National Knowledge Exchange Network on participation and engagement in the arts

Lead Research Organisation: Leeds Metropolitan University
Department Name: Carnegie Faculty

Abstract

This project has been encouraged by the success of a regional network that has been running since 2009 in the North of England. The network has been co-ordinated by Leeds Metropolitan University and supported by Arts Council England. The initiative received good feedback from participants and high quality papers were presented at regional seminars.

The current project will develop this initiative at national level through knowledge exchange between academics, policy makers and practitioners. It will share new and existing research through a series of multi disciplinary seminars (drawn from arts policy and management, sociology, anthropology, political science, psychology and human geography among others). In addition research will be disseminated through an online resource. The aim will be to explore the relevance of research on cultural participation to broader public policy, in fields including health and wellbeing, youth policy, social inclusion and community development.

One of the outcomes of the project will be to define a new training agenda for people working in socially engaged artistic practice, cultural management and policy, in relation to the broader public policy areas mentioned earlier. The project also aims to inform policy through exchange between network participants and the Arts Council England, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and local authorities, and raise the profile of cultural participation for public policy makers more generally, thus contributing to the development of policy for a more vibrant and fairer society

The links between cultural participation and the public policy going beyond the cultural sector are at present under researched and the project aims to begin to fill this knowledge gap.

One issue we will pay particular attention to for new research is that of cold and hot spots of cultural participation, which are directly correlated with geographical patterns of socio-economc inequality. Arts Council England (ACE) are in the process of setting up a special fund called Creative People and Places, to address the problem of low participation in these cold spots. We plan to work in partnership with ACE to deliver a research seminar in one of the pilot locations identified by the Arts Council and disseminate new research into the impact of the Creative People and Places initiative.

Other seminars will explore:
1) the links between cultural participation and participatory decison making in public policy
2) the international dimension of research on cultural participation and its policy implications
3) the connections between cultural participation and selected fields of public policy making
4) trends and research with a focus on emerging issues such as technological change, young people's values and lifestyles, and issues around intercultural exchange and hybridity.

Planned Impact

This proposal builds on the successes of a regional knowledge exchange network, which has already had significant impact in terms of connecting academics, policy makers and practitioners in the North of England. Membership currently includes
- over a dozen universities,
- local authority and Arts Council officers,
- individual artists and representatives from large scale arts organizations,

This model will be built on nationally to ensure that the impact is felt far beyond academia. In particular impact will be achieved in the following ways
- Engaging practitioners in areas of low engagement. This will be achieved through linking up with local authority and locally based networks to target people to attend seminars who do not normally engage with academia,
- Ensuring knowledge exchange has a legacy locally. This will be achieved by ensuring maximum buy in from local communities by co-producing events with partners in the different locations
- Facilitating virtual debate between seminars via an online resource and blog. This will be achieved through promoting the network through other networks and social media

The project will impact on policy makers, by
1) providing opportunites for knowledge exchange across policy areas through physical and virtual networking
2) sharing knowledge on initiatives in the cultural field which mobilise wider participation by developing and diseminating research through seminars, conferences, publication and online resource
2) encouraging greater understanding across sectors by engineering encounters and exchanges between pubic policy makers, academics and practitioners
3) generating a more detailed understanding of geographical areas characterised by low levels of participation, by working in collaboration with areas of social deprivation funded to develop participation and engagement through the Arts Council's Creative People and Places initiative.

The project will impact on the academic community by
1) providing an opportunity to engage with interdisciplinary work through access to research through seminars, conferences, publication and on line resources
2) widening perspectives and contacts with a view to initaiting new research through networking with policy makers and practitioners through seminars in UK and overseas
3) offering opportunities to present new research findings at seminars, conferences, publication and onlne resource
4) providing opportunties for creative discussion at seminars and conferences

The project will impact on practitioners by
1) improve understanding of public policy priorities thus contributing to the possibility of gaining greater financial sustainability by providing networking and training opportunites
2) providing an invaluable opportunity for reflection and contextualisation of practice by sharing knowledge and supporting case study research on practice

