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News & views

News and views

We are building a shared understanding of the differences that arts, culture, heritage and screen make to people’s lives and to society.

Catch up with our latest news and hear from a range of voices sharing perspectives on cultural value.

Fun Palaces, Feltham. Photo: Helen Murray
Three people sat at a table with laptops and notebooks, laughing together
 
Featured news

Centre for Cultural Value launches free-to-access, online evaluation training

Would you like to hear from experts, develop new approaches and build your evaluation skills and confidence? Together with the University of Leeds, we have developed a free-to-access online course: ...
Experiencing Leeds 2023: A volunteer at Leeds 2023 takes a picture during a 'soundwalk' called As You Are, pointing their phone upwards to the ceiling in Leeds County Arcade.
 

New Evaluation Learning Space unlocks hidden insights

The Evaluation Learning Space is a newly launched resource hub, sharing hidden learning about evaluation from the cultural sector. Find out more about the space and our in-depth look at UK Cities of Culture.
Brightly coloured illustration. At the foot of the illustration there are four people, out of their heads come shoots that are all tangled up. They lead to mushroom type shapes with the words "exchange" "details" and "stories"
 

Discover new visual ways to think about co-creation

At a time when the cultural sector is increasingly invested in “co-creation” – what does the process look like in practice? Compass Live Art has been working with researchers Matthew Reason and Lauren Hall digging deeper into questions of co-creation.
A group of people talking in a circle at Rising Arts Agency's 'This Is The Work' event, surrounded by shelves of books at Bristol's Bookhaus bookshop.
Rising Arts Agency - This Is The Work (Photo by Olu Osinoiki)

This Is The Work: reflecting on new research findings about power in partnerships

How does power imbalance manifest in creative partnerships - and how do we remove it from our work? We reflect on the findings of a collaborative research partnership between Rising Arts Agency and researcher Andreana Drencheva at Kings College London.
Pam Johnson is dressed in black and sitting on a table against a white background. To the site is a plant in a terracotta pot.
 

Talking cultural policymaking with Pam Johnson, Leeds City Council

In this Q&A, Pam Johnson, Head of Culture Programmes at Leeds City Council, shares more about how the decision-making process works and discusses the value of collaboration between policymakers, academics and cultural practitioners.
Performance of 12 last songs. Colourful confetti in the foreground obscures the image.
Quarantine's 12 Last Songs, at HOME Theatre Manchester. Photo by Chris Payne.

In Arts Professional: The Beauty Project

Artist Sarah Hunter, physicist Rox Middleton and philosopher Lucy Tomlinson spotlight what they learnt from spending a year exploring the cultural value of beauty through their collaborative research project.
Two people using a digital touch screen together in a museum
 

Watch online: Evaluation for Arts, Culture and Heritage Workshop

Have you taken our online course, 'Evaluation for Arts, Culture and Heritage: Principles and Practice'? Add to your learning by watching our follow-up workshop, featuring conversations with our course leaders and insights from participants
Profile of a person in a bookshop. They are wearing a bright yellow hoodie and holding a camera on a tripod.
Photo by Olumide Osinoiki/Rising Arts Agency.

In Arts Professional: Power in partnerships

In their collaborative research project, Euella Jackson and Jess Bunyan of Rising Arts Agency have been exploring the unequal balance of power inherent in partnership working.
A Beauty Project Lab book open on two pages. One page has yellow and pink circles and writing by a research participant. The other page is green with the word Beauty.
The Beauty Project. Photo by Lisa Mattocks.

Revealing the beauty of using lab books for audience research

The collaborative research team behind The Beauty Project assess the value and challenges of collecting audience reflections offline.
Three young people sat at a table in a gallery setting. They are doing a craft activity twisting together lengths of fabric
 

The joy of doing: what we know about everyday creativity and how to support it

Read more about a new Arts Council England resource, produced by the Centre of Cultural Value and The Audience Agency, that helps cultural organisations interested in supporting everyday creativity.
Crafts Council Equity Steering Group. A group of eight people stand together for a group photo.
Crafts Council’s Equity Advisory Council. Photo by Elijah Serumaga.

