During our first year we offered a programme of ’52 Things’ made with and for the city’s creative community to showcase the fantastic people and places in our city. You can find the full 52 here.

We're convening a symposium to examine the components of a creative city. Cardiff: Creative Capital is in response to a growing awareness of the importance of the creative economy, not only in its contribution to people’s quality of life but as a distinctive segment of the economy in its own right.

The event will draw on insights from the first year of the Creative Cardiff network - a project in which we've set out to confirm Cardiff as a creative city, with a significant cultural sector that is not only part of the fabric of life in the city but a cornerstone of its economy.

Supported by British Council Wales, the day will also include themes and trends emerging from wider research and the perspectives of leading thinkers on the creative economy.

Rebecca Gould, Head of Arts at British Council Wales, said: “The Creative Cardiff Network research undertaken by Cardiff University is key to deepening our understanding of Cardiff’s fertile creative economy and will provide solid empirical evidence of the cities status as one of the UK’s core creative hubs. The symposium offers us a chance to share this research with a wide audience; to invigorate, inspire and educate.

“Creativity, whether it comes from the grassroots, independent organisations or established formal industries, runs through the lifeblood of Wales.

"Cardiff, as the capital city, is in many ways the epicentre of this. Supporting Cardiff’s creative network is important not just from an economic point of view but also from a social perspective.”

The keynote will be delivered by leading economist in this field, and Director of Creative Economy in Policy and Research at Nesta, Hasan Bakhshi.

Hasan leads Nesta's creative and digital economy policy and research. His work includes co-authoring the Next Gen skills review of the video games and visual effects industries, which led to wholesale reforms of the school ICT and computing curriculum in England, and the Manifesto for the Creative Economy, which sets out 10 recommendations by which governments can help the creative economy grow.

Hasan has a particular interest in data and experimental research methods. In recent years he has led Nesta's work in using novel online data sources and data science techniques to measure the creative and digital economy.

Prior to Nesta, Hasan worked as Executive Director and Senior International Economist at Lehman Brothers, as Deputy Chief Economist at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and held a number of economist positions at the Bank of England. Hasan has published widely in academic journals and policy publications on topics ranging from technological progress and economic growth to the economics of the creative and cultural sector. Hasan is a founding member of the government’s Creative Industries Council and in the 2015 New Years Honours he was awarded an MBE for services to the creative industries.

Chair of Digital Economy at Cardiff University, Professor Ian Hargreaves, will host the symposium.

He said: “Cardiff is promoted as a top city for liveability. That's right, but we want to add that a liveable city is a creative city.

“Creative Cardiff's work is about helping to grow momentum in the city region's creative economy, which will play an ever more important part in providing jobs, prosperity and a richer way of life.

“This event is designed to develop Cardiff's conversation with other creative cities and to explore the creative sector's needs, in areas such as digital infrastructure and education.”

Professor Ian Hargreaves is a leading figure in the UK creative economy debate. He undertook work on the creative industries for the Welsh Assembly government (2009) and co-authored a Manifesto for the Creative Economy for NESTA (2013). He was a Co-Director of REACT (2011-2016) a £4m AHRC-funded creative economy knowledge exchange programme in South West England and Wales.

He also led Media, Community and the Creative Citizen (2011-2015), a major research programme involving six universities and a wide range of partners.  A book reporting this project was published in 2016 by Policy Press, The Creative Citizen Unbound: How social media and DIY culture contribute to democracy, communities and the creative economy (co-edited with John Hartley). In 2010/2011 he led a review of intellectual property for the UK government. Its main recommendations were adopted as government policy in 2014. 

Ian is a board member of two of Wales' leading arts organisations: National Theatre Wales  and the Wales Millennium Centre. He is Senior Fellow with the Brussels-based think tank, the Lisbon Council, and an advisor to the Observatory of the European Union Intellectual Property Office

Prior to joining Cardiff University, Ian was a leading UK journalist, serving as Editor of The Independent, Editor of the New Statesman; Deputy Editor of the FT and Director of BBC News and Current Affairs. He was made CBE in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Honours List, for services to the creative economy and higher education.

