Moonbeams Conference: Creativity and the Arts in Early Years

On 5 June 2017, education professionals, early years practitioners and artists from across the UK will come together for a conference exploring arts and creativity in early years. Organised by Arts Connect, How to Catch a Moonbeam and Pin it Down is one of the first events of its kind to interrogate creativity and the arts with children aged 0-5 years, and investigate how this can be encouraged. Delegates will discuss how creativity and arts can be protected within the challenging economic environment, by developing leaders in the early years and cultural sectors to deliver and advocate its critical role in child development.


Keynote speakers and workshops

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England will be delivering a keynote speech at the conference.

Darren comments; “Providing the right environment for creativity to thrive in early years settings is essential in encouraging the very best arts and cultural leaders of the future. Earlier this year the Arts Council began work on a 25 year Creative Talent Plan. We want to encourage a more joined-up approach to cultural education, from the moment a child is born right through the first 25 years of their life. So, I’m particularly pleased to be attending this year’s Moonbeams Conference to discuss how we can all work together to support the creativity of our very youngest artists and audiences as they take their first steps in this world.”

The event will be chaired by Beatrice Merrick (Chief Executive, Early Education) with further keynotes from Professor Chris Pascal (Centre for Research in Early Childhood) and Dr. Susan Young (formerly at University of Exeter). Seminars and workshops will be delivered by a host of internationally prominent practitioners including Søren Emil Markeprand (Forest Schools in Denmark) and Helen Moylett (Co-Author of Development Matters in the EYFS).

Pepita Hanna, Associate Director – Partnerships and Investments at Arts Connect West Midlands explains; “Delegates will have the chance to meet with early years experts and practitioners, and discover the how to develop tomorrow’s leaders of arts and creativity. The conference provides a great opportunity to exchange ideas, share good practice and discover different approaches the early years and the arts.”

The conference provides a unique opportunity to exchange ideas, disseminate good practice and discover the latest in arts education.

  • Meet leading thinkers on early years arts and creativity
  • Discover practical ideas and take part in workshops to develop your skills and thinking
  • Respond to provocations on challenging practice and developing quality
  • Find out how to document and evidence learning and impact
  • Take part in interactive activities and learn about the changing Marketplace

Sponsors and partners

How to Catch a Moonbeam and Pin it Down is sponsored by University College Birmingham.

The conference is being delivered in partnership with:

Book your place

Please use the link below to book your places.

  • Date – Monday 5 June 2017
  • Venue – UCB (University College Birmingham), McIntyre House, Birmingham, B3 1PW

* Bursaries are available for artists from under-represented groups in the early years sector. This includes; men, those with physical disabilities and artists of BAME origin. For bursary application details contact Gemma Corden at or call 0121 446 3204.

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