In Arts Professional: What is an equity steering group?

When Crafts Council and Glasgow Caledonian University London began their collaborative research project looking at the cultural value of craft in the context of race and racism in the UK, they decided to recruit a group focusing specifically on equity.
Black background with hand drawn hand pointing at each other holding brass weighing scales
 

Watch ‘Friction’ – a new short animation about the role of the artist in society

Artist Rebecca Farkas highlights the main themes of the Centre's new research digest exploring the role of the artist in society.
Two people talk across a table filled with paint pots during a research project looking at the value of craft.
Photo credit: Gene Kavanagh. Crafts Council and Glasgow Caledonian University (London) Living Lab with Legacy West Midlands

Young, diverse voices: my experience as a Young Craft Citizen

How can cultural organisations make sure placements are meaningful for all involved? Yashika Munjal reflects on her experience as a Young Craft Citizen with the Crafts Council, working on one of our funded Collaborate research projects.
Two people have a conversation while sat at a table filled with crafts and painting tools.
 

Three golden principles to power-up your collaborative practice

What makes a great collaboration? Marianna Hay and Lisa Baxter draw out lessons from a range of partnerships in this collaborative blog post which explores how to sustain your work with partners over the long term.
Participant painting bright colours onto a leather circle.
Image by Gene Kavanagh.

Collaborate project explores making meaning through craft

Craft can boost wellbeing, celebrate culture and help build communities, according to a new report produced by the Crafts Council working with academics from Glasgow Caledonian University London.
Listen to our new podcast series exploring evaluation practice
 

Listen to our new podcast series exploring evaluation practice

It's been two years since we first launched the Evaluation Principles. We wanted to talk to sector professionals about how they have informed their work.
Creative micro commission. The social role of the artist
 

Opportunity for artists – creative micro-commission

We would like to commission a visual artist, filmmaker or animator to produce an original work responding to the key themes of our new research digest, The Social Role of the Artist
Three people stood at a table talking together. One wears an aprn. On the table there are plants in pots and materials for potting plants.
Bromley by Bow Fun Palaces. Photo by Roswitha Chester.

Collaborate fund – meet the new cohort

Five new cultural sector and academic partnerships will receive Collaborate fund research grants.
A cyclist in red riding past a large mural which reads 'Creativity takes Courage' - The Centre for Cultural Value
 

Adopting a creative, rigorous approach to researching LEEDS 2023

Learn more about our work exploring the cultural value and social impact of LEEDS 2023.
Person in an orange shirt and green beanie hat crouching down setting up recording equipment. There are microphones and a laptop set up on the floor.
Photo by Olumide Osinoiki. Rising Arts Agency.

Podcasting the power in partnerships

As part of their Collaborate project Rising Arts Agency and Andreana Drencheva are producing a new podcast series Power in Partnerships.
A large board has text that reads: "369. Is the world how you imagined?" In the foreground people are moving cables and working on the stage.
Quarantine, 12 Last Songs at Transform Festival, October 2021 Photo: David Lindsay

“It helps your work make more sense” – academics talk about Collaborate fund

Hear more about the Centre for Cultural Value's Collaborate fund from academics currently working on supported research projects exploring key questions about the value of culture.
Blue background with white shapes and Centre for Cultural Value logo. Text reads Evaluation Principles in Practice, workshop recordings
 

Watch online: Evaluation Principles in Practice recordings

Were you unable to join us for the recent Evaluation Principles in Practice workshops? Would you like to re-visit the sessions? All three workshops, exploring the co-created Evaluation Principles, are now available to watch online.
Four people look at a piece of research together
© The University of Leeds

Collaborate fund reopens to academics

Are you a UK-based academic keen to begin 2023 working on an exciting new research project? The Centre has reopened its Collaborate fund, which seeks to support collaborative research partnerships between academics and cultural practitioners.
Peformance of 12 Last Songs at Quarantine
Quarantine, 12 Last Songs at Transform Festival, October 2021 Photo: David Lindsay

