The Forum recognises that creative and cultural knowledge exists across an ecology of artists, creative industries, cultural organisations and educational institutions. Partnerships between cultural organisations and universities are increasingly central to the health of this ecology in the UK, particularly in working together to train the next generation of cultural practitioners.
From our knowledge sharing programme we understand that successful partnerships between universities and cultural organisations tend to share some characteristics, for example they are:
- Bespoke, built around the strengths, capacity and characteristics of both partners.
- Developed through shared objectives that are clearly articulated from the perspective of both partners, often including space for joint experimentation.
- Delivered through a ‘distributed’ leadership model, with individuals taking forward particular areas of work owned by a broader team.
We consider that individual partnerships between universities and cultural organisations can play a significant role in strengthening the cultural infrastructure and offer across the North, particularly:
- To increase public access to a wide variety of arts and cultural product, including both contemporary work and historical collections and archives.
- To strengthen innovation and create new work
- To broaden connections to the creative industries
- To strengthen research impact and particularly practice based research
- To increase cultural knowledge sharing
- To strengthen access to cultural education via both formal and informal programmes
- To strengthen professional development for all involved in arts and culture
- To strengthen the arts and cultures impact in programmes addressing social, health and wellbeing, the environment, education and many other agendas that seek to make the world a better place.
Terms of Reference for Culture Forum North
Culture Forum North is an open network of partnerships between universities and cultural organisations from across the North.
Purpose / role of the group:
- Advocate for partnerships as a route to strengthen the cultural knowledge ecology –regionally, nationally and internationally.
- Inform policy makers on the cultural knowledge ecology
- Support partnership development via knowledge sharing, practical initiatives and events
- Develop routes to funding and other support for partnership activity that will strengthen the cultural knowledge ecology
- The Forum has developed from a knowledge sharing group of universities and visual arts organisations first meeting in 2012. The group developed understanding of partnerships which led to: an internal discussion paper for the Arts Council on The Cultural Knowledge Ecology; training for Arts Council staff across the North; a national conference in Liverpool (2014); a broadening of the art forms feeding into the group to include performing arts and museums.
Joining the Forum:
- The Forum is open to all representatives of Arts/Cultural/HEI partnerships who share its values.
- The forum will invite to join representatives from development bodies such as HEI bodies, UK Research Councils e.g. AHRC, Arts Council England, HLF or Local Authorities, or individuals with relevant expertise as agreed by the Forum membership
Forum Management Structure:
- Forum management is enabled by 3 roles; a Forum Co-ordinator, a Forum Chair and a Forum Vice Chair. Post-holders will be representative of all three regions, and will be appointed by the Forum one from each region.
- Forum partners will select a co-ordinator from the partner cohort, with an agreed tenure of three years – the DARE partnership between Opera North and the University of Leeds will act as the co-ordinator in the first instance from April 2015.
- Forum partners will select a Chair and Vice Chair for a two-year tenure in the first instance.
- In support of the Forum management, Forum partners may be required to contribute to fix term working-groups.
- Individual Forum partners are responsible for reporting back on activities of their collaborative or sub-regional activities as relevant to the work of the Forum.
- The Forum will review the relevance and value of its work on an annual basis, and will acknowledge and document relevant activity, and agree upon any changes to the terms of reference.
- The Forum’s working method is through sharing partnership learning and as such will maintain transparency and engagement with partners.
- Time limited working-groups will be established to take forward specific areas of work.
- There will be an average of two forum meetings per year, one in each region.
- Partners are required to contribute to meetings and working groups where appropriate.
- The Forum Co-ordinator will organise the meetings -in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair.
- Meeting agendas will be generated by the management group, in consultation with any working-groups and in relation to the work of the broader partner cohort.
Sharing of information and resources
- Forum partners will share information and resources, and it is expected that any confidential materials or copyright issues be identified by individual partners and dealt with accordingly by the broader partner cohort.