The project will impact on the general public by
1) training in good practice and thereby enhancing the effectiveness of engagement workers in neighbourhood planning, health services, youth and community development projects and grassroots arts initiatives;
2) creating templates to improve the methodology for soliciting and gathering creative ideas from people about public services in any field and creating a better model for public engagement
3) sharing research that helps develop broader understanding on how to deal with the problem of involving marginalised groups in public life, especially in areas of social and economic deprivation

Publications

10 25 50
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Jancovich L (2016) Building local capacity in the arts in Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events

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Jancovich L (2015) The participation myth in International Journal of Cultural Policy

 
Description 1) The grant has developed a climate of collaboration between academia and practice, across different public policy areas by creating a knowledge exchange network of over 500 members: approximately 50 policy makers, 100 academics, 200 arts practitioners and 150 other members from different sectors, ranging from the NHS, local authority commissioners, the voluntary sector and others
2) the network has disseminated new research to a wider audience, contributing to the development of practice in industry, by delivering a seminar series on a range of issues relating to issues of increasing participation. These have taken place in areas identified as having low levels of engagement in government surveys. All were developed in partnership with other public sector organisations. In total 220 people attended and over 20 papers were presented. Presentations and related literature were also made available online (http://www.participationandengagement-arts.co.uk/previous-events-and-seminars) but in summary these were as follows

Participatory Decision Making - The Point, Doncaster
39 attendees, and co-hosted with Doncaster Creative People and Places. (www.thepoint.org.uk/article/right-up-our-street) who are investigating models of participatory decision making.

Arts Participation and the Health & Well-being Agenda - Northern Stage, Newcastle
57 people attendees and co-hosted by Ashington Creative People and Places (http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/creative-people-and-places/), who are working across the arts and health sectors to research models to increase well being through participation in the arts. This achieved the aim of connecting the arts sector and NHS and contributing to practice.

Arts Participation, Volunteering & The Big Society, Blackpool Grand Theatre
47 people attended and co-hosted with Blackpool Creative People and Places, (http://www.blackpool.gov.uk/Residents/Libraries-arts-and-heritage/Arts/Creative-People-and-Places.aspx) who are examining how capacity building and volunteering can improve the sustainability of the arts in Blackpool. This achieved the aim of connecting the arts and voluntary sectors and contributing to practice.

Arts, Craft & Rural Participation, Spalding College
37 people attended and co-hosted by Boston and South Holland Creative People and Places (http://www.transportedart.com/ ) who are examining engagement in rural settings and the importance of the crafts. This achieved the aim of bringing together people working in arts and crafts and contributing to practice.

Ask the audience - The Arts Funding Debate, The Carriageworks, Leeds
100 attendees and co-hosted with The Culture Vulture (http://theculturevulture.co.uk) this was the first event we opened to the general public. This interactive session, including a question time panel, explored the case for different funding choices in the arts. The debate was followed by a public vote using an interactive board game, especially designed for the event. Similar sessions are planned as a legacy of the programme in other locations. This session achieved the aim of engaging the general public in academic discourse and contributing to practice.

Co-production & co-design in the arts and in public services, Royal Society for the Arts, London
This seminar was co-hosted with Involve (http://www.involve.org.uk/) and Royal Society for the Arts (http://www.thersa.org/ ). It provided those working in the arts the opportunity to engage with debates and practices in other areas of the public sector. It also offered those working in other areas the chance to explore how cultural activity may help them deliver other objectives. This session achieved the aim of engaging the arts sector with broader debates about civic participation and democracy and contributing to practice.

3) achieved the aim of disseminating new research more widely and creating the climate of collaboration by developing an online resource to disseminate research in this area (www.participationandengagement-arts.co.uk). This houses presentations from seminars, blog discussions between seminars and approximately 100 links to research reports. Mapping of website users began in October 2013. Since then it has received nearly 4000 hits, with people viewing information on sessions and downloading research documents. In addition we now have an active twitter feed @artsken to direct traffic to the website and promote activities. This has over 400 followers and retweets have an average reach of 10,000 per month.
4) Developing links between academia and practice by developing and accrediting a CPD programme consisting of the following four modules:
- Participatory Decision Making
- Culture-Based Local Development;
- Planning and Evaluation;
- International Perspectives on Cultural Participation.
Exploitation Route As demonstrated above the network of 500 members has had significant impact; connecting academics, policy makers and practitioners across England, with growing interest from overseas, demonstrated by our invitation to host an international conference in Holland as a wider impact of the programme.

