Last month, OxLEP supported Oxford Brookes University’s inaugural Creative Industries Festival 2021 – the month-long event followed the OxLEP-backed Creative Industries Showcase, which took place at the university in June 2019 bringing together around 300 stakeholders from across the creative and cultural sector.
Put into context, the creative industries sector (pre-COVID 19) contributed over £100bn a year to the UK economy, with Oxfordshire home to almost 4,000 digital and creative businesses alone, a significant and dynamic force within the industry.
We held two panel events during the festival, both hosted by broadcaster Howard Bentham. The first session being: ‘How can our globally-recognised city and county’s creative and cultural assets help drive a vibrant post-COVID-19 creative economy?’.
The panel for this session was made-up of several industry experts, including:
- John Newbigin OBE – London Mayor’s Ambassador for the Creative Industries & Founder and first Chairman of Creative England
- Guy Gadney – Founder & CEO of Charisma.ai and Chair of the Board at the Old Fire Station
- Dr Victoria McGuinness – Head of Cultural Programming and Partnerships, Humanities at University of Oxford
- Vanessa Lefrancois – Joint Director and CEO, Oxford Playhouse
We held a second session later at the festival, dubbed: ‘What is a creative and diverse county?’ Our panel was made-up of the following lead voices from within the creative and cultural sectors:
- Lucinda Whiteley – Co-founder and Creative Director at Novel Entertainment
- Lucy Shaw – Head of Programmes and Partnerships at the University of Oxford's Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM)
- Tasha Patel – Creative Industries Officer, University of Oxford (Humanities Division)
- Andy Edwards – Director of Makespace Oxford
- Natasha Guerra – CEO of Runway East
- Jasmine Richards – Children’s author and founder of Storymix
- Richard Duriez – Film Oxford
A variety of other discussions took place during the festival, focusing on several industry-related themes including; ‘the future of creative industries’, ‘media and celebrity’, ‘visual culture’ and ‘sound and music’.