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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
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.
Compass Festival 2021 Photo: Lizzie Coombes
Featured news

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.  Collaborate was launched in October 2021 ...
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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.
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
Dr Robyn Dowlen, the centre's Post-Doctoral Research Associate

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.
Graphic image which features two people speaking into camera and the words We need to talk about the E-word... and the Centre for Cultural Value logo

Some of your thoughts on evaluation…

We asked you for your thoughts about evaluation for our latest short film. From frustrations and challenges to opportunities, hear what people from across the sector had to say.
Adult with hands up and tongue stuck out, and group of children copying this stance
Together to the Workhouse Door, with Sinfonia Viva, Gressenhall, Orchestras Live Photo: Charlie Jepson

We’re seeking a Collaborate panel member

An opportunity to join our Collaborate fund assessment panel, helping to develop new research-based partnerships between higher education and the cultural sector.
Natasha Fyffe and Jessica Olliver, Centre for Cultural Value student interns
Natasha Fyffe (left) and Jessica Olliver (right), Centre for Cultural Value student interns

Reflections from our interns

This summer we welcome two student interns - Natasha Fyffe and Jessica Olliver - to come and work with us in paid placements organised by the University of Leeds. Find out how they got on and what they learnt from their time at the Centre.
Men shake hands over a table
Three Tables, Tate, Photo: Tim Etchells

Creative commission – call for proposals

Call for artists - we are looking for a creative practitioner to create a participative, reflective, imaginative mode of engagement at our online conference in November.
Two performers in white sitting down facing each other. Five members of the audience stand behind them.
Circuit at The Lowry. Image: The Lowry

Come and work with us to share findings from our Covid research

We are looking for a freelance Editor and a freelance Marketing and Communications specialist to work on our Covid-19 research project.
Person smiling with tree with notes hanging on it
Fun Palaces 2019. Photo: Roswitha Chesher

Join our Advisory group

Would you like to help us to develop and implement our activities, and inform thinking and practice in the sector? We're seeking two new members to join the Centre’s Advisory group.
Photo of dancer jumping in the street with buildings in background
Witness This, Company Chameleon. Photo: Joel Chester Fildes.

The Collaborate fund has now launched

We're excited to have launched Collaborate, a new fund to support research partnerships between the cultural sector and academic researchers. Information about how to apply and what's involved is now available.
Woman and girl hug
The Power of Our Ancestors. Tate. Dan Weill Photography

Collaborate: fostering research-based partnerships between higher education and the cultural sector

Ben Walmsley and Liz Harrop write about the opportunities our Collaborate fund offers for the cultural sector and academics.
A blue rectangular graphic reads: 'Share your story, help us build a collective understanding of the part culture and creativity as played in our lives during Covid-19."

Calling cultural audiences and DIY creatives: share your creative and cultural experiences during Covid-19

Do you have a creative project produced during lockdown that you want to share? A moment of cultural engagement that means a lot to you? Did you take part in a creative activity in your community that you want to shine a light on?
Musicians from the Manchester Camerata orchestra
Image: Manchester Camerata

Announcing the Collaborate fund pilot

In our Collaborate fund pilot, Manchester Camerata is working in partnership with a senior lecturer at the Royal Northern College of Music to explore how audiences respond to live and recorded music.
Wonderlab hall of mirrors at National Science and Media Museum
Wonderlab at National Science and Media Museum. Photo: Lee Mawdsley

More opportunities for Bradford-based practitioners

We're looking for Bradford-based creative practitioners to take part in a number of paid opportunities to help us tell the story of the city and the value of its cultural activities.
Family wearing masks watch an activity
Events at Left Bank Leeds. Photo: Sally Molineaux

Call for workshop participants: Valuing Culture – creativity and culture during Covid-19

Can you help us tell the story of your individual or community experiences of engaging with creative and cultural activities during the pandemic? 
Captial letter 'E' in yelllow on a blue background
Image: Greg Rosenke, Unsplash

We need to talk about the E-word

We know it's tough, but we need to talk about the E-word. The Centre for Cultural Value is launching a set of cultural evaluation principles in October and we need your help for a film we're making.
Person recording a podcast
Dr Robyn Dowlen recording the Reflecting Value podcast

