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Towards a better understanding of cultural value

Date: 19/10/2016


The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, King's College London and The Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), working in partnership with Arts Council England, have launched a scoping project to build on the key recommendations made by the AHRC Cultural Value Project Report in April 2016 about the continuation of research into cultural value.

The publication of the AHRC Cultural Value Project Report marked the culmination of one of the biggest attempts in the last decade to consolidate, review and analyse what we know about the value of cultural engagement and arts participation. The report was launched in the spring of 2016 and was welcomed by the cultural and creative sectors as well as the academic community. It recognised the need to maintain a critical research focus on the area of cultural value and to explore possible models for augmenting and building on the existing body of research and evidence.

The collaborative scoping project will involve an extensive consultation process about what different organisations and sectors feel they need in terms of access to existing research and evidence and will explore how research and analysis into cultural value could be best sustained and supported into the future. The findings from the consultation will be presented to the consortium supporting the scoping project in the spring of next year. Alongside this, a King’s report into the current state of the research agenda into cultural value will be published, as part of the university’s suite of Cultural Enquiries.

Dr Patrycja Kaszynska, co-author of the AHRC Cultural Value Project report with Geoffrey Crossick, Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, School of Advanced Study, University of London, has been appointed to undertake the scoping project, which will be hosted at King’s, and to lead the Cultural Enquiry. In the coming months, Dr Kaszynska will consult with practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and funders across the HE, cultural and creative sectors to inform a final report for the scoping project’s sponsors.

Professor Andrew Thompson, Interim Chief Executive, Arts & Humanities Research Council said, ‘The Arts and Humanities Research Council commissioned the Cultural Value Project report to help shape thinking and start a wider conversation about the value that we place, as a society, on arts and culture. This new collaborative scoping project will help take the recommendations that were made and explore concrete ways to sustain this important work to show the impact and value of culture in the UK.’

Deborah Bull, Assistant Principal (London), King’s College London said, ‘As a performing artist working in the cultural sector for over 30 years, I saw at first hand the potential of arts and culture to make a difference in people's lives. It was in part a passion to connect what artists do with the evidence of its impact - on individuals, on communities and on society as a whole - that inspired me to move to King's, where I could help to build the connections between higher education and arts and culture. Over the last four years, I've been continually re-inspired by the passion of the academic community to understand and articulate the value of culture and I'm very pleased that the university is working in partnership to ensure that the Cultural Value Project is taken forward and the focus on evidencing culture's role is maintained.’

For more information about the project or to participate in the consultation, please email: patrycja.kaszynska@kcl.ac.uk

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