Canterbury Arts Conference 2017

Local and international speakers and workshop leaders congregated at the Canterbury Baptist Church for the 4th Annual Canterbury Arts Conference (CArtsCon), which is organised and sponsored by Warnborough College.

The 4-day event saw presenters and speakers from all arts disciplines share ideas, experiences, and knowledge around the theme of ‘Art for Change’. As a conundrum, the very concepts of art and change were interpreted and reinterpreted to challenge the audience’s minds and beliefs.

The conference was opened by the Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Rosemary Doyle, and the Lady Mayoress, Jenny Yonge, on Tuesday, the 18th July at 6:30pm. A welcome reception with wine, cheese and nibbles saw participants and guests gathering before a fanfare by Kevin Kay Bradley announced the arrival of the Lord Mayor. After welcoming the guests to Canterbury, she presented prizes to the winners of the schools art competition.

The conference programme began in earnest the following day with a plenary by Anna Sexton FRSA. She challenged the audience to think about how to enact change within their environments. In between, a range of impressive speakers from as far away as the USA, Nigeria, Malaysia, Switzerland and Canada regaled the audience with interesting topics and even heart-breaking stories.

The conference ended on Friday, the 21st July, with a group of young children who call themselves “Be the Change” talking about how they see the world and how they would like to change it and themselves for the betterment of others.

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress were on hand to present certificates to all participants. A great time was had by all, many friendships were made, and wonderful memories created. If anything, it proved that art can, indeed, change us all.