Imagine if… 2019: Save the date and call for session proposals

24 April 2019

Imagine if… creative arts and cultural experiences supported children’s mental health from birth to adulthood

Conference: Wednesday 13 November 2019, Great North Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne

Imagine if is Culture Bridge North East’s annual conference, which brings together delegates from the education and culture sectors to explore a key theme each year. Through a mixture of keynote speakers and interactive workshops, we aim for delegates to feel that they have:

  • been exposed to new ideas, challenging their thinking
  • had the opportunity to connect with others who share an interest in the theme
  • at least one thing to take back to their setting and do

In 2019, Imagine If will explore ways in which creative arts and cultural experiences might support children and young people’s mental health. We want to explore:

  • current issues in and thinking around children and young people’s mental health
  • ways in which schools and arts organisations are currently responding to children and young people’s mental health
  • the potential for creative arts and cultural experiences to better support children and young people’s mental health
  • the potential for creative arts and cultural experiences to support teachers’ mental health

Imagine if is a full day conference. The audience will be around 100 people. Through our booking process, we aim to ensure a 50/50 mixture of delegates from the education and culture sectors. This year we hope also to attract a wider range of delegates with an interest in the subject, for example from children’s social care or health services.

The day combines keynote speakers addressing the whole audience with interactive workshops for smaller groups of delegates, usually between 10 – 30 people. Keynote speakers are chosen to share ideas which are critical to the theme and inform delegates thinking during the workshops, as well as for a wide appeal across the audience. Workshops may be targeted to specific groups of delegates (for example, delegates working with Early Years children or young adults) and are chosen on the basis of relevance to the conference theme and interactivity. We also curate the sessions to ensure that as far as possible a range of art forms, age ranges and sub-themes are represented.   

For this event we are also interested to receive proposals that would model positive self-care, such as activities for delegates to take part in during lunch or while taking a break away from the conference sessions. We are also interested to hear from artists, musicians and other performers whose work reflects on childhood mental health are interested to share this with delegates.

We welcome children and young people at Imagine If. Please note that anyone under 18 years old would need to be accompanied in accordance with the safeguarding policy of the organisation with which they are attending.

Chairs, tables and facilities to project presentations are provided in all rooms. Any additional resources will need to be provided by speakers. Culture Bridge North East staff will be present throughout the day to support delegates and speakers.

To submit a session proposal

Please send your proposals to by 9am Monday 3 June 2019, providing the following information:

  • The name, role and organisation if appropriate of the person or people who would deliver your session. Please also provide some background information on their relevant expertise.
  • Your contact details.
  • Your session theme and content and how it connects to the theme of the conference.
  • How long your session would be. This could be 20, 30, 40 or 60 minutes. If the length is flexible please let us know so we can take that into account when curating the day.
  • What size audience would work best for your session. This could be anything from a small group to the whole audience of 100. Again, please indicate what flexibility there is in this.
  • Any specific needs you have about spaces and room set up. 
  • Any costs associated with your session that you would ask us to cover. Please indicate a fixed price inclusive of any fees, travel and resources.
  • Links to any online content that would help us understand your work and proposal.

We will respond to all proposals by the end of June 2019.