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Capturing the value and impacts of a year of culture



A night time scene of Leeds.

We are excited to announce that we are working with LEEDS 2023 as their research partner in collaboration with The Audience Agency. Together we’ll explore how the year-long cultural programme impacts the varied and diverse communities of the city. As part of this collaboration we’ll be hosting a fully-funded PhD.

The Audience Agency will be leading the evaluation, designing an approach to help understand the immediate and longer-term value for residents, communities and the creative and cultural sector of the city and region and for its visitors. Alongside this, we will undertake a whole range of qualitative research working with artists, audiences and in communities, to understand the impact of culture on people’s lives and how it affects their mental and physical wellbeing as well as their attitudes to arts, culture, heritage and sport.

We will also work with LEEDS 2023 and The Audience Agency to embed our new co-created Evaluation Principles and create a robust framework for evaluation, really getting under the skin of the desired outcomes including its ambition for every person in Leeds to benefit from the year of culture.

New PhD opportunity – closing date 1 March 2022

An integral element of the partnership is a new and fully-funded PhD opportunity from Easter 2022. We will be supervising a dedicated PhD to further explore the impact of cities of culture through an in-depth case study of LEEDS 2023. This has been fully funded by the Arts, Humanities and Cultures Faculty of the University of Leeds.  Find out more in our open call for candidates.

Ben Walmsley Director at the Centre for Cultural Value says:

“We are excited by the ambition of LEEDS 2023 and really looking forward to continuing our successful long-term collaboration with The Audience Agency by leading on the research aspects of the evaluation.”

LEEDS 2023’s ambition is to deliver a transformational year of creative experiences connecting and benefiting people now and into the future. The planned programme will celebrate and transform the city’s identity locally, nationally and internationally – creating a lasting legacy of economic and social impact.

Kully Thiarai, artistic director of LEEDS 2023 says:

“We are so excited to work with The Audience Agency and the Centre for Culture Value over the next three years to redefine what ‘value’ means in relation to culture and everyday creativity. We know that investing in culture goes beyond its economic impact, and it is brilliant that Leeds can play a leading role in taking forward the incredible work these organisations are doing to build a shared understanding of the differences that arts, culture and heritage make to people’s lives.”

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