How can we ensure that every child receives quality arts and cultural education? We invited on Wednesday 25/11 leading expert in the field, Anne Bamford and innovative practitioners Andria Zafirakou, Aleksi Valta and Ulla Hokkanen to discuss the topic. Zafirakou is a founder of Artists in Residence which brings high-quality artist residencies to schools across the UK, Hokkanen has combined social work with circus arts through her work with Galway Community Circus and Valta’s Art Testers programme introduces Finnish 8th graders to the country’s cultural institutions.
Professor Anne Bamford (OBE) is the City of London Corporation’s Strategic Director of Education, Skills, and Culture. Anne has been recognized internationally for her research in creativity, lifelong learning and technology. She coined the term, ‘fusion skills’ to describe the competencies needed for flourishing now and into the future. Through her research, she has pursued issues of innovation, social impact and equality and diversity. A world scholar for UNESCOs, Anne has conducted major national impact and evaluation studies for the governments of Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Iceland, Hong Kong, Ireland and Norway.
Ulla Hokkanen is an experienced cultural leader and social innovator with twelve years of experience in developing youth and social circus practice in Ireland and internationally. Originally from Finland, Ulla is the Executive Creative Director of Galway Community Circus, Ireland and the Vice-President of the International Youth and Social Circus Network Caravan.
Aleksi Valta (MBA) is a director at the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centers. He has worked for 20+ years with non-governmental organisations. He is a member of several national committees and expert groups in the field of culture, arts and children’s wellbeing.
Andria Zafirakou, (MBE, 2018 Global prize winner, Best teacher in the world) is an art and textiles teacher in Brent on the outskirts of London, one of the world’s most ethnically diverse places. She is passionate about education and changing the lives of young people and underserved communities through creativity. In 2018 she won $1 million when she was crowned the best teacher in the world. Using the prize money, she founded a charity called Artists in Residence which aims to improve arts education in schools.
Present is a series of Zoom discussions by The Finnish Institute. The conversations are documented by business illustrator Virpi Oinonen. Read more about the series here.