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Where next for culture? Join us at our online conference

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"

Over the last 18 months, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the cultural sector like no other crisis in history. Not only has it affected production, audience engagement, employment, creative practice, and distribution, it has exacerbated underlying issues and shone a light on many existing inequalities.

Following 15 months of conducting a national research programme examining the impacts of Covid-19, we are hosting a conference to share insights from the research. Alongside leading contributors from across the cultural and academic sectors, the conference will tackle big topics and questions about the ways in which Covid-19 has impacted arts and culture in the UK, and where we go from here.

Covid-19: Changing Culture? takes place online on 17 and 18 November 2021. Contributors will share and discuss insights with cultural practitioners, policymakers and researchers to help them navigate their work in a post-pandemic world and shape a new future. A range of perspectives and experiences will be shared, whilst creating space for knowledge-sharing and cultural exchange for those working within and around the cultural sector.

Delegates will be part of an engaging and collaborative digital space and are invited to focus, to be social and to discover. They will be able to build their own programme from plenary main stage sessions to focused discussions and roundtables, as well as opportunities for networking, and virtual booths to discover research findings at their own pace.

Focusing on key topics, the conference’s plenary sessions will include discussions around the sustainability of new and relevant business models, implications of changing audience behaviours, opportunities within local, cultural communities and reimagining a more equal and representative sector.

Tickets are £25 with free places for freelancers and unwaged available. 

Contributors include Dr Wanda Wyporska, Cheddar Gorgeous, Tajpal Rathore (Tribe Arts), Karen Dick (Creative Scotland), Jenny Williams (Revoluton), Anne Torreggiani and Oliver Mantell (The Audience Agency), Dr Abigail Gilmore (University of Manchester), Lilli Geissendorfer (Jerwood Arts) and Dr Dave O’Brien (University of Edinburgh).

This research is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through UK Research and Innovation’s Covid-19 rapid call. It is led by the Centre for Cultural Value in collaboration with the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre and The Audience Agency.

Professor Ben Walmsley, Director, Centre for Cultural Value, says: “We’re looking forward to stimulating a vital, timely and energised debate about the implications of the pandemic for the future of the cultural sector. These conversations with conference delegates will be fundamental in shaping our conclusive research findings and policy recommendations as we work together to build a more equitable and sustainable sector. Our research programme is the UK’s major study into the impact of Covid-19 on the cultural sector. This conference offers a reflective space to engage with our research and share your experiences.”

Anne Torreggiani, Chief Executive of The Audience Agency, adds:
“As a partner in this research programme, we’ve generated crucial primary evidence to help the arts and cultural sector understand the impact of the pandemic on audiences and how behaviours and attitudes have changed at different stages of the pandemic. The conference is a chance to get under the skin of the research, and to come together to shape the future.”

Hasan Bakhshi, Director, Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, says:
“We’re pleased to be a policy partner on this major programme of Covid research, shaping policy recommendations that support the sector as it recovers from the pandemic. This conference is an important part of this process, bringing together researchers, cultural sector professionals and policymakers to exchange ideas on key questions.”

“We’ve invested in this UK-wide research programme, led by the Centre of Cultural Value, because we believe that arts and humanities research is essential in supporting the recovery of the creative and cultural sector. This conference is an opportunity to discuss insights from the research and think deeply about how we create a more resilient and innovative future.”
Christopher Smith, Executive Chair, Arts and Humanities Research Council

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