The opportunity to engage with people from different sectors and disciplines, has both advanced understanding and provided opportunities for collaborations in new research and provided an outlet for this research to be disseminated to a wider audience beyond academia.

By working across disciplines it has increased knowledge and understanding among arts academics and practitioners about other policy areas, such as health and well being, social equity and diversity, as well as introduced those from other sectors to how the arts may address their issues.

The inclusion of policy makers within the network supports wider social and policy impacts, demonstrated by the invitation for the PI to sit on the national steering committee for Creative People and Places and become an Arts Council Assessor. Links with Involve, Royal Society for the Arts and the NHS have also been developed through the programme.

The international conference which was delivered as a longer term impact of the funding attracted 150 delegates and 30 papers were presented.

On a local level hosting the seminar series in local areas with limited academic or arts infrastructure built local capacity in areas of low participation.

Going forward it is hoped that the CPD programme will further built capacity among practitioners with research informed training
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.participationandengagement-arts.co.uk/
 
Description Through the planned activities of 5 seminars, an e-newlsetter and an online research resource we have had an impact on practice by stimulating thinking both within the arts and other parts of the public sector (eg health, public engagement, voluntary services), with over 200 people attending seminars, 500 hits per month on the website and 500 members signed up to the network mailing list. In addition we have had an impact on knowledge exchange between practitioners, academics and policy makers through the programming of seminars to include speakers from each of the target groups. All these activities have also stimulated requests for further information and future activity This has resulted in spin offs including a CPD programme to further support skills development, with 4 accredited short courses at masters level; an international conference for sharing knowledge and stimulating thinking through international comparative research, which involved 150 academics and practitioners and presented 30 papers. This will have wider impact with the publication of a special edition journal later this year. In addition the PI has had 2 journal articles published giving wider academic impact to the work. The PI and CI have also been invited internationally to do key note presentations related to the work and been interviewed in the press. The programme has had an impact on society by working with Creative People and Places in areas of low engagement/investment in arts and academia to build the capacity of local people through engagement in a seminar programme. An additional seminar was also delivered for the general public to encourage public engagement in the issues raised. This had the spin off of, resulting in one collaborative research programme in Doncaster, generating an additional £35000 research income and influencing policy making through being invited to sit on the national steering committee for the £37 million Creative People and Places fund. A funding bid for further research has been submitted to AHRC, which was unfortunately unsuccessful. As a further impact of the funding we were invited to host a national conference for Arts Council England, titled PEOPLE, PLACE, POWER which took place in September 2016. The PI was also invited to Denmark in summer 2016 to advise the evaluation team of AARHUS 2017 Capital of Culture and has since given 2 key note speeches in the country and written a report for the Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture team. This research is influencing practitioners in Denmark
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Healthcare,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Creative People and Places
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact This has seen £37 million invested in areas of high deprivation, improving access to the arts as well as involving communities in designing local cultural provision. This in turn has built local capacity of individuals and community assocations
URL http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-funding/funding-programmes/creative-people-and-places-fu...
 
Description Membership of Leeds 2023 Engagement group
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact WE developed the engagement strategy for the capital of culture bid
 
Description Grants for the Arts
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 20678397 
Organisation Arts Council England 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 04/2014
 
Description Innovation fund
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 04/2014
 
Description Research funding
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Leeds Beckett University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 04/2014
 
Description Collaborative research on participation in European Capitals of Culture 
Organisation Aarhus University
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution 2 Key note presentations 6 week research residency
Collaborator Contribution Hosting of residency Co-authorship of paper
Impact Rethink Participation - report for Aarhus 2017 team
Start Year 2016
 
Description People, Place, Power conference and publication 
Organisation A New Direction
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Coordinating a national conference and special edition journal
Collaborator Contribution Financial contribution Member of conference steering committee
Impact Special edition of Journal of Arts and communities
Start Year 2015
 
