Shaping the Centre for Cultural Value
Earthen Lamp’s Director, Vishalakshi Roy tells us about a recent event she attended about the new Centre for Cultural Value.
On 30 January I boarded the first train to Cardiff to attend the third listening event organised by the Centre for Cultural Value at the Wales Millennium Centre.
Shaping the Centre for Cultural Value brought together cultural professionals from policy, governmental and delivery organisations all interested in evidence and the evaluation of culture. The event aimed to illustrate the scope and operations of the Centre, introduce the team and, most importantly, listen to the views of those attending to find out their expectations from the Centre.
The session was opened by Ben Walmsley, Director of the new Centre based at Leeds University, who gave an overview of the Centre’s objectives:
• Provide robust evidence
• Communicate and disseminate
• Foster a culture of learning, research and reflective practice
• Broker critical dialogue
• Develop the range and rigour of research and evaluation methods and methodology
• Facilitate the adoption of these methods
The main discussions on the day focused on the core themes of the Centre’s work for the next 5 years:
1) Culture, Health and Wellbeing
2) Community, Place and Identity
3) Cultural Participation
Expertly chaired by Claire Antrobus these themes were hotly debated and there were open discussions on larger questions such as the need for the Centre, its core operations and the potential impact of the Centre on the sector. There was also interesting discussion around the different geographic contexts and interests of participants, for example, how social justice is defined and interacts with arts in Wales as compared to England and Scotland.
Personal highlights of the day were the depth of the round table discussion and unpicking of definitions prompted by the Cultural Value team, meeting colleagues from a range of cultural organisations, and of course the Welsh Cakes!
The next listening sessions will be in Edinburgh on 14 February and Leeds on 3 March. All sessions are now sold out but you can help shape the activity of the new Centre for Cultural Value via this survey.