EARC Conference 2022 – Art and culture as a driver in place-making and levelling up (1): Stimulating engagement
Venue: Drawing Room
This session will examine two parallel but separate programmes that supported creative engagement with the coast. England’s Creative Coast was an ambitious project that aimed to shift the approach to cultural tourism in the South East of England. Creative Estuary is an ambitious programme to develop the creative industries spanning both sides of the Thames Estuary from Southend to Margate.
Sarah Dance (Project Director for Creative Coast and Chair for Creative Estuary), Emma Wilcox (Project Director, Creative Estuary), and Ruth Melville (who evaluated the Creative Coast) will explore the opportunity and value of such initiatives, and the part they have to play in place-making, identity and levelling-up.
Murray Smith is Professor of Philosophy, Art, and Film and Director of the Aesthetics Research Centre at the University of Kent. He was President of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image from 2014–17, and a Laurance S. Rockefeller Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values for 2017–18.
He has published widely on film, art, and aesthetics. His publications include Film, Art, and the Third Culture: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film (Oxford University Press, 2017; revised paperback 2020), Trainspotting (BFI, revised edition 2021), and Engaging Characters: Fiction, Emotion, and the Cinema (Oxford University Press, revised edition 2022).
Sarah Dance is a strategic consultant for the culture and creative industries, with over 25 years’ experience in the creative sector. She has led a wide range of cultural organisations and set up her own consultancy in 2002. She has led and worked on a wide range of partnership projects from Culture Kent through to the Legacy Trust’s Olympic and Paralympic partnership project for the South East. She has also worked with many cultural organisations on business and capital development, creative production, organisational change development, and leadership mentoring.
In 2019, she developed the concept, raised the funds for and led England’s Creative Coast.
In addition to her consultancy work and her Deputy Chairship of South East Local Enterprise Partnership, she is Co-Chair of the South East Creative Economy Network and Chair of Creative Estuary and has led the visioning of Thames Estuary Production Corridor. She is on the Civic University Network Advisory Group and UAL Advisory Group for their UKRI funded Modelling and supporting recovery of the UK’s experience economy.
She is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Dr Ruth Melville was lead author on the evaluation of England’s Creative Coast. She has over 20 years of experience in research design and analysis within the cultural, regeneration, environmental and social inclusion sectors.Her practice spans academia,consultancy, research and evaluation. Her PhD explored the interaction between evaluation and practice for artists. It demonstrated the potential for using artists’ intrinsic reflective practices as evaluation,arguingfor a radical reappraisal of evaluation in the arts.
Ruth has designed and led several major cultural programme evaluations,with a focus on embedding approaches that lead to internal and external change. She has a strong commitment to inclusion. Her style is highly personal and facilitative–giving space for all to have their say.
Her other work includes co-authorship of Medway’s Cultural Strategy, Critical Friend and Evaluator for a number of Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places (CPP) programmes; managing Impacts 08 (the Liverpoo lEuropean Capital of Culture evaluation); and Evaluation Advisor to Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture. She recently worked on Bradford’ssuccessful bid to be City of Culture and is Interim Project Lead for HOME