How a theatre company, physicist and philosopher are exploring beauty

How do we evaluate, understand and articulate the value of beauty? One of our Collaborate research partnerships considers new methodologies to answer this intriguing question.
Shoppers walk through Leeds city centre
© University of Leeds

Collaborate project uses walking interviews to explore co-creation

What are "walking interviews"? And how can they be used to research co-creation in the cultural sector? The Collaborate research partnership between Compass Live Art and York St John University puts this research methodology through its paces.
Silhouette of three people looking at a blue neon light artwork
Light Night at the University of Leeds © University of Leeds

Better data, better policy – making data work

In the report "Making Data Work", we share findings from a national, interdisciplinary research project aimed at tackling the crisis the cultural sector is currently facing in harnessing and evaluating its data.
Five people sit on a bench in the centre of a museum gallery room observing a set of paintings in front of them, presented on a white wall.
National Museums Liverpool Image (c) Dave Jones Picture by Gareth Jones

Collaborate: second round of funding announced

The Centre for Cultural Value is reopening its Collaborate fund to support the development of innovative new projects between UK-based cultural sector practitioners and academic researchers. 
Katie Warrior in a blue jumper smiling to the camera
 

Pushing myself out of my comfort zone: reflections on my summer internship at a research centre

Recent summer intern Katie Warrior shares advice for anyone embarking on an internship and reflects on what she has learned from the various creative projects she has been involved in whilst working at the Centre for Cultural Value.
Collaborate research project. A large black square structure in the centre of leeds Market. The structure has a range of screens on it, one screen has the word ‘Time Bar’ written on it, one is playing a video of a person, one has a pub quiz. A group of people are watching the screens.
Image: Public House - The Yorkshire Square by Small Acts. Photo by Lizzie Coombes for Compass Festival 2021.

Collaborate fund – first cohort announced

We are delighted to announce that the Collaborate fund has now awarded research grants to five innovative new partnerships between cultural sector practitioners and academics. 
Person wearing a mask stands in a shop window next to poster titled 'This Poem is for You'. They appear to be smiling and reaching out to two people walking past outside.
Photo: Andrew Moore

Insight into action: policy recommendations launched at UK Parliament

Following on from our ground-breaking research into the impact of Covid-19 on the UK’s creative and cultural sectors, we are now pleased to publish a new report detailing 12 evidence-led recommendations for policymakers.
Adah Parris - looking off into the audience whilst speaking at an event
Photo: Adah Parris

Welcome new Advisory group and team members

We are pleased to share news of new appointments to our Advisory group and the Centre's core team, including Adah Parris as Advisory group Chair.
University of Leeds central campus on Light Night
Photo: University of Leeds

Fully-funded PhD opportunity – Evaluating Cities of Culture

As part of our collaboration with LEEDS 2023 and The Audience Agency we’ll be hosting a fully-funded PhD starting in September 2022.
A large board has text that reads: "369. Is the world how you imagined?" In the foreground people are moving cables and working on the stage.
Quarantine, 12 Last Songs at Transform Festival, October 2021 Photo: David Lindsay

Collaborate – the matchmaking phase

Read about the ten projects and academics who are developing projects for our Collaborate fund for research collaborations.
A building is reflected on the window of another building. There is a poster saying "Building Closed until further notice" on the window.
The Lowry in lockdown. Photo: Nathan Chandler

Culture in crisis – new report from our major research project into the impacts of Covid-19

New research reveals profound impact of Covid-19 on cultural sector workforce, audiences and organisations
A night time scene of Leeds.
Photo: University of Leeds

Capturing the value and impacts of a year of culture

We are excited to announce that we are working with LEEDS 2023 as their research partner in collaboration with The Audience Agency.
'4th ought sing raved ink loud' - Fraz Ireland on the ideas and processes behind their creative commission
 

‘4th ought sing raved ink loud’ – Fraz Ireland on the ideas and processes behind their creative commission

Manchester-based artist Fraz Ireland discusses the inspiration and process behind their 'interactive soundscape', an artwork commissioned as part of our Covid-19 research conference.
Two people sitting on chairs round a table shaking hands. Board to the right of them with a handwritten sign which reads 'Table for the exchange of stories about ephemeral things'
Three Tables, Tim Etchells, Tate Exchange. Photo courtesy of the Tate.

