William Warrener

Head of Academic Programmes

What's your role at 64 Million Artists and what do you love most about it? 

I’m Head of Academic Programmes at 64 Million Artists, responsible for developing and delivering all our leadership and creativity programmes at universities around the UK.

As someone endlessly fascinated by group dynamics, most of all, I love the feeling of facilitating a room full of people who’re collectively experiencing some sort of breakthrough - whether that’s regaining their confidence and purpose, connecting their ideas, or forming meaningful new relationships.

Luckily for me, the values and approach that we bring to our facilitation make those moments a regular feature of our workshops and events.

How has creativity positively changed your life or the lives of those around you?

Endlessly. But taking the thing closest to my heart, music - created, performed, danced or just listened to - allows me to unclench and let go when my frequently anxious mind is attempting to exert too much pressure. In London, I used to organise a Sunday night choir in the attic for all my friends as we gathered ourselves for the work week ahead.

As a teenager I was devoted to a band that taught us so much about having the courage to put yourself out there creatively.

I’m currently part of the Bristol Folk House choir near my home and look forward to Tuesday nights, knowing how I’ll feel while singing and laughing with people.

During the pandemic, I was living in a housing cooperative in Los Angeles, and a group of us decided to form a band that played people’s favourite songs outside their windows on their birthdays.

With 40 cooperative members to account for, that meant a lot of gigs! Our band evolved to become a source of joy, release and support - we’d sit in the community garden a few evenings each week and process the drama of that time by playing together. I’ll never forget, on one occasion, sitting outside with our instruments through the entire night to cope with the anxiety of election night 2020.

What is your superpower?

I’d probably say that it’s putting others at ease, especially in group situations. I love using humour as a pathway for building trust and ensuring that people know how much they’re loved; I also love cooking for big groups of friends. Is this the superpower I actually want? Probably not. Secretly, I’d trade it all to play tennis like Carlos Alcaraz.

A list of thank yous

Thank you. This year was incredible for The January Challenge, and we couldn’t have done it without our fantastic community (that’s YOU!) Here are some thank you’s below to everyone from funding support to collaborators and beyond. • Arts Council England • Arts Council Wales • Esmee Fairbairn Co-creation groups/ collaborators: • WAHWN (Wales Arts…

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Share your story

Over the years, people have told us that The January Challenge has had a domino effect and inspires conversations and unique little moments in their lives.   Now and then, an email pops into our inbox from someone saying just how much The January Challenge means to them.   Which, as you can imagine, means…

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How creativity helped me overcome perfectionism

How creativity helped me overcome perfectionism Ten years ago, my life changed unexpectedly. I was working in a place I loved, with people I thought highly of, making great things happen.    But I felt flat.   My body knew something was up faster than I could work out what it was. I began experiencing…

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