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Why value the Arts?

Date: Wednesday 15 September 2021

Time: 18:00 - 19:00 (GMT+1)

Location: Online via Zoom

Register here

We all fundamentally know that engaging with culture is good for our wellbeing. From the relief of sinking into the couch with the latest binge-worthy TV series to the spine tingling final aria of a soprano. ‘Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life’ (Picasso).

But how do we support arts and culture so that it can support us? How do we ensure that the most vulnerable and in need can access arts and cultural experiences? And how do we guarantee that culture continues to flourish in the face of adversity?

The Centre for Cultural Value is addressing this through their research, building a deeper understanding of the differences that arts, culture, heritage and screen make to people’s lives and to society. Based at the University, this national research centre is making academic research more accessible to those working in cultural organisations and is championing more rigorous ways of evaluating the impact of arts and culture. Importantly, it is working with policy makers so they can make funding and policy decisions based on evidence.

During this webinar we introduce you to the work of the Centre for Cultural Value with key members of the team.

Ben Walmsley, Director of the Centre for Cultural Value and Professor of Cultural Engagement, will introduce the webinar by providing the social and political context for the new centre and highlighting some of the key challenges faced by the sector.

The Centre’s Postdoctoral Research Associate, Dr Robyn Dowlen, will talk about the impact of the arts on our health and wellbeing. Robyn will draw on her inspiring PhD work using music to create sensory moments with those living with dementia. She will discuss how this work provides an alternative way of communicating and perceiving those with dementia, improving relationships with carers and enhancing treatment. She will then explain the difficulty of articulating this in a way that feels relevant and accessible to medical staff and policy makers and how this links into the current work of the Centre for Cultural Value.

We will also be hearing from Anne Torreggiani (Co-Director of the Centre for Cultural Value and Founder and CEO of The Audience Agency). Anne will elaborate on how the arts can take on a ‘place-making’ role within our lives. From grassroots community projects to policy led collaborative work through local authorities and Arts organisations, place making can be an essential means of creating cohesive communities leading to a ripple effect within our sense of wellbeing and society as a whole.

Finally, there will be an opportunity to ask our experts your own questions and to learn more about how you can become involved in the Centre for Cultural Value’s latest research into the impact of COVID-19.


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