Collaborate fund now open for academic researchers

We are now accepting Expressions of Interest from academic researchers for our Collaborate fund. Find out more about how to apply and the projects you could be partnering with.
Angela Awuah
Angela Awuah, founder Mental Health The Arts

From research to reality: mental health and young people

Young practitioner and Mental Health The Arts founder Angela Awuah responds to our latest research digest on young people and mental health.
Dr Robyn Dowlen
 

Missing voices in culture, health and wellbeing research

In this article for Arts Professional, Dr Robyn Dowlen considers whether more support and training is needed for cultural practitioners working in complex spaces.
A young girl holds a “rhubarb lantern” she has made, in front of others like it in the “forcing shed” experience, in the former Market Hall at Wakefield Council’s Rhubarb Festival.
Wakefield Council’s Rhubarb Festival 2020. Stephen Garnett

A call for regenerative practice: reflections on our Covid-19 research conference

Ben Walmsley, Centre Director, reflects on the perspectives and conversations shared at our Covid-19: Changing Culture conference
Person singing into a mic with arm outstretched
KALA CHNG performing at Knowle West Fest. Photo: Tanya Hazell

Art – who holds the power? It has to change…

Makala Cheung reflects on who gets to decide what kinds of art and culture are valued, and on other themes emerging from our Covid Culture conference.
Red velvet curtains
Photo: Manos Gkikas

Will we fall under panto’s magic spell this year?

Trevor MacFarlane reflects on findings from our Covid research project and on what may lie ahead for this year's panto season 
Orange rectangle with two blue circles. In larger circle text reads: "Collaborate - a chance for academics to find out more, 9 December 10:00 - 11.30". In smaller blue box text reads "Centre for Cultural Value". In bottom right hand corner there is an illustration of two people sitting in chairs talking. Beneath them text reads: #ValuingCulture
 

Inviting academic researchers to collaborate

We'll soon be inviting academic researchers to apply for the Collaborate fund. Join us on 9 December to find out more.
Person recording a podcast
Dr Robyn Dowlen recording the Reflecting Value podcast

Reflecting Value – call out for a co-created episode

Call for podcast episode partner - we want to co-create an episode of the podcast which is centred on the ways in which people have engaged with creativity and culture during the pandemic. Deadline 30 November.
Graphic with three circles at the top, one blurry, one more in focus and one sharp. The text reads: Covid-19: Changing Culture? 17-18 November Onlne"
 

Where next for culture? Join us at our online conference

Join us at our online conference to share and discuss insights from our major research programme examining the impacts of Covid-19.
orange background with two blue circles and illustration of two people sitting down and talking with hashtag #ValuingCulture. In large blue circle text reads "Collaborate - A new fund to support collaborative research projects." Smaller blue circle text reads "Centre for Cultural Value".
 

Watch our Collaborate briefing event

Watch a recording of one of our Collaborate briefing events, where Liz Harrop and Lisa Baxter introduce the fund and talk through the application process. Expressions of interest from the cultural sector are now open.
Photo showing group of performers of mixed ages on stage, many holding their arms above their heads with a screen showing a photo of a hand in the background
Orchestras Live, The Lost Letters with Britten Sinfonia at Saffron Hall. Photo: Paul Bellany

The E word – why we’re talking about evaluation

To mark the launch of our co-created Evaluation principles, Ben Walmsley, Anne Torregiani and Oliver Mantell share the essence of the principles and explain why co-creation was central to their development.
Embracing evaluation for the right reasons
 

Embracing evaluation for the right reasons

To coincide with the launch of our co-created evaluation principles, Holly Donagh from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation shares a funder's perspective on what more can be done to support evaluation in the cultural sector.
Woman pins a football to a world map
Who Are Ya? Tate Exchange. Dan Weill Photography

A UK first – evaluation principles for the culture sector

Dr Beatriz Garcia sets the launch of our co-created evaluation principles in a global context and explains the value for the cultural sector.

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