About us

Where creativity meets technology

We champion, connect and support the cultural and creative sector of York

A membership association for all individuals passionate about the creative sector. We bring people together to collaborate, inspire and develop their creative practice through the use of creativity, story telling and technology.

What we do

We are proud to be the youngest addition to a family of active York guilds whose history spans more than 800 years. The Guild of Media Arts occupies a unique place in the creative life of our city: in addition to our membership activities, we’re custodians of York’s designation as a UNESCO City of Media Arts, linking us to a worldwide network of creative cities. Focussing on media arts we:

  • Run sector development workshops and networking events

  • Provide a place to collaborate and share business opportunities

  • Encourage creativity in children and support developing media artists

  • Put on displays of media arts showcasing local and international talent

Our core members create audio, video and interactive work or develop art as a critique of media and digital culture. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in media arts who wishes to support the activities of the Guild.

light show project in the minster

Our priorities are People, Places and Advocacy

We are committed to upholding these three core priorities for our members, the work we do and the sectors we represent.


Photo of a music recording

Professional development

The Guild organises a series of events, sector development workshops and ‘surgeries’ to enable creative people and companies to meet, learn, promote, support and grow. Our programme features talks with external speakers whose work we admire, workshops where members impart their skills, and networking socials where people can get together to share ideas and make contacts.

Talent development

We believe you cannot begin early enough to inspire and encourage creativity in young people. That’s why the Guild helped set up REACH, York’s Cultural Education Partnership to bring educators into collaboration with the cultural sector.

We support members working with children and young people through school visits and studio tours, masterclasses and summer activities. We work with York St John University and York College to promote Saturday Clubs for art and design and media arts.


picture of a UNESCo creative city

Part of a global network

In 2004 Edinburgh became the first UNESCO Creative City. Now there are nearly 300 of us around the world, 22 of which hold our designation of City of Media Arts. Making successful places means putting creativity and culture at their heart. We work closely with Media Arts Cities to make more opportunities for York’s creative people, companies and organisations.


We have helped artists to exhibit and to collaborate on projects, provided contacts for creative directors looking for production partners, hosted residencies, organised creative export drives, and welcomed many visitors from other Creative Cities.

Our trusted partners in Creative Cities including Austin USA, Viborg Denmark, Gwangju Korea, Karlsruhe Germany, Linz Austria and Toronto Canada, will help us to make a more resilient creative economy.


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Laws and rules made for generic ‘industry’ often fail the creative sector. Companies are often too small to qualify for grants, or simply aren’t counted or listened to.

The Guild makes your presence in the city felt, by seeking your views and passing them on through committees and consultations. These have included recovery grants to freelancers during the COVID pandemic, arguing for recognition in York’s economic plan and for affordable space to live and work on York Central.


We are connected with national sector bodies, giving you access to their research and events. We work with, and sometimes set up, help to set up, groups with overlapping aims, using our depth of knowledge and experience to influence policy locally, regionally and nationally, so that the sector can play its proper part in the modern world.

 Guild of media arts members logo

Become a Media Arts Guild member

By becoming a member of the Guild, you will have access to exclusive opportunities, and resources. You will have the chance to attend sector development workshops and networking events housed in our new home in the splendidly restored historic Guildhall in the centre of York.

Be a Media Arts Guild member for only £26 per year!
Get involved. Be a part of it.

Join the Guild
Photo of an event in Hiscox york offices

UNESCO City of Media Arts

York’s creative sector came together to submit a proposal to UNESCO to be recognised as a Creative City of Media Arts. We were awarded the title in November 2014. The Guild provides the Focal Point for the UNESCO designation, acting as the broker for collaboration with other UK and global Creative Cities.

Learn more about the Media Arts Cities

Highlight projects

The Guild of Media Arts has continued to evolve since 2014. Partnering, collaborating and supporting a whole range of exciting and interesting projects and happenings in the city of York and beyond. Here are just a few…

Become a Media Arts Guild member

The Guild of Media Arts is part of York’s cultural fabric, drawing together technical and creative disciplines. Join us and shape the future.

By becoming a member of the Guild, you will have access to exclusive opportunities, and resources. You will have the chance to attend sector development workshops and networking events housed in our new home in the splendidly restored historic Guildhall in the centre of York.

Your involvement will help inspire and encourage the next generation of creative leaders and businesses. Your membership will also help support York’s reputation as UNESCO’s first and only UK Creative City of Media Arts and our work to sustain and develop media arts in York and around the world.

Membership gives you:

  • Invitations to our sector development workshops and guest talks
  • Networking opportunities with fellow creatives and businesses
  • Support from peers and experts to enhance your creative practice
  • News of funding opportunities and exclusive commissions
  • The opportunity to shape and collaborate on York-based and international arts projects
  • You’re a member of a fun and future thinking Guild!

Membership is open to all!
Pick the membership which applies to you:

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Our toolkit

Whether you are an ambassador for all things Media Arts, a Media Arts professional or someone wanting to promote working with the Guild of Media Arts we would love for you to spread the news. One way in which you can do this is by using the Guild of Media Arts brand mark.

Depending on your involvement with the Guild you are able to use one of the following files on your website, in your email footer or associated literature.

We encourage you to use it boldly and with pride!

Get in touch below, to receive our toolkit

Get in touch

Members who run the Guild

Our core members include graphic artists, games creators, writers, podcasters, radio and sound producers, architects, animators, photographers and filmmakers. We also have members not employed in media arts who are supportive of the sector and the Guild’s activities. Here’s a sample of some of them who are also volunteer members of the Guild Court:

Owen Turner

Owen Turner

Master of the Guild

rose drew

Rose Drew

Deputy Master

Chris bailey

Chris Bailey

Court Member & Past Master

mat lazenby

Mat Lazenby

Court Member & Past Master

james dodson

James Dodson

Court member

richard hunt

Richard Hunt

Court member


Sarah Maltby

Court Member

Damian murphy

Damian Murphy

Court member

Join the team

We are always looking for people to be part of shaping the Guild of Media Arts.

News, Events & Press

The Mayor’s plans for Culture and Tourism in the new region of York and North Yorkshire were up for discussion at a lively hustings held in the Merchants’ Hall on 25 April. The audience of 90 people wanted to know about the candidates’ priorities, including creative education, improving business support for creative industries, engaging more residents in culture, and developing the potential of our current UNESCO Creative City title and tentative World Heritage Site designation.

The Culture and Tourism Hustings was organised by the Guild of Media Arts and York Tourism Advisory Board, supported by York Civic Trust, Make IT York, York BID, YO1 Radio and the Company of Merchant Adventurers.

Dip into the video to hear what they said.

Video credit - InkBlot Films Website Instagram