Description Arts Participation and the Health & Well-being Agenda 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This is the second in a series of 5 seminars,this time with a focus on connecting the arts sector and NHS practitioners to share research models on well being. 57 people working in arts and health attended and the presentations were uploaded to our online resource

Increased membership of network. Interest in presentations uploaded to online resource
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.participationandengagement-arts.co.uk
 
Description Arts Participation, Volunteering and The Big Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was the fourth of our seminars and 47 people attended to examine how capacity building and volunteering can improve the sustainability. This brought togehter people from the voluntary sector, policy makers and artists Presentations were uploaded to the online resource

Increased membership of the network
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Arts, Craft & Rural Participation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This is the 4 of our seminar series and 37 people examining engagement in rural settings and the importance of the crafts. Presentations were uploaded to the online resource

Increased interest in the network
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Ask the audience 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This event was additional to planned activity and opened to the general public. It sold out quickly to over 100 delegates. This interactive session, including a question time panel, explored the case for different funding choices in the arts. The debate was followed by a public vote using an interactive board game, especially designed for the event.

The session led to development of an interactive board game on arts funding which is used in undergraduate teaching.
There have been requests for the session to be held in other locations
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Breaking the fourth wall 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My talk sparked discussion about future collaboration between myself and Danish academics

I have been invited to submit a research proposal to University of Aarhus to contribute to their work as 2017 Capital of Culture
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description CPD 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A survey of CPD needs was undertaken with the membership through an online survey and evaluation forms at seminars This will be delivered as a legacy of this project in 2014-15 to achieve the aim of contributing to the development of practice.
The four modules are on:
- Participatory Decision Making
- Culture-Based Local Development;
- Planning and Evaluation;
- International Perspectives on Cultural Participation.


Approval of 4 CPD short courses with accreditation points at masters level
Delivery of successful CPD programme on participatory decision making in September 2014
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Co-production & co-design in the arts and in public services 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was the final session in the planned seminar series and provided those working in the arts the opportunity to engage with debates and practices in other areas of the public sector. It also offered those working in other areas the chance to explore how cultural activity may help them deliver other objectives.

Increased network membership
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Engagement panel for Leeds 2023 bid for capital of culture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited member of engagement group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://leeds2023.co.uk
 
Description Key note at Local education arts partnership conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Provocation on participatory governance to network of local education arts parternships
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Key note at conference of European Culture Houses 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 100 industry professionals attending a conference to explore new ways of increasing public engagement in their services
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://encc.eu/sites/default/files/2017-05/Reccord%202017%20final.pdf
 
Description Key note speaker at PhD summer school 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave a key note presentation on the importance of participation and participatory research to approximately 25 international PhD students, from a range of disciplines, from arts, social science and medicine
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Key note to Take Part Network in Denmark 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I provided a provocation to about 50 people, including academics and practitioners, at the launch of a new network on participation in Denmark
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://projekter.au.dk/en/take-part/
 
Description Keynote to delegation of Danish Libraries 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I organised a field trip and gave a presentation to a delegation of Danish visitors on participation in cultural organisations
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Media interviews 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The PI has been in the press talking about the network on numerous occasions including articles in Arts Professional, The Guardian, and interviews for Radio Sheffield and Radio France,

Increased profile of the PI and the network
Increased debate about issues of participation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015
 
Description On line resource 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact an online resource was developed to house presentations from seminars, blog discussions between seminars and share related research. This holds the twenty presentations from seminars, plus approximately 100 links to research reports.


Mapping of website users began in October 2013. Since then it has received nearly 4000 hits, with people viewing information on sessions and downloading research documents. In addition we now have an active twitter feed @artsken to direct traffic to the website and promote activities. This has over 400 followers and retweets have an average reach of 10,000 per month.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015
URL http://www.participationandengagement-arts.co.uk
 
Description Participatory decision making 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was the first of the planned 5 seminars planned as part of this funding proposal. 39 people attended, including academics, policy makers and practitioners to investigate models of participatory decision making. The 4 presentations delivered were also shared via our online resource




Network membership increased

As a result the Principal investigator, is working on a 3 year action research project in Doncaster where the seminar took place

The postgraduate Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course on participatory decision making, which was developed as an outcome of this was first delivered in September 2014
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.participationandengagement-arts.co.uk