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Creative Fuse Conference: Call For Papers and Proposals

12 July 2022

Creative Fuse are looking for proposals for presentations, papers, workshops and performances for the Creative Fuse Conference on 14th & 15th September 2022.


The creative and digital industries in the North East of England are a vast and varied network – one that has experienced a huge amount of change over recent years (and beyond!). The 2022 Creative Fuse North East Conference will be a space for the project, and the sector more widely, to reflect on all that we have done, experienced, researched and achieved over the last three years. More importantly, it will make room for us to ask ‘what’s next?’ and tackle some of the most pressing issues being faced for the future of the sector.

Combining creative practice and skills, technological and innovative advancements, social endeavours and enterprise, and business and entrepreneurial mindsets, the conference will be an opportunity to share ideas and research, provoke discussion, and lay foundations for our collective future. It is the fusion of these things, and many more besides, that is at the core of Creative Fuse North East.

We are in advanced discussions with a publisher about a Creative Industries books series on these conference themes, which we also see as potential journal special issues.

The Creative Fuse Conference is free to attend and will take place on:

  • September 14th – Day 1 of Conference – Middlesbrough
  • September 15th – Day 2 of Conference – Northumbria University, Newcastle

Who is this conference for?

This conference is open to anyone with an interest in the creative and digital industries in the North East of England and beyond, from any sector, working environment or location. This includes (but is not limited to) submissions from:

  • Researchers, Educators and Students
  • Creative Practitioners, Freelancers, Businesses and Innovators
  • Representatives from the Third and Public Sector

Call for Submissions

Based on the above, we are seeking (but are not limited to) proposals for presentations, papers, workshops, or performances that fit within the following themes, surrounding Spaces, Places and Creativity. For academic papers, please submit 400-1000 words, for other proposal max 400 words.

Creative Fuse North East is a project that supports creative and cultural practitioners, freelancers and businesses. In that regard, there is a limited budget that can be accessed by independents who would like to host and deliver workshops / performances / presentations at the conference, and who would usually charge for the costs of these activities. If this is the case, please indicate via the submission form the typical costs associated with running your activity. We will then be in touch to let you know that you have the opportunity to be part of the conference and that we can support your costs.



Creativity is stimulated in people in places. Creative clusters are well known for networking in urban centres, but recent research has shown there are ‘microclusters’ of creatives living and working outside of the established centres. The pandemic has also affected where people want to be as we begin to understand new distributions of creative industries in towns and in the rural settings. How do these differing local environments affect creative work? What are their conditions and challenges? How does the Levelling-Up agenda with government funding present opportunities for creative business and people in unexpected places?

If you have any questions or require any further information about this theme, please contact:
Jonathan Sapsed –
Frances Rowe –

The short-term use of buildings in the cultural and creative industries, in the form of recent pop-up, co-working or ‘meanwhile’ initiatives, can present opportunities artists and small creative businesses. For example, ‘meanwhile’ spaces in the visual arts have long allowed for experimentation, while in craft or fashion, temporary creative businesses can establish vital retail outlets or new markets. But to what extent do such opportunities come at the cost of precarity, vulnerability and a narrowing of diversity? Do temporary solutions substitute for more permanent structures? Or do meanwhile spaces and pop-up retail improve collective resources and chances? How might we best understand, and support, organic clustering and collective activity that grows over time? In this strand, we call for new studies, experiences and new thinking that seek to better understand the phenomenon of temporary space in the cultural and creative industries.

If you have any questions or require any further information about this theme, please contact:
Paul Richter –
Emma Coffield –

‘Knowledge Exchange’ refers to the many different ways that universities now work with creative people and organisations, through research, exhibitions, teaching and student involvement like placements. These activities have developed from naïve models of ‘knowledge transfer’ to mutual learning and genuine co-produced knowledge so we welcome case studies of exemplary projects, especially with innovative forms of interaction. But are these opportunities available for all stakeholders? Small firms and freelancers for example experience barriers to work with universities and so we are interested in strategies for inclusion of wider participation.

If you have any questions or require any further information about this theme, please contact:
Mark Bailey –

Creative and cultural industries vary widely in their sources of funding, their modes of work and the ways that they reach audiences and markets. This makes understanding their funding needs difficult for policy-makers as well as the motivations and outcomes that are targeted. Evidence and data for fuding policy has increased over recent years and in this session we present contributions from researchers, policy-makers and beneficiaries.

There are many ways to highlight the importance and benefits of achieving better inclusivity. Throughout the Creative Fuse project we have been opening discussions surrounding how the creative sector can embrace and celebrate diversity. In this session we will look to share ideas on how we can all help to create an inclusive world, in business and beyond.

If you have any questions or require any further information about this theme, please contact:
Wendy Parvin –

Creative industries are an important source of ‘soft power’ for the UK yet until now evidence on internationalisation has been patchy for creative and cultural sectors.  This session presents new research on Foreign Direct Investment in the UK’s creative economy, the patterns of creative trade and case studies of how creative businesses have been able to internationalise their products and services.

Evaluation of creative projects identifies what works and where problems occur, highlights best practices, unintended consequences and outcomes, and is expected to demonstrate value for funders and funding bodies. We can all agree that evaluation is essential for every organisation and project. However, common fears and concerns exist about the actual implementation, relevance, and competency to conduct evaluation across the sector. Effective evaluation can benefit from a mixed-methods, holistic, collaborative and participatory approach, which can be better embedded in the community and creative sector work, which often intertwine.  In this strand, we consider different perspectives and methods for evaluation within the creative sector, the long-term impact, and ways to inform outreach and respond to the outcomes for sustained community impact and transformation.

Papers, hands-on demonstrations, and any other content are warmly invited to share current learning, experiences, and insights into evaluation research across the sector.

If you have any questions or require any further information about this theme, please contact:
Mariann Hardey –

Understanding complex issues offers challenges in technological realms. Bringing together artists/creatives into a performative space can offer experiential bridges to help explore the understanding of complex technologies. This session will show how creative practice can raise questions around what digital technology can offer and its challenges and opportunities. We will invite new ideas, experiences and presentations demonstrating creative collaboration in practice.

The Covid pandemic has shown how the cultural and creative industries have an important role to play in crises. Lockdowns affected the cultural and creative industries in different ways. The appetite for screen content and online marketing and advertising was never higher, fuelling new demand. Yet cultural venues suffered through lockdowns, needing to invent new experiences and ways to reach audiences. In this session we reflect on this residual learning and look forward to how creative thinking and work can help address another urgent crisis in climate change.

We are continuing to develop our programme so we are open to your suggestions! Please indicate when submitting the form if you would like to propose a theme not listed above.

How to submit

To submit your proposal, please click the button below and complete the form, where we will ask you a bit about yourself, the theme you’re interested in and your proposal.

The deadline for submitting your proposal is 31st July 2022.

Please note if your proposal is accepted you may be scheduled to present at either the Middlesbrough or Northumbria University venue.

Submission Timeline

We are still finalising the details of our schedule, please see key dates below.

  • Deadline for Submission – 31st July 2022
  • Notification of Accepted Submission – Early August 2022
  • Full Conference Schedule available – Late August 2022
  • Dates of Conference – 14th & 15th September 2022

Interested in submitting a proposal?

Click on the following link and apply by 31st July.