Centre and freelance arts development consultant. He has a particular interest in sustainability and supported numerous creative projects ranging from establishing the UK’s first Circus Arts degree programme to initiating Spectrum Circus for young people with ASD. He performed and taught circus for 7 years and is a fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme.



Feldenkrais Workshop

Marilla Homes

The Feldenkrais Method is a learning method based in movement. It breaks down the patterns and habits we form over our lifetime, exploring them in a gentle and non-judgemental way, and rebuilds the patterns so we can move more easily and efficiently.

More about Marilla:

Marilla Homes is a Performance and Movement Specialist and Lyric Soprano, with a rich background both teaching and performing in opera and folk music as well as being a Feldenkrais Practitioner, Decongestive Lymphatic Therapist and Remedial Massage Therapist. Marilla is based in Sheffield UK, and is currently in Australia where she has been performing at numerous locations including the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Penola Acoustic Music Gathering, Nowendoc Summer Festival, Tamworth Country Music Festival and at house concerts around Australia. She is part of the Sheffield based acapella duo Steel Songbirds and Melbourne based funky folk band Marilla Homes and the Housemen. Marilla teaches singing lessons and Feldenkrais online, and in 2020 presented an hour on dealing with Performance Anxiety for International Feldenkrais Week as part of the Feldenkrais Resources for Musicians team. She has previously taught Feldenkrais at the Victorian College of the Arts and Music, University of Melbourne, and is thrilled to be a part of the Ignite Imaginations Arts and Wellbeing Conference.


"Creative Minds moving beyond the soft and fluffy: a creative charity hosted by the NHS."

Phil Walters, Strategic Lead and Dave Watson, Development Coordinator (Wakefield & Barnsley) 

Creative Minds

We will give a little background about how and why we set up a charity to support the development of creative activities in mental and physical health care. How we developed our approach co-productively with participants and how we operate more like a social movement and think like pirates.  

More about Creative Minds:

Creative Minds is a multi-award-winning charity hosted by South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWYPFT) which delivers mental health and learning disability services in Calderdale, Barnsley, Kirklees, and Wakefield. Creative Minds support some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded individuals coming into and using secondary health care services. Creative Minds operates a creative social model that appeals to those who are harder to reach with a more traditional medical approach and offers a broad definition of creativity to include Arts, sports, recreation, and leisure activities.



"How can we improve accessibility in the arts for people with learning disabilities, autism or both?"

Emma Harnett, Arts Coordinator


In my talk I will discuss and raise questions about how the arts can become more accessible to people with learning disabilities, autism and both.  I will discuss what we do at ArtWorks and some of the work we have been doing to make our work more accessible and help other arts organisations improve accessibility.


More about Emma:

Emma Harnett is creative arts co-ordinator at ArtWorks.  She has a background of curation and theatre management.  During her career she has worked organising exhibitions and creative projects with older people, people with learning disabilities and autism, people with mental health problems and in schools.


ArtWorks is an arts organisation that provides creative opportunities, workshops and artistic development for over 70 artists with learning disabilities, autism or both.  We focus on self belief, achievement, collaborative practice and teamwork, whilst supporting our artists to play an active role within their community.  ArtWorks aims to challenge people's perceptions of learning disabilities and autism through celebrating the creativity and ambition of our artists.


Drawing Meditation

Creative workshop with Julia Vogl

(no drawing experience required!)


DRAWING MEDITATION, is a ten minute interactive exercise to unwind. Through self reflection and then an attempt to turn off your brain ever so briefly, the aim is to create some drawings that recharge you.


Materials required:

One A4 or 4 post it notes.

One pen (marker)

One pencil/or another coloured pen (marker)

One highlighter or other coloured pen (marker)


Book your tickets online now - click here. In the meantime please keep an eye on the Ignite Imaginations Facebook page for more details and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch on

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