Leading lights in the creative industries are contributing to a crucial week of activities at the University of Sunderland which supports students’ careers in the arts and cultural sectors.

Daily Mirror editor Kevin Maguire, television writer David Quantick, digital entrepreneur Austen Atkinson, and Linda Mason, a renowned make-up artist for Jean Paul Gualtier, Thierry Mugler and Giorgio Armani, are all Visiting Professors and will be sharing their advice and tips to success during Creative Industries Week (November 9-13).

The annual event, which has moved online this year due to Covid 19, continues to offer students across the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries a chance to find out about different career opportunities, network with professionals and join in as many workshops as they can.

Designed to encourage interdisciplinary working, broaden students’ experiences and build confidence to develop their own career paths, the exciting week also includes sessions with Sunderland graduates who are now working in a variety of roles in the city and beyond.

There are Online Creative workshops with expert academics leading sessions on their specific areas of interest and expertise. Creative Future Workshops provide a chance to consider career opportunities and networking with a focus on subject areas from across the creative industries.

Professor Arabella Plouviez, Academic Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, which includes areas such as media, Film and Cultural Studies and Arts and Design Practice, said: “Creative Industries Week is looking to be a really fabulous week this year.

“From workshops in drawing, TV and sustainable design to creative industry networking events and creative futures workshops, there are opportunities for our students to dip their toe into new subject areas, hear from some of the leading voices from across the creative industries and make a next step into their future careers.

“The week provides a change of pace for our students, an opportunity to meet new people and try new things taking and for our staff to share their breadth of skills and knowledge in new ways.”

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, added: “Despite the restrictions of the pandemic and the new national lockdown, the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries has shown great ingenuity and determination in putting together Creative Industries Week.

“This is a wonderful chance for our students to expand their knowledge and understanding of the arts and creative sectors in the UK – sectors which contribute massively to social, cultural and economic wellbeing. Not only that, our students will have opportunities to network with influential figures, many of whom have longstanding connections to the University of Sunderland.”

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graeme Thompson, will be opening the Networking Day on Monday, November 9, with contributions from graduates, who have gone on to great success in their own careers.

Graeme is Chair of the new Sunderland Culture Company, he also chairs the Arts Council-funded community arts project, The Cultural Spring and was on the Steering Group for Sunderland’s City of Culture 2021 Bid. Graeme is also Chair of the International Group of the North East Cultural Partnership and the Royal Television Society Education Committee in London.

He said: “When we emerge finally from the pandemic, the world will need writers, producers, artists, performers and designers as never before. The Creative Industries continues to be the UK’s fastest growing sector. And thanks to technology and innovation, there are jobs being created that no one could have imagined just a decade ago.

“Thanks to the support of commissioners and employers, we’re shining a light on the careers and business opportunities open to students in the arts and creative industries. Our students will have unique access to practitioners and leading figures from the sector to help them achieve their own ambitions.”

One graduate who will be sharing her advice is Lily Daniels, a BA (Hons) Glass and Ceramics graduate (2012), who works in Participation and Learning in the Heritage Sector (Seventeen Nineteen in Sunderland).

Lily, 31, from South Shields, is delighted to be speaking at the ‘Getting from A to B event’ on Monday, and working with Dr Sarah Hellawell, Lecturer in Modern British History on a session about local heritage.

She said: “I had a fantastic experience at Sunderland during my degree and was delighted to be asked back to speak during this important week. Sunderland students are among the most creative I have ever met. They also study in one of the UK’s most culturally rich areas in terms of heritage.

“I feel incredibly lucky to be working in my current role. Participatory arts is very diverse and rewarding and hopefully I’ll be able to share my positive experiences with those students interested in this area.”

To see the full programme of events, go to: https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/study/explore/arts-creative-industries/creative-industries-week/