A key aim of the Creative Economy project and the allied Creative Cardiff Network is to gain a better understanding of Cardiff’s creative economy.

Over the last year, as there is little current data on the shape, character and breadth of the creative economy in Cardiff, mapping research has been carried out to identify those people, organisations and businesses working in the creative industries. 

The subsequent report, Mapping Cardiff’s Creative Economy, will be disseminated at Cardiff: Creative Capital symposium by Professor Justin Lewis of Cardiff University.

This will be followed by a panel discussion with Director of Creative Economy at Cardiff University Sara Pepper, Sam Murray - who was part of the Creative Cardiff Mapping team - and Professor Samantha Warren of Cardiff Business School. 

Professor Justin Lewis is Professor of Communication at Cardiff University. He previously held the position of Dean of Research in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and former Head of the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. His interest in the creative economy began in the 1980s, when he worked on cultural policy for the Greater London Council (experience which led to his first book: Art, Culture and Enterprise: The Politics of Art and the Cultural Industries). Between 1988 and 2000 he worked at Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, before coming to Cardiff in 2000.

He has written and edited many books about communication, the cultural industries, news and politics, including Constructing Public Opinion and Citizens or Consumers: The Media and the Decline of Political Participation and Climate Change and the Media. His latest book is Beyond Consumer Capitalism: Media and the Limits to Imagination. He has led a number of research projects for the BBC, the BBC Trust, Channel 4, the Office of Science and Innovation, the AHRC, the ESRC and Rowntree. He was a member of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework panel for Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management.

Justin has always been interested in impact research, recently setting up the Centre for Community Journalism, and believes that the university can play a key role in enhancing the dynamism and diversity of the creative economy in Cardiff, Wales and beyond.

Speakers at Cardiff: Creative Capital include John Newbigin of Creative England, Professor Vanessa Toulmin of Sheffield University, Professor Jon Dovey of University of the West of England and Professor John Holden. Director of BBC Cymru Wales, Rhodri Talfan Davies, will also present.

Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales, Kully Thiarai and Graeme Farrow, Artistic Director of Wales Millennium Centre, will present on the Roald Dahl 100 Wales weekend of celebration, City of the Unexpected.

John Newbigin is founder and Chairman of Creative England, a public/private partnership that invests in creative content businesses across England, focusing on film, TV, video games and other areas of digital tech. He also chairs Cinema Arts Network (CAN), a publicly funded network of the UK Film Council and British Film Institute to enable art-house cinemas across the UK share feature films and other digital content over a secure dedicated network.

As Special Advisor to the UK Minister for Culture, Rt Hon Chris Smith MP, he was closely involved in developing the UK government’s first policies for the creative industries in the 1990s. He was Head of Corporate Relations for Channel 4 Television (2000-05) and executive assistant to Lord Puttnam as the Chairman of the film company Enigma Productions Ltd (1992-97).  As a policy advisor to the Leader of the UK Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition, Rt Hon Neil Kinnock, MP (1986-92) he had responsibility for environmental and cultural issues, amongst others. 

He is a member of the UK government’s Creative Industries Council; Chairman of the British Council’s Advisory Group for Arts and Creative Economy; member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, University of London; and of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Knowledge Exchange Oversight Group. He is a member of the International Board of Advisors of Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore and an Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong. John was a youth worker in East London for six years and writer-in-residence for Common Stock Theatre. He has also worked as a journalist and as an illustrator. He was awarded an OBE for services to creative industries and the arts in the 2015 New Years Honours List.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin is Director of City and Cultural Engagement at the University of Sheffield, Director of Festival of the Mind and academic lead for the University’s Public Engagement and Impact Team.

Vanessa also chairs Renew Sheffield and the Culture Consortium which, in partnership with the University, is delivering and programming the Year of Making in Sheffield in 2016. 

Vanessa is a leading authority on Victorian entertainment and film, and has completed extensive research on travelling showpeople. She also acts as a leading authority on new variety and circus and has acted as creative advisor to leading festivals in the United Kingdom including the Roundhouse in London and Showzam in Blackpool.

Vanessa is the author of several books, including The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon, Electric Edwardians, and Pleasurelands. Her recent publications include four major works on the architecture and history of Blackpool's attractions: Winter Gardens, Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and the Blackpool Illuminations.

