Things Happen

Things Happen Emily Pethick


Things Happen took place at Attenborough Arts in Leicester in March 2016. It featured The Showroom’s Director Emily Pethick who set the context for with a keynote speech illustrating the organisation’s many and varied collaborative projects and co-productions, launched CVAN EM’s upcoming programme and provided a platform for our collaborative conversation project The Start of Something and gave attendees an overview of Leicester’s arts and cultural offer.

The feedback

Attendees at the event said that:

  • they had found the event inspiring and informative and that they had been excited by the number of projects and practitioners making art outside of London of high quality
  • they felt a sense of empowerment and were enthused by the energy and passion of the people presenting
  • they found it was a great way to hear from people working in the region, to make new contacts and to combat a common feeling of isolation and to stimulate ideas for collaboration

They would have liked:

  • more opportunities for dialogue between attendees at the event and a varied programme of activities that would have made the event more like a conversation
  • more time to respond to what was arising from the presentations and an opportunity for groups to come together to discuss things in a more formal way

They would like:

  • to see this platform develop into a series of more regular events or a formal structure to bring together artists and organisations
  • the opportunity to visit some of the places/projects that were showcased
  • workshops and events addressing topics such as sourcing and applying for funding, approaching galleries, working with local art organisations

For future events we would like to:

  • create more time for conversation and discussion and opportunities to identify themes/outcomes
  • make it possible for a greater number and more diverse mix of practitioners to attend
  • include a range of perspectives when featuring guest speakers/contributors


Our Annual Events are designed for and to inspire an open and diverse audience of those working in the sector as well as non-arts professionals. Featuring keynote speeches, discursive breakouts, informal networking and member contributions, these events allow us collectively to explore ideas relevant to the sector, capitalise on the knowledge, skills and assets of the network and expand its terms of reference and aspiration.