On Thursday afternoon I was at the University of London to meet Professor Geoffrey Crossick and Patrycja Kaszynska who are running the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Cultural Value Project. The Cultural Value Project was set up in the autumn of 2012 to explore the different ways in which individuals and society benefit from arts and cultural engagement, and to identify ways of evaluating them. It is a major project to fund research in this area with a view to publishing a report that will contribute significantly to moving forward the way in which we understand these issues. Geoffrey said that their aim is to broaden that understanding beyond the narrow focus on economic benefits that have dominated discussion for some time, and beyond publicly-funded arts to the full range that encompasses commercial, third-sector and participatory alongside publicly-funded. We had a really interesting discussion about the importance of the voluntary arts sector and the interdependence of the subsidised, voluntary and commercial arts. Geoffrey and Patrycja were very keen to make sure the amateur arts is properly considered as part of the project and have invited me to join the Cultural Value Project Advisory Group.
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