On Thursday 11th May 2017 The Bigger Picture Project was invited to attend a peer learning day at the Southbank Centre in London with other arts and cultural organisation funded by the Arts Council England Research Grant Programme. This event consisted of both rounds of funded projects providing a summary presentation of their research followed by a session of round-up questions. The day was established for all to share, hear and learn about each other’s research to date; with round 1 giving a few tips to the second round of grants!
Dr Karen Salt (project lead) and Dr Janna Graham presented a presentation on The Bigger Picture. This consisted of a summary of the project, project timeline, project aims and project partners (-please follow the link here to see the project slides). As we were only in Phase 1 of the project we were unable to share any findings at this stage in time. However, the reception on the whole for the project was exciting with many people asking questions and wanting to know how they can find out more about the project!
Overall, this was an extremely informative and motivating day. It was exciting to see a vast array of different research projects taking place across the UK with excellent research emerging from this work. Arts and Cultural organisations in attendance included Royal College of Music, RSC, People United, Duckie and so on!
On 20-21October 2017 we supported the October Dialogues event at Nottingham Contemporary. This included invigorating discussions, workshops and performances!
The two-day event was supported by The Bigger Picture and invited speakers from arts organisations such as Culture Coventry, Birmingham Museums Trust as well as freelance artists, activists and more!
The first day included talks on Off-site museum practices to the archive as a catalyst for engagement, whilst the second day consisted of a local activism workshop with presentations by Journey to Justice and others!
As a researcher on the Bigger Picture project, I’ve spent the past year immersed in three arts organisations in Nottingham - Nottingham Contemporary, New Art Exchange and the National Justice Museum. I’ve been working with staff members within to gather information about their programming for minority communities (broadly defined). This has happened through face-to-face interviews, meeting shadowing and observing how various spaces are used by staff and visitors. The data is being analysed to outline a picture of staff members ‘ways of working’ with relation to programming, assessment and evaluation as well as how this knowledge is then used in future programming.
Some of the questions I’ve been grappling with are:
• How, and to what extent, does an organisation’s approach reflect both their internal strategy as well as industry standards set by funders such as Arts Council England?
• Does existing organisational practice help staff work towards improving access to arts for diverse audiences?
• How do the ways in which staff work enable connections or create fissures?
This data and analysis will be collated, and then presented back to the organisations. Together, we will refine the questions and exercises that will form the tools which will enable staff both within the partner organisations at other similar institutions, to reflect on their practice.
We have a sharing event coming up on Friday 1 February 2019 at Nottingham Contemporary from 14.00-17.15.
Join us to explore research findings and outputs, including a social impact tool to initiate critical conversations and embed decolonial practice across cultural institutions.
Find out how local people have been part of the research team and creative methods are used to share research findings.
To book a place please visit: Eventbrite Listing