Friday 16th February 2018
The University of Huddersfield
Friday 16th February 2018
At The Lawrence
The Culture, Community, Creativity conference is part of the ROTOЯ Transdisciplinary Dialogue and Debate programme of exhibitions and events. ROTOR is a partnership between the University of Huddersfield and Huddersfield Art Gallery. It presents a series of vital discussions, featuring speakers from both academia and across the arts and cultural sector, providing a platform for dialogue, debate and networking.
The Arts Council-funded ROTOЯ partnership programme with Kirklees Museums & Galleries has been running over a five-year period at Huddersfield Art Gallery, featuring the transdisciplinary work of art and design staff from the University of Huddersfield and beyond. ROTOЯ showcases a community of artists, designers and curators whose ideas and connective practices migrate and span artistic production, architecture, techno-design research, craft and cultural studies. ROTOЯ is located at the pivot between art and design disciplines and society, where points of intersection and engagement are considered and debated from multiple perspectives.
ROTOЯ works with various communities, professional agencies and arts organisations with the aim of supporting new development and thinking around art and design practices and cultural policies. We believe that a long-term commitment to place-making, and working in a creative, responsive manner, can bring about stronger communities that are more connected, and which produce more effective socially engaged practices and committed stakeholder partnerships.
The University of Huddersfield is committed to working with Kirklees Council to explore how partnership working and cultural leadership can be used to reinterpret and rejuvenate Huddersfield’s cultural offer and heritage, aiming to contribute to the debate, and help shape thinking around cultural leadership and place making for Huddersfield and the wider region. Ultimately, ROTOЯ is committed to making all forms of art and design, and the research that informs it, accessible to as many people as possible.
As the current phase of the ROTOЯ programme draws to a close we are keen to explore and celebrate its outcomes, but also to look forward to new challenges for ROTOЯ: The questions and provocations which underpin the Culture, Community, Creativity conference are those which have emerged from the ROTOЯ programme – many of which we have not yet been able to answer definitively, and so wish to open up for further discussion. They are questions, however, which we recognise, from working with a wide range of stakeholders, as being transferable to a breadth of projects, practitioners, organisations and institutions both locally and further afield. ROTOЯ, then, is simply the starting point or catalyst for what we hope will be a series of engaging and relevant discussions around the challenges and benefits of projects which aim to achieve ROTOЯ’s overall aspiration – of exploring how we create the conditions for creative thinking and action to flourish.
With an emphasis on the intersections of the arts, people and places, it asks participants to consider the significance of cultural democracy in our contemporary context. It addresses the role of partnerships and collaborations in helping to nurture the cultural offer of an area, and explores the ways in which cultural organisations and services can successfully reflect the creativity and aspirations of the people who use them. It further addresses questions around the role of what might be considered peripheral artistic activity within towns and cities as a catalyst for animating spaces. Exploring the idea of the creative citizen and cultural advocacy in the arts, it asks:
- How might creative thinking and action be nurtured and lead to growth of places?
- What is the role of the arts in place-making?
- How can businesses, universities and cultural organisations support ‘peripheral’ artistic activity?
- How do we support the economic – and emotional – resilience of artistic activity within towns and cities?
- In what ways can artistic activity enhance a sense of citizenship, ownership and belonging?
- How might DIY or fringe activities and opportunities function as cultural animators of a place?
- What do we mean by ‘cultural democracy’ in the context of local arts initiatives?
- How can effective cultural advocacy be implemented to ensure that arts projects are less a temporary intervention and more a long term vision, for a place?