Supercharging Blackburn: How one Weekend Festival is Changing the Narrative of a 1000 Year Old Town

Summit: ldn24

Length: 15:43

Through strategic partnerships and ambitious curation, hear how the National Festival of Making along with a supercharged dynamic council and bold cultural partners have come to change the narrative of an industrial town in the North of England.

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This talk is presented by

Elena Jackson - Artistic Director & Co-Founder, National Festival of Making

Elena Jackson is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the National Festival of Making and co-founder of culture company Deco Publique.

Curator of the National Festival of Making’s artistic commissioning programme, Art in Manufacturing, Elena has placed 26 artists in residence with industry to date, establishing relationships with private sector companies and commissioning artists to produce ambitious new works.

Elena works across the creative festival programme – working with artists, industry and communities to produce mass and intimate art and cultural experiences that feel rooted in place. Together with Lauren, Elena shapes the Festival’s vision and works to ensure the curated programme upholds the aims of the CIC; strategically develops the festival within the context of the regional and national arts ecology and secures project investment.

Elena is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Board Director of embedded art practice In-Situ.

Lauren Zawadzki - Festival Director & Co-Founder, National Festival of Making

Lauren Zawadzki is the Festival Director and Co-Founder of the National Festival of Making CIC. Lauren works across the full scope of the company’s activities, including strategic development, commissioning of new artistic work, stakeholder and partnership relations, fundraising and producing specific projects within the organisation’s creative portfolio.

Lauren graduated from Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts with a first class honours degree. Prior to returning to education Lauren already had a successful career in large-scale commercial construction working on some of the UK’s largest construction projects, bringing unique transferable skills to the cultural industries.

Lauren and Elena are very much a team when it comes to leading the organisation, whether it be development and strategy or the initiation of new artistic concepts and programmes. The work is varied, exciting, and challenging.

Lauren regularly returns to LIPA to give guest lectures and is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of music education charity More Music and Co-Founder of culture company Deco Publique.