Creative Stoke


   This is a list of upcoming local training events, public talks, workshops, networking meetings, and conferences, likely to be of interest to creative professionals in North Staffordshire.

Please note: this page is not a standard "WHAT'S ON?" events list.   Normal arts exhibitions, theatre shows, carnivals, craft fairs, and children's activity workshops are not listed - since these are already very well covered by local newspaper / radio / listings websites, and that is where they are most effectively publicised. Creative Stoke does, however, list some contemporary art exhibitions where the launch event should be a good networking opportunity for local creatives to meet others, such as the annual student shows.

     2013 EVENTS:

11th April 2013.
Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre workshop — 11th April 2013 (9am-1pm), "What Intellectual Property (IP) do you Own?" in Stoke-on-Trent.

17th April 2013.
Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre workshop — 17th April 2013 (4pm-8pm), "New Product Development" in Stafford town.

19th April 2013.
Staffordshire New Markets, New Horizons - Export Support Event. Aimed at new exporters in services. Staffordshire University.

18th-19th Apr 2013.
The Society for Music Analysis will hold its annual Theory and Analysis Graduate Symposium day for music postgraduates on 18th-19th April 2013, at Keele University in North Staffordshire. TAGS welcomes student papers in any fields of music theory or analysis. Non-speakers are also welcome. Please send enquiries to: Becky Thumpston at    or Dr. Nicholas Reyland at  

26th April 2013.
Staffordshire New Markets, New Horizons - Export Support Event. Aimed at new exporters in services. Leek.

30th Apr - 3rd May 2013.
Stoke-on-Trent's 2nd Noisefloor sonic art conference has announced dates: 30th April to 3rd May 2013. The organisers are now calling for proposals for audio or audio-video works, live sound, audio-based installations, and for academic papers on the sonic arts.

1st May 2013.
Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre workshop — 1st May 2012 (12pm-2pm), "Research & Development Tax Relief to help fund your Innovation" in Stoke-on-Trent.

June 2013.
The various annual art & design and media graduation shows. Creative Stoke doesn't usually list arts and crafts exhibitions, but makes an exception for the end-of-course student shows:

  * Staffordshire University's Show and Tell 2013 is the main arts and design graduation show. This huge show is spread over the ground floor spaces of the Stoke-on-Trent campus, and opens on Friday 7th June 2013 at 6pm, with the official opening ceremony starting at 6.30pm. Includes the Comic Arts 'Pop-up Comic Book Shop', among many other attractions.

  * This year sees the second Fringe festival, complementing the main Staffordshire art and design shows. The full programme is now online.

  * is an exhibition directed by graduates of the Foundation Degree in Contemporary Art Practice at Leek School of Art. The show is on now at the Nicholson in Leek town, and runs until 15th June 2012.

  * MADE is the Newcastle-under-Lyme College media, art and design final show, this year taking the innovative form of a pop-up shop in the centre of Newcastle-under-Lyme (13-14 Lancaster Building, near W.H. Smith). Exact official opening date tbc, watch the blog. Deb Hilditch is the person in charge:  

5th Jun 2013.
The Business Innovation Centre (BIC) has a launch event for its Specialist Advisor Fund on 5th June 2013 (10am). The venue will be the Sutherland Institute in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. The BIC states that there will potentially be funding on offer from the scheme of... "�2,500 available to Staffordshire companies". Details:  

8th Jun 2013.
Grain is running a Portfolio Development Day for photographers on Saturday 8th June 2013. The venue will be the Learning Exchange in the Flaxman Building, at the Stoke-on-Trent campus of Staffordshire University. Cost is �20 for professionals, or �12 for students... "During the day there will be a series of talks by experts, advice sessions and one to one reviews to help emerging photographers, artists who work in photography and students to develop a professional portfolio. The day is a must for emerging photographers who wish to understand how to develop their work and their portfolio in order to secure opportunities."

11th Jun 2013.
Staffordshire University's annual Creative Networking Breakfast is happening on the 11th June 2013. This is a great way for local creative professionals and businesses to help the 2013 graduates with their networking skills, and to link them with professional development opportunities. To book a place please email  

Summer 2013.
The Staffordshire University Fringe Festival programme is available online. Highlights for training and networking events include...

   23rd May: Creating the change: Developing a sustainable social or community enterprise.
   29th May: Social Media Surgery.
   11th June: Creative Networking Breakfast (8am-10am).
   12th June: Social Media Surgery (repeat).
   12th June: "Where do I go from here?", career planning and coaching workshop.
   13th June: Factory event, the Factory Floor creative industries debate.

Summer 2013.
Bookings are now open for Factory creative industries training workshops in Stoke-on-Trent:

   10th June and 11th June: Winning More Work: making more effective presentations.
   17th June: How to get press interest.
   19th June: Brand development & implementation.
   20th June: How to build a better website.
   26th June: Engaging Your Customers: social networking for business.
   18th Sept: Brand development & implementation.
   Date tbc: Intellectual Property Seminar.

13th Jun 2013.
The free Factory Floor debate on cultural animation. This networking event starts 6pm on 13th June 2013 at The Pavilion, Staffordshire University's Stoke campus.

