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cultural research review Six reports you shouldn’t miss
cultural research review Six reports you shouldn’t miss

cultural research review

Six reports you shouldn’t miss

cultural research review Six reports you shouldn’t miss
cultural research review Six reports you shouldn’t miss
cultural research review Six reports you shouldn’t miss
cultural research review Six reports you shouldn’t miss
cultural research review Six reports you shouldn’t miss

Keeping on top of things

New research on culture is published all the time. With the best will in the world, it’s hard to keep on top of it all – never mind be able to sift the well worth reading from the irrelevant. So we asked some of our Research Associates to recommend some of the most incisive new reports, the most useful evaluations and the most thought provoking reviews from the last few months. It’s not academically rigorous. It’s not comprehensive. But we hope it’ll be useful.

The reports suggested are all freely available online at the time of writing – links are provided.

We’d love to have your nominations for future round ups. Email info@iccliverpool.ac.uk.

April 2011

love to have your nominations for future round ups. Email info@iccliverpool.ac.uk. April 2011 www.iccliverpool.ac.uk

A clear CASE for data

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The Department for Culture, Media & Sport’s Culture and Sport Evidence Programme – CASE – released a tranche of reports and datasets in January this year, including Regional and Local Insights. The available reports and datasets provide economic statistics – relating to the ‘CASE economy’ – from employment and volunteering volume to GVA, domestic tourism spend and the number of physical assets. Some sub regional breakdown is offered, including patterns of local authority investment in the arts (the North West, for example, has risen quite significantly over five years), and looking at both capital and non capital funding. Broad tourism trends are included, as is participation in arts and other activity, educational attainment and take up in relevant subjects and data from DCLG’s Citizenship Survey. Whilst the sources will be familiar for many, the reports do a useful job in bringing together the data, in a consistent way, which should enable both broad comparison and the recognition of some key trends. Perhaps most importantly, they begin to build a way into the CASE programme for many whose focus is predominantly regional and local.

Recommended by Tamsin Cox

Museums making a difference

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This essay discusses the problem of describing the cultural impact of museums, by thinking about the different ways museums can affect people. Although Selwood identifies the familiar problem that museums still lack detailed evidence for their impact, the essay offers cultural impact, as distinct from economic or social impact, as a key area in which museums should develop their understanding.

Recommended by David O’Brien

Telling Stories in Liverpool

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This booklet aims to give a snapshot of how the arts contribute to wellbeing, based on some 30 interviews undertaken between June and October 2010 by Francois Matarasso and Gerri Moriarty. The focus is a qualitative presentation of the stories told by participants in a number of community based arts projects taking place in north Liverpool. While Matarasso also provides

a reflective narrative (which is complemented by descriptions of the area and organisations

based and working there) this is a piece which is self consciously non analytical (although certainly thoughtful), and which solely aims to present local voices and experiences. Read alongside more technical and academic impact studies into the social value of the arts, this adds a useful and accessible angle to the debate.

Recommended by Ruth Melville

Working in the creative industries

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This is a wide ranging report into current trends around access to internships in the creative industries in the UK. The document makes depressingly familiar reading as it lists the enduring

reasons why it has been found that ‘access (to intern or work opportunities in the creative industries) is largely limited to the children of professional parents’ (Panel on Fair Access to the Professions). The report references central government attempts to address key issues via different programmes, but ultimately expresses frustration at the lack of change in the sector.

It notes a ‘lack of honesty’ in and commitment to identifying the reasons for the slow pace of

change and states clearly that policies of ‘early intervention’ are not enough, particularly for the creative industries.

Some positive examples of good practice are highlighted in the report though, most notably the Career Academy approach (a business led educational charity working via ‘franchised’ schools across the UK), but it is ultimately critical of a lack of strategic thinking and an over reliance on schools based provision. The report suggests that the current central government cuts to services risk removing many of the opportunities and schemes that do exist. In a landscape where already existing, informal, professional networking opportunities are statistically most likely to reward young people with internships and paid work, it really does still seem to be ‘it’s who you know, not what you know’.

Recommended by Louise O’Brien

Valuing culture

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This report explores the debates around cultural value, considering the meaning of culture and the reasons why valuation of culture is such a difficult task. The report considers several solutions to the problem of how to value culture, concluding that the economic valuation techniques supported by HM Treasury should be used by the sector to articulate its value, while the sector concurrently looks at developing its own clear guidance for a shared valuation model, enhancing its voice in the debate. It’s a thorough, interesting and challenging report: forcing us to address any cosy assumptions we might dare to still retain about how valuations of culture are likely to be made by those beyond the sector and its close friends, it unapologetically refuses to shy away from some difficult conclusions, and makes a strong case for cost benefit analysis and HM Treasury Green Book compliance.

Whether you are likely to agree with the conclusions or not, this is a report that everyone working in the field of arts and cultural policy needs to read and engage with.

Recommended by Ruth Melville

Teaching music

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This independent review undertaken by Classic FM Managing Director Darren Henley for DfE and DCMS, was released on 7th February. There has already been warmth from ministers towards music instrumental teaching particularly, as well as criticism of the ‘initiative itis’ which was perceived to have characterised the previous Government’s response to music education.

The review makes 36 recommendations, including: a National Plan for Music Education, to enable more coherent/consistent delivery; that music education should remain a statutory part of the National Curriculum; that some central government funding should continue to be ring fenced to support music education; and that collaborative geographically specific delivery, through Music Education Hubs, should be encouraged. Responses from ACE, ABO, Youth Music and many others are already available, and tend to be broadly favourable. DfE has issued a response which shows enthusiasm for the National Plan, but caution over a number of other areas (particularly in respect of the forthcoming National Curriculum review). Key in terms of policy development is DfE’s commissioning of Henley to conduct a wider review of what is being termed ‘cultural education’. For next year, £82.5million is already committed for music education (the same as the previous year); for the future, the new National Plan for Music Education will be the key.

Recommended by Tamsin Cox


TTaammssiinn CCooxx is Head of Policy and Research at DHA, a specialist consultancy working only with the public and non profit sectors. She has worked for more than ten years in the arts and cultural sector, including resource and capital development with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Tamsin was latterly Senior Research Fellow and Programme Manager at the University of Liverpool’s Impacts 08 programme, and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool.

RRuutthh MMeellvviillllee is a freelance researcher and cultural policy practitioner, working on projects such as the evaluation of Liverpool’s Community Cultural Champions Scheme and supporting development of UK City of Culture bids and frameworks for Cultural Olympiad assessment. She is also research advisor to Liverpool’s Arts Regeneration Consortium and an advisor to Arts Council England on research and resilience. Ruth was Programme Manager and Senior Research Fellow at Impacts 08.

DDaavviidd OOBBrriieenn’s PhD explored the European Capital of Culture 2008 in Liverpool, using the framework of institutionalism to understand decision making within Liverpool’s governance, and including comparisons with Newcastle and Gateshead. He has recently completed a six month secondment to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) working on Measuring Cultural Value.

LLoouuiissee OOBBrriieenn is currently on secondment with the Institute of Cultural Capital from English Heritage, where she has worked on strategic projects for over five years. She has managed large scale international events, publications and devised and delivered a series of seminars in the Liverpool pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai 2010. Louise is actively involved in cultural arts projects and is on the board of Fox Carnival Band, a children’s art project in Notting Hill, London.

and is on the board of Fox Carnival Band, a children’s art project in Notting Hill,