Cultivator’s International Women’s Day Event
Cultivator’s International Women’s Day (IWD) event titled ‘Changers + Makers’ took place from the 7th to the 11th of March 2022, with the International Day of Celebration falling in the middle of the event, on the 8th of March. The event was organised by the University of Plymouth's Cultivator project, in partnership with SheProducer and TEC Women, with the support of Old Bakery Studios.
Aiming to shine a light on women working in the Creative Industries in Cornwall, the event consisted of panel discussions, workshops, performances, networking evenings and talks by accomplished women sharing their experiences as a minority in their respective industries. 
“A lot of the time women’s voices are ignored or muted slightly, and I think it’s really important to provide them with a platform where they feel they have the space, where they can take up space and that that space is there for them.”
Emma Dyason, Project Officer 

The partners

SheProducer, anorganisation based in Cornwall, provides training and opportunities to womenworking in the music industry. The organisation was founded with the intentionof providing women with the opportunity to further improve themselves and theirskills, specifically their production skills, in the music industry. They wereheavily involved in the co-ordination of the overall event by organising aseries of workshops and music showcases, platforming the creative individualsthey have been working in collaboration with.

The Old BakeryStudios, a venue in Truro passionate about supporting events for artists,were a natural fit to support the five-day event. The Old Bakery Studios venuesconsist of over 50 studios and workshops spaces, and supports countlessartists, entrepreneurs and small businesses.

TEC Women were also involved in the event, running a panel discussion that included womenworking in traditionally male-dominated fields. One of the panelists, MelissaThorpe, works in the Space industry andspoke of her journey and resilience as a woman, as well as her experience ofbeing a minority in her field. One panelist from the gaming industry spoke ofhow she struggled to feel she belonged in any company she had worked in, andhow that experience had led her to set up her own company, with the intentionof making it highly diverse and inclusive.

What did the event involve? 

The event consisted of a range of panels, workshops, and showcases. Some workshops were very practical and business-focused, providing the attendees with the knowledge of how to market themselves, protect their IP, ethics and more. The workshops that took place were not just business-focused, the event also included more creative workshops from Abstract Art and Looser Women providing the attendees with innovative and alternative sessions throughout each of the days. 
The event also featured various performances and a movie screening of a film called ‘The Tape,’, following its protagonist’s, Tally Green, creative journey where she builds herself and lets people in on her creative talents after hiding them for so long. 

Future plans

The event provided the attendees with the opportunity to get together, collaborate, converse, and share their stories and experiences both professionally and personally in an environment that was empowering and encouraging. While also creating the space for generous knowledge and advice sharing across multiple industries.
With the general feedback from participants and the public who attended being highly positive, there was a clear interest in it taking place once again, a sentiment that the Cultivator team shares, with the hopes that it will become a legacy project of its own entity beyond Cultivator.
“This is something that is wanted and something that is needed, and people want to be a part of this kind of community.”
Emma Dyason, Project Officer

This case study was written by Farah Amer, a student from the University of Plymouth. Connect with Farah on LinkedIn.