19th Jun 2013.
Staffordshire University has its annual Business Funding Update evening set for 19th June 2013 (6pm-7pm)... "This is the University�s annual business funding round-up. Several speakers and exhibitors will come in to discuss funding options available in the region for business start-up and growth. Speakers will cover the following topics: angel investment funds and venture capital; bank loans (Gurpreet Jhand); other types of loan funds (Kathy Poole/Ben Dyer); sourcing business funding (Pete Ball); crowdfunding; and the University interventions available." Details from Clair Hameed at: 

20th Jun 2013.
Social Enterprise West Midlands has a free networking event in Stoke-on-Trent... "...for socially minded businesses and social enterprises looking to network and develop their business". 3.30pm - 5.30pm, at the Atlas Works on College Road, Stoke-on-Trent.

29th Jun 2013.
The Leek Textile Festival — 29th June to 15th September 2013.

Summer 2013.
The UK's official export body UK Trade & Industry (UKTI) has a range of business masterclasses at Tillington Hall, near Stafford, during the second half of 2013. These relate especially to exports.

July 2013.
North Staffordshire's 2nd Creative Minds Festival have been announced for Tuesday 2nd to Saturday 6th July 2013.

July 2013.
Start Up Your Creative Business is a free two-day workshop in July (9.30am - 4.30pm on both days) in Stoke-on-Trent. This workshop is for any graduate based in the West Midlands who is starting up a creative business in the arts, design or media. The organisers say... "We will cover all the essentials around your values, marketing, financial management, intellectual property, your legal structure (e.g.: self-employed, limited company) and your networks."

7th - 8th Aug 2013.
Keele Launchpad is a new free 2-day business "start-up bootcamp" set for 7th and 8th August 2013, on the Keele University Campus. It's open to graduates who are interested in starting their own business, or creating a hobby business that might grow in time. Deadline for applications is 26th July 2013.

16th - 18th Aug 2013.
The annual young children's culture festival, the Just So Festival. The location is about five miles north of Stoke-on-Trent.

Late Summer 2013.
Staffordshire Enjoy Art, aka Staffordshire Open Studios.

Sept 2013 onwards.
Stoke-on-Trent's British Ceramics Biennial. Full programme and dates tbc.

30th Sept - 1st Oct 2013.
The international Contemporary Ceramic Studios Association is to hold a two-day event at Wedgwood near Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent. Studio potters are invited to... "Join top artists, designers, business leaders, worldwide suppliers and CCSA staff for two days of projects, workshops and expert business advice".

5th Oct 2013.
2nd Stoke Craftworkers Bazaar, at The Mitchell Arts Centre.

15th Nov 2013.
North West Women's Enterprise Day 2013 on 15th November 2013. The location will be Cranage Hall, about ten miles north of Stoke-on-Trent. Last year there were apparently about 250 attendees, so it could be useful for local networking.

20th-21st Nov 2013.
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Willow Weaving, 20th-21st Nov 2013.


Older events listings for 2002 to March 2013 are archived here.



Creative Stoke doesn't list general crafts fairs, but these are Web links to some of the local organisers of regular events:

::  North Staffordshire Guild of Craftsmen. Established for 25 years, the Guild holds regular high-quality fairs offering local and British crafts.

::  Cheshire Fayre - organisers of regular craft fairs in Staffordshire and Cheshire.

::  Staffordshire County Showground - puts on occasional crafts fairs, usually organised by the Creative Craft Association.

::  Antiques & Crafts Fairs at Trentham Gardens.

::  The nearby Buxton Pavilion organises a Contemporary Designers & Artists Fair.

::  Studio Potters Events listing is a good UK listing of shows and events for craft ceramics makers.

::   Various other venues regularly hold crafts fairs, such as the New Vic Theatre, the Burslem School of Art, and the Shire Hall gallery at Stafford, among others.



::  Facebook group for .

::  Keele University Art Gallery. Early each year Keele holds the Three Counties Open Photography show; an 'all-for-sale' prints exhibition, featuring the results of a competitive Open for local photographers in the counties of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire.

::  The Burslem Carnival & Arts Festival is usually in early May each year, and has a variety of community arts-oriented events at the Burslem School of Art, Stoke-on-Trent.

::  Stoke-on-Trent Festival.

::  Stone Music Festival.

::  Buxton Puppet Festival.

::  Leek Arts Festival.

::  Nantwich Folk & Roots Music Festival.

::  Nantwich Arts Festival.

::  The Abbotsholme Arts Society - programme of classical, medieval and other fine music at Uttoxeter.

::  Stafford Festival.

::  The British Federation of Festivals is based in nearby Macclesfield.

No web-site  Live & Local is Staffordshire's Community Performance Scheme, helping seventy village halls and remote venues to book professional entertainers.



::  BBC Radio Stoke's regularly-updated

festival and event listings.

::  The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, has listings online along with listings for other Council museum and cultural venues.

::  Staffordshire Museums & Arts Service, has event and listings online for the official county gallery at Stafford.

::  Events in the Staffordshire Moorlands & area.

::  North Staffordshire Folk Diary.

The National Art Collections Fund - Staffordshire Region () apparently.... "runs regular lectures, generally at county buildings, as well as organising visits."



Made in Staffordshire, England.  Updated: May 2013.  © 2013. All rights reserved.