Brent Artist Network: How to Create Mass Participation Artworks

29 July 2020

About this Event

What does the architecture of mass participation artworks look like? How do artists recruit and coordinate hundreds, if not thousands, of people from varied abilities and backgrounds to work together on creative projects? How does the collaboration and exchange between artists and participants work and what is the legacy?

In this roundtable, hear from artists with significant experience in all steps of realising mass participation projects. Chaired by Titania Altius, Creative Producer and Community Engagement Lead for Brent 2020, the conversation will feature Robby Graham of Southpaw Dance Company and artistic director of Brent 2020’s launch event RISE; Jeanefer Jean-Charles, mass-movement artist who worked on the 2012 Olympics; and Hakeem Onibudo, founder of Impact Dance, which got its start at The Library at Willesden Green and has supported residents to participate in large-scale events.

This workshop will cover:

  • Recruiting and coordinating people of varied backgrounds and abilities to participate in large-scale events, and the importance of local organisations, networks and communities
  • Learn about examples such as RISE and the 2012 London Olympic Games
  • The values that underpin collaborations between artists and participants, how the artistic vision is shared and what legacy can result from these collaborations
  • The impact of Covid-19 on large-scale events; thoughts on how to adapt going forward and how artists are maintaining connection with their communities
  • How to develop a community engagement plan: outreach, recruitment, and participant experience


Titania Altius, Creative Producer, Brent 2020

Titania Altius is Creative Producer at Brent 2020, and oversees community engagement for the programme, working with the 2020 Community Advisors, schools, and 2020 Culture Fund recipients. Titania recruited 300 community members to participate in RISE - Brent 2020's opening event - by establishing links with local dance groups and cultural organisations. As a lifelong resident of Brent, Titania built alliances and working groups to contribute to the borough's successful bid for London Borough of Culture for Brent. Prior to joining Brent 2020, Titania established herself in the music copyrighting industry, working for MCPS and PRS for Music. Titania is also a lecturer on the BA Fashion Journalism course at London College of Fashion.


Robby Graham

Since 2013, under the artistic direction of Robby Graham, multi award-winning Southpaw Dance Company have created powerful, joyous performances, from small scale solo work to large-scale outdoor spectaculars, combining powerful physicality with engaging narratives that inspire and excite audiences. Robby was the artistic director of Brent 2020’s launch event, RISE, which included a company of 300 people recruited locally through schools, community groups, and dance clubs.

Jeanefer Jean-Charles

Harnessing over 20 years’ experience, Jeanefer is a globally respected creative artist and producer who has worked in over 21 countries to devise and direct large-scale performances, opening ceremonies, stadium events, outdoor spectacles, carnivals and parades. Jeanefer was Mass Movement Co-ordinator for all four of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Her work involved auditioning, casting and then hosting rehearsals; and co-ordinating the thousands of volunteers involved in the ceremonies. She is also a Brent 2020 Culture Fund recipient.

Hakeem Onibudo

Hakeem is a choreographer, performer, and mentor and widely recognised influence in the dance community. He has established himself as a renowned professional host and MC, working on red carpet movie premieres and other prestigious national and international events. He is the Founder, CEO and Artistic Director of Impact Dance, a youth empowerment organisation which motivates, leads and inspires ordinary young people to achieve extraordinary things through the medium of hip-hop dance. Impact Dance got its start in the Willesden Library in 1995, and continues to provide dance instruction for young people throughout Brent to this day.

Brent Artist Network Online Series

The Brent Artist Network supports connection, collaboration, and resilience in the local cultural sector. The Brent Artist Network Online Series is a weekly offering of free skills workshops, themed talks from artists and funders, Q&As, and artist spotlights. Future themes include art and social change, how to run and promote digital events, youth-led programming, art, self-care and well being, evaluation, branding and sponsorship.

Follow the Brent Artist Network on Instagram and Facebook.


BSL interpretation will be provided during this session, and a video recording will be available to registrants afterwards.


This is an inclusive space that has zero tolerance for any racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, islamophobic, colonial or derogatory behaviour.

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