A Culture Forum North programme in partnership with Arts Council England and the South East Cultural Innovation Forum and Midlands Higher Education and Cultural Forum.


We would like to interview a selection of cultural organisations, freelance artists and HEIs about partnership experiences over the last year, with the aim of creating a series of case studies about activity during lockdown. We would like insights into how the nature, risks and benefits of partnership may change, and how this might influence the priorities we should seek to address collectively.

The tectonic shift in our sectors since 2019 is reshaping our priorities and resources. We want to look forward to consider how this will influence the potential and value of higher education and cultural partnerships in the future.

Thanks to support from Arts Council England, we have engaged Dr James Doeser to help us deliver a programme of research, consultation, discussion and visioning in partnership with the three regional Forums to:

About this research

The research will consolidate what we know about the value of HEIs working collaboratively with cultural sector organisations and artists. It will bring our understanding right up to date by focussing on experiences and case studies since March 2020. The research will draw out best practice for partnership working and produce a systematic framework for developing partnerships within regional Forums.

Your invitation to participate and the influence it will have

By sharing case studies and thoughts, participants will fuel national conversation and discussion groups, attended by senior leaders from HE and the arts and culture, with high-quality data on the strengths and value that partnerships can offer in the future. Our goal is to ensure the HE and cultural sectors are working in concert as we rebuild after the pandemic.

It will also help create a structure for building partnerships through regional networks Culture Forum North, the South East Cultural Innovation Forum and Midlands Higher Education and Cultural Form.

There are modest bursaries to enable participation if funding is a barrier.

How to take part

Just email James Doeser (jamesdoeser@gmail.com) with a few lines about the case studies you would like to share and the value you feel partnership has brought since March 2020.

About James Doeser

James is a freelance researcher, writer and consultant based in London. In the early 2010s he was a senior researcher at Arts Council England. He now works with all manner of cultural organisations, artists and agencies to help them find and deploy high-quality research. He is the editor of CultureCase.org a resource from King’s College London for the cultural sector that bridges the gap between academic research and its potential users and beneficiaries. He has led research into arts policy and the impact of culture for clients as varied as the Wellcome Trust, Canada Council for the Arts, MeWe360, and Accumulate – The Art School for the Homeless. The findings of the consultation will inform a set of roundtable discussions later this year.