Behind the scenes: making the Reflecting Value podcast

What goes into making a podcast? Our podcast host Dr Robyn Dowlen shares the essential ingredients that went into the development of Reflecting Value and provides tips for organisations that are planning their own.
Person dancing with arms outstretched
Company Chameleon. Photo: Ben Williams

Calling recent creative arts graduates: take part in our research study

Are you a recent creative arts graduate? Do you want to be part of a national research project exploring the impacts of Covid-19 on the cultural industries across the UK?
People in a museum looking at a space capsule
Visitors looking at Tim Peake's Soyuz Capsule in Exploring Space. Photo: Science Museum Group

Reflecting on renewal and recovery

In an article we wrote in February, we focused on how the pandemic was seemingly creating a leaner and damaged but more collaborative cultural sector. Now we’re nearly two thirds of the way through our project and while these findings certainly still hold, they have been nuanced as the research has progressed.
Gallery interior during lockdown
The Lowry in lockdown. Photo: Nathan Chandler.

New Covid-19 data shows audiences slow to return to live events

Latest evidence shows that people are reluctant to return to live arts and cultural activities following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Liz Chege and Julia Negus share their stories and reflections on the Covid crisis

Liz Chege and Julia Negus share their stories and reflections on the Covid crisis

In this blog, Liz Chege and Julia Negus share their first-hand perspectives on how they and their organisations responded to the Covid-19 crisis.
Child wearing virtual reality headset looking upwards.
Photo: Giu Vicente on Unsplash

Why digital isn’t enough

As Covid-19 has pushed culture online, Danielle Child, Karen Gray, Harry Weeks and John Wright examine how arts and cultural organisations have attempted to make the digital more social.
2 students talk to a patient
Healthcare students, University of Leeds

Stepping out of the role – arts approaches in healthcare training

In their joint blog, lecturers Simon Burrow and Dr Helen Pusey discuss our latest research digest and the value of arts-based approaches in healthcare training.
Image of desk with pens and stationery in the background and stacked books in the foreground
Image courtesy of Grace Quantock

The wounds that arts and culture can cause – stealing our stories and selling our pain

Can arts and research spaces create barriers for people with marginalised identities instead of supporting them? Psychotherapeutic counsellor and writer Grace Quantock explains how and poses the questions we should be asking.
Group discussion round table
Who are we? Counterpoint Arts and The Open University. Tate Exchange. Photo: Dan Weill Photography

Survival depends on safer spaces

2020 was a year that saw racial tension come to the fore. Amanda Huxtable, Director and Creative Producer at Vanitas Arts, reflects now on the role of cultural leaders to create safer spaces and take responsibility for change.
Woman dancing
Move Dance Feel - a dance project for women affected by cancer - founded by Emily Jenkins Photo: Camilla Greenwell

When two worlds collide

What happens when the worlds of culture and health collide? Facilitator and leadership coach Mike Chitty explains how the two go hand in hand, and argues that using health budgets effectively could change society.
Dr Roaa Ali and Lara Ratnaraja share their responses from our first Covid-19 webinar

Dr Roaa Ali and Lara Ratnaraja share their responses from our first Covid-19 webinar

In this blog, Lara Ratnaraja and Dr Roaa Ali share their thoughts on what the research presented at our first Covid-19 research webinar is telling us about inequalities in both the cultural workforce and in cultural engagement.
Young boy and woman looking at lit up display in a musuem
Visitors to an interactive exhibit at the Exploring Space Gallery. Photo: Science Museum Group

Reflecting value – a new podcast about culture and research

We're delighted to launch Reflecting Value, our new podcast. Hosted Dr Robyn Dowlen, it shares the successes and challenges of communicating cultural value, bringing together a range of thought-provoking guests for discussion and reflection.
Woman and three children engaged in arts activity
Power Play, Tate Exchange. Photo: Dan Weill Photography

New research reveals scale of crisis affecting creative freelancers

There are 38,000 fewer freelancers working in creative occupations since the start of 2020, our research shows. Freelancers are especially important to the creative economy as they represent a high proportion of the workforce.
Recovery isn't a black and white picture
Chuttersnap, Unsplash

Recovery isn’t a black and white picture

The impact of Covid-19 was always going to be devastating and the immediate shock severe. Inequities and inequalities that existed before were inevitably going to be exacerbated. But like any crisis, the impacts are rarely all negative and we are certainly starting to see some interesting shifts in thinking across the sector from our early investigations – shifts that might lead to that elusive goal of enduring systemic change.

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