Shining a light on Cornish women in the arts for International Women’s Day

Off the Wall (credit Steve Janner)

The Old Bakery Studios in Truro will play host to a week-long festival of inspirational screenings, exhibitions and workshops this March, showcasing the work of female artists in Cornwall to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Change + Makers – running from 7-11 March, with International Women’s Day 2022 falling on 8 March – will shine a light on women who are making an impact with their work and will champion inclusion within Cornwall’s creative industry.

The event aims to increase the visibility of women, to encourage organic networks and generate collaboration among artists in Cornwall and provide support and information to female practitioners in the county.

The programme of events is organised by Cultivator Cornwall and the University of Plymouth, partnering with SheProducer and TEC Women and supported by Old Bakery Studios. The week will feature a series of activities such as workshops, talks, discussions and networking which feature Cultivator clients and delivery from Vick Bain, Arts Well and TEC Women. There will be evening film screening and music performance events – including a screening of TAPE, the new film from Cornish artist Martha Tilston and a song circle event, featuring music and conversation with songwriters Kelsey Michael, Angeline Morrison, Kezia and Hannah Bullock.

Professor Chris Bennewith, Interim Executive Dean for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business at the University of Plymouth, said: 

“The University has a long history of supporting the cultural and creative industries across the region. We are working hard with Cultivator to explore exciting opportunities that showcase the creative talent across the region, supporting them to have a platform to inspire, encourage and challenge ideas and perceptions. We are delighted to be able to support International Women’s Day #BreakTheBias as the University believes deeply in the South West’s ability to be a region that supports and nurtures all creative talent.”

Laura Philpott, Creative Business Advisor at Cultivator Cornwall, added: 

“Cornwall’s creative businesses are found all over the county and this event will provide a perfect opportunity for them to tackle an important subject as a collective whilst also instigating new connections and giving a voice to those who are less visible. Certain genders are vastly underrepresented and stereotyped within some creative sectors, creating a multitude of issues and barriers to accessing industry opportunities and networking. The ability to share experiences, challenges and best practice at this event is crucial for sole traders and business owners to feel supported and confident when tackling gender equality.”

Additional highlights include a photography exhibition by SheProducer - raising the visibility of female music producers in Cornwall with a series of large photographs featuring women at work in their studios and including the opportunity to listen to their work – an art workshop led by Gabrielle de Glatigny and a movement workshop led by Off The Wall Aerial.'

There’s networking opportunities and panel discussions, options to participate in wellbeing classes and valuable insights into business essentials such as intellectual property rights, mentoring opportunities and collaborative practice.

Minko, co-founder of SheProducer, said: 

“Our project was designed to offer female music makers a safe space to learn, share skills and participate in a supportive creative community. The Change + Makers event really shares those aims and we are delighted to be showcasing the SheProducers’ work at the heart of it.”

Elise Livingston of Amped Music Therapy added: 

"I love working with Cultivator and wanted to be involved with International Women's day to meet with other independent business women and to share experiences of what it's really like running a business in Cornwall. In 2022, it's more important than ever to connect and communicate, and I can't wait to bring a creative space for reflection and fun."

To find out more about the event, and to book a place on any of the sessions, visit https://cultivatorcornwall.org.uk/changemakers/.

Cultivator is funded by the European Structural & Investment Funds, Arts Council England, Cornwall Council and HM Government.