Professor Jon Dovey is Professor of Screen Media at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He has taught a wide range of film, media and digital courses in both practice and theory at Plymouth University, UWE and Bristol University.

In 2008 he launched the Digital Cultures Research Centre which he directed until 2012. From then until 2016 he was Director of REACT (Research and Enterprise for Arts and Creative Technologies) one of four hubs for the creative economy funded by the AHRC. Led by UWE and Watershed, REACT was an arts, technology and business collaboration that made 50 innovative media prototypes in four years.

He is currently Principle Investigator on the Ambient Literature research project and Co-Investigator on Bristol and Bath by Design evaluating the design ecology of the region. Read the REACT Report.

Professor John Holden is an Associate at the think-tank Demos, where he was Head of Culture for eight years, a Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds and an Honorary Professor of the University of Hong Kong. He has been involved in numerous major projects across the cultural sector in the visual arts, heritage, libraries, music, museums, the performing arts, and the moving image, working with governments, agencies, cities and organisations such as Tate, the British Museum, the V&A and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

John is the author of works including The Ecology of Culture Influence and Attraction, Democratic Culture, and Cultural Value and the Crisis of Legitimacy, and is the co-author of The Cultural Leadership Handbook, Cultural Diplomacy and All Together.

John is a Trustee of the Hepworth, Wakefield, and a member of the Strategy Board of the Clore Leadership Programme, the European Expert Network on Culture, and the Learning Committee of the Design Museum.

Kully Thiarai took up post as Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales in May 2016.

From 2012-2016 she was director of Cast in Doncaster, responsible for the artistic and strategic vision for the new venue. Prior to that she was an Independent Theatre Director and Arts Consultant for several years undertaking a diverse range of creative and cultural projects. 

Kully has previously led Contact Theatre, Manchester, Leicester Haymarket Theatre, Theatre Writing Partnership, and Red Ladder Theatre Company, Leeds as Artistic Director and CEO. She has extensive experience of commissioning, producing and directing work nationally and internationally. 

Graeme Farrow is Artistic Director at the Wales Millennium Centre. Born and brought up in Sunderland, Graeme graduated from Leeds University in French and Philosophy before moving to Northern Ireland to undertake his MBA at the University of Ulster. He has since pursued a highly successful career in the arts in Belfast and subsequently Londonderry.

In 1999, Graeme joined the team of the Belfast Festival at Queen's, the largest international festival on the island of Ireland, becoming director in 2006 and building the festival's reputation into one of the must-see arts festivals in the UK and Ireland in the lead-up to its 50th anniversary in 2012. During this period he became Head of Culture and Arts at Queen's University, Belfast, responsible not only for the festival but also the Queen's Film Theatre and the Naughton Gallery.

Most recently, Graeme held lead responsibility for the design and delivery of a £14.1m programme for the first UK City of Culture in Derry, which has been recognised as a critical success by local people, critics and the media. Much of its success can be attributed to Graeme's input, not only his creativity but also his ambition, with which he delivered the prestigious Turner Prize outside of England for the first time in its 29-year history. Graeme was the first recipient of the Northern Ireland Arts Individual of the Year Award and was named one of Northern Ireland's highest achievers under the age of 40. 

Rhodri Talfan Davies was appointed Director of BBC Cymru Wales in September 2011 after a career spanning journalism, interactive television development and marketing.

In his role, he oversees all BBC programming produced for Wales, including BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and extensive television output for S4C, BBC One Wales and BBC Two Wales. Popular programming includes BBC Wales Today, Hinterland, Scrum V, Pobol y Cwm and Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience.

The BBC Wales production centres at Llandaff and Cardiff Bay are also home to BBC Studios, which produces a wide range of output for the BBC's network television channels, including Casualty, Doctor Who, Crimewatch, One Show and Young Musician.

Cardiff: Creative Capital will take place on Thursday, 8 December from 9.30am until 4pm in Cardiff University’s Hadyn Ellis Building. Follow along with the event on Twitter using #creativecardiff. Download Mapping Cardiff's Creative Economy here.

Share