Back to All Events


Let’s talk about live arts in York... 
It’s not you, it’s not me, it’s us, and it’s about time we took some time out to discuss the state of the creative industries in this city. What are we getting absolutely right, what’s happening under the radar, what could we be doing better and how can we do more to promote this city and its kaleidoscopic cohort of brilliant native creative people?

SLAPchat is an event working to facilitate a dialogue between artists, venues, companies and creatives working and based in the Yorkshire region. Whether you’re a performer, a promoter, a journalist, a gallerist, curator, arts lover, production worker or just about anything else, we’d like to invite you along to SLAPchat, a live arts and creative industries forum event that’s taking place at the YSJ SPARK community theatre on the evening of December the 8th.

We hope that the event will provide creative people from York and the surrounding areas with an opportunity to meet and discuss pressing issues within the current artistic scene, and to offer advice to those freshly embarking upon or considering a career in the arts.

We’re not here to create a manifesto, a clique or even a network. This is about freely exchanging ideas in the hope that we can learn something valuable to the future of our own endeavours and to the culture of York as a whole. 

And let’s have a drink or two while we’re at it.

All of the topics that we will talk about on the evening will be suggested by you the attendees, so do have a topic in mind when you arrive. We will split into groups so that everyone has a chance to talk about what is important to them. We have invited some really great people to lead the discussions:

Matt Allen is an artist and performance maker. He is one of the 3 directors at Leeds venue and curatorial team Live Art Bistro working as a programmer and producer. Matt has worked as an artist since 2007 and has created work for Leeds Inspired, Compass Festival and SLAP.

Ben Porter is a filmmaker at York production company Hewitt & Walker, and hosts the weekly York Creatives podcast. He's been working in creative arts since 2011 and has a background in music production and performance.

Henry Raby is a poet, play-wright and theatre-maker and Artistic Director of York poetry/spoken word organisation Say Owt. He recently toured across the UK with his theatre show, Whatever Happened To Vandal Raptor? and his debut collection, Nerd Punk, was published by Burning Eye Books in April.

Lydia Cottrell & Sophie Unwin are the co-directors of SLAP and performance company 70/30 Split. Between them they have been awarded the Hull Dance Prize, the FLINTsparks Prize and the IDEA Assembly. Received commissions from Contact Theatre, Royal Exchange Manchester, The Place, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Chisenhale Dance Space, Yorkshire Dance, and were listed in the Guardian as one of the top dance moments of 2014.

Hannah and Drew Wintie-Hawkins are Dance and Physical Theatre Artists based in York. They are also Co-Directors of York Dance Space an organisation who champions the development of dance across York and North Yorkshire.

Later Event: December 11
Vegan Curry Night