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  1. 1. Cultural intermediation inthe creative urban economyPhil JonesSchool of Geography, Earth & Environmental SciencesUniversity of Birmingham28 February 2013Cultural Value Project Workshop, Birkbeck
  2. 2. Background
  3. 3. The research problem weidentified• Florida, DCMS, AHRC etc. all tell us howimportant the creative economy is• If the ‘creative economy’ is significant, thenwho is benefiting from it?• How is the creative economy connected todifferent communities?• What processes of ‘cultural intermediation’operate to make these connections?
  4. 4. What is ‘culturalintermediation’?• Bourdieu’s (1984): intermediaries as agentswho tell communities what culturalphenomena to passively consume• Hesmondhalgh (2006) argues that the ways ofthinking through production-mediation-consumption need to evolve– Reflects changes in these relations through therise of the creative industries
  5. 5. Intermediation as connection• Implicit assumption that connecting more peopleto the creative economy will reduce inequality• Cultural intermediation already exists• But– Is cultural intermediation the best way to makeconnections?– Does it function in the most effective fashion?– Can modes of working be found that improve this‘connecting’ role?
  6. 6. Overall aimTo identify means of enhancing theeffectiveness of culturalintermediation as a mechanism forconnecting different communitiesinto the broader creative economy
  7. 7. Project
  8. 8. Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4WP0 Scoping & Theory BuildingWP2 HistoricWP3 GovernanceWP1 Valuation & MappingWP4CommunitiesWP5 Interventions
  9. 9. Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4WP0 Scoping & Theory BuildingWP2 HistoricWP3 GovernanceWP1 Valuation & MappingWP4 Communities WP5 Interventions
  10. 10. Research Questions• To develop techniques to capture the value of culturalintermediation (WP1)• To examine how cultural intermediation has developedhistorically, whose interests it has served and what lessonsthis provides for understanding best practice today. (WP2)• To critically evaluate the role of intermediaries in thechanging governance of cultural economy initiatives andhow different actors undertaking cultural intermediationoperate within the sector (WP3)• To explore how intermediation connects communities intothe creative economy and how this can be enhanced tobreak down the tension between hard-to-reachcommunities and inaccessible cultural resources. (WP4)
  11. 11. Research Questions• To design and deliver practice-based interventions withlocal stakeholder panels of academics, policy-makers, community groups and artists to improve theeffectiveness of cultural intermediation. (WP5)• To contribute to academic, policy and practitioner debateson the value of cultural intermediation in shaping creativeeconomy initiatives (WP6)• To reflexively examine and evaluate the process ofinterdisciplinary and transdisciplinary working throughinnovative project design and delivery (WP6)• To produce high-quality academic, policy and artisticoutputs based on best practice in knowledge exchange(WP0-6)
  12. 12. Birmingham
  13. 13. Manchester
  14. 14. Ten:8 magazine1975-1985 (1979)• Founded by Bishton, Brian Homer and JohnReardon in 1979. Title derived from thestandard size of photographic paper. Initiallyfunded by WM Arts later Arts Council GB.Inspired by Camerawork, East Londonphotographers collective.• Aim was ‘to represent the working class andmigrant communities’ (Brittain inDewdney, 2011, p.263) of Birmingham.
  15. 15. Interventions• Using a practice-based approach to engageparticipant creativity• BUT it’s the participants who commission thepractice in the first place• Most flexible part of the project– Part of the budget not predefined except earmarkedfor commissions by local panels• How do we measure the value of these?– (against our aim of connecting communities into thecreative economy)
  16. 16. Evaluation
  17. 17. evaluations of culturalprojects: general problems• Data collection, statistics and evidence are alongstanding issue in the cultural sector• Reflects the problems of defining culture (e.g. Gray 2006,Miles and Sullivan forthcoming)• And defining what cultural policy is for• ‘the sector is hindered by its failure to clearly articulateits value in a cohesive and meaningful way, as well as byits neglect of the compelling need to establish a systemfor collecting evidence around a set of agreed indicatorsthat substantiate value claims’ Scott (2009:198)
  18. 18. Impact measurement• Social impact (Matarrasso 1997)• Economic impact (ACE 2013)• Cultural impact (WolfBrown 2008)• ....all of which have been critiqued• Economic valuation (O’Brien 2010)• both expensive and controversial in thecultural sector
  19. 19. Proposed evaluation• Participatory evaluation• Based on work with young people (Sabo Flores 2008, Miles etal 2013)• Training sessions for artists, community participants andacademics• Aiming to understand what the participants value about theprojects....• And to help them to capture it....• Whilst providing robust data for academic discussions• Shared ownership and co-creation of research