What is Wor Culture?

Wor Culture is a forum for discussing issues relating to the culture and creative sectors in the North East, and contribute to shaping its future. The gathering is facilitated by Newcastle University but we strongly encourage you to propose topics for discussion, join in the debate, or offer to lead a session.

How is the programme put together?

The sessions focus on topics suggested by you. You can also suggest speakers (or offer to do a presentation or provocation) and/or host a session (we’ll support you!). All suggestions to: bob.allan@ncl.ac.uk

What is the format of the event?

Normally the event follows a format where we have a series of short presentations (c. 10 minutes) to help establish the context for the discussion. This is followed by a Q&A. We then have a series of breakout groups. After this each group feeds back into a general discussion.

For online events there is a chat function in Zoom which is like texting or messaging. We use this to gather questions and comments. Participants can also use it to contribute or send a private message to the host if they do not want to speak using their video.

What is expected of me?

We warmly welcome everyone who would like to come along to the event. How you participate is entirely up to you.

At the beginning of online events we ask everyone to mute their microphones and turn off their video to try to avoid any problems with background noise and videos crashing. You can listen, keeping your video and microphone off; you can contribute to the discussion via the chat function; you can contribute by turning on your video and asking a question; you can have your video on in the breakout rooms or not. We would love to hear your voice and have your thoughts but there is absolutely no pressure to contribute.

What if I can’t join in or come along to the Zoom gatherings?

We are very aware that digital gatherings are not accessible for everyone for many reasons. We are working to make our sessions as accessible as possible (if you have any ideas or suggestions let us know) but we are still conscious that they still will not be accessible to everyone. If you would like to contribute to any of the sessions but cannot attend the zoom gathering, we’d be happy to talk to you beforehand by whatever means is best for you, you could contribute in writing or by submitting a short video, and we can feedback to you after the event. Or, if you have any other ideas, do let us know.

What happens after the event?

After each event we will produce a reflection of the event including information from the presentations, insights and questions drawn from the conversation on ‘chat’, information from the breakout room discussions, and any useful resources participants might have shared or we’ve discovered that are relevant to discussions. This might take a little time as we’re a small team but bear with us! We will then circulate this to participants, regional networks, colleagues in local authorities etc. so they can see what your thinking is.

We will also look at the information and issues raised and, where possible, feed these into future sessions.

Want to be kept in the loop?

For information on future sessions you can sign up here

We look forward to welcoming you to one of our events.

The #WorCulture team,

Vee (Dean of Culture and Creative Arts) venda.pollock@ncl.ac.uk@VeePollock (On research leave 22/23)

James Annesley’s background is in literature and before covering Vee as Acting Dean for Culture and the Creative Arts, he was Head of the School of English at Newcastle (2013 – 2020).  In that role, he gained wide experience working with cultural partners (particularly literature focussed organisations like Seven Stories and Bloodaxe Books), local authorities, regional SMEs and freelancers and has a lot of experience supporting activity in your sector.   


Kirsten Gibson’s background is in music, and before taking on the role of Associate Dean of Engagement and Place for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences during Vee’s research leave, she was Head of Music at Newcastle (2018-2021). In that role she worked closely with Vee and a range of cultural partners and freelancers devising and delivering partnership work and engagement projects within Music (including with Music Partnership North, Samling Academy, Nordoff Robbins, Sage Gateshead and Opera North). 


Bob (Engagement and Place Projects Manager) bob.allan@ncl.ac.uk@tweet_happening

Engagement at Newcastle University

Newcastle University works with a broad range of organisations, professionals and publics outside of academia; through partnership work, research and teaching projects and public engagement activities.

Below are some links that may be relevant to Wor Culture attendees interested in collaborating with the university or attending other events and activities.

Work with Us https://www.ncl.ac.uk/work-with-us/
Engage with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences https://www.ncl.ac.uk/hass/engagement/
Creative Collaborations https://www.ncl.ac.uk/work-with-us/creative-collaborations/
Institute for Creative Arts Practice https://www.ncl.ac.uk/creativearts/
Creative Fuse North East https://www.creativefusene.org.uk/