Event review: Creative and Cultural Collaborations in Social Science Research

On Wednesday 10 November, Creative Manchester delivered an informative and friendly event, which would not have been possible without the excellent contributions and insights of our valuable collaborators.

Part of the ESRC Festival 2021, the Creative and Cultural Collaborations in Social Science Research event hosted a superb attendance, both online and in-person. The event began with an introduction and welcome from Professor John McAuliffe, Director of Creative Manchester, who talked to the commitment and achievements by all collaborators involved, as well as the overall reward of everyone’s work.

The first half of the event featured insightful presentations from:

  • Dr Alicia J Rouverol (Research Associate, Creative Manchester) – Alicia discussed the Deep Dive Aspect Project, a collaboration between the University of Manchester and the University of York, funded by Aspect. Alicia proceeded to cover how the outputs, research methods, and findings of the project worked to explore best practice business engagement in Creative Industries with arts, humanities and social sciences research in Yorkshire/Humber and Greater Manchester regions.
  • Dr JT Welsch (Senior Lecturer in the Creative Industries and English, University of York) – JT continued on from Alicia, offering the University of York’s perspective on the collaboration for the Deep Dive Aspect Project. He shared his enthusiasm for the unique research methods within social sciences, as well as the benefits of placement opportunities for students.
  • Rebecca Parnell (Creative Producer, Manchester Camerata & Creative Manchester) – Rebecca introduced ‘Britain’s most adventurous orchestra’ and spoke to Manchester Camerata’s partnerships over the years, including dementia PhD research (Untold digital film series) and their upcoming work with Health Economist. Rebecca also discussed the benefits, outcomes, and challenges of Camerata’s work and partnerships.
  • Stella Barnes (Creative Director, Community Arts North West) – Stella delved into ‘Listening to the Voices of Refugee Artists,’ a collaboration between Community Arts North West and the University of Manchester Drama Department. She highlighted that the purpose of this partnership was to develop new thinking and profile voices that are not normally heard in the mainstream. Additionally, Stella noted the research questions being asked and how the pandemic and Brexit have impacted refugee artists and their work.

These presentations were followed by a panel discussion. All involved offered an introduction to their role, their previous experience of academic and cultural collaboration, and what their personal experience of one challenge and one benefit to collaboration has been. The panel included:

  • Ambrose Musiyiwa (PhD researcher on a collaborative doctoral programme with the Drama Department at the University of Manchester and Community Arts Northwest).
  • Ian Scott (Professor of American Film and History and the SALC Director for Social Responsibility and Internationalisation, University of Manchester).

All of the presentation slides from this event are available to view online:

A huge thank you to all involved in bringing this event to fruition and for making it immensely valuable. It was wonderful to see the happy faces around the room throughout, symbolic of the work and relationships these collaborations have brought out. It is truly exciting to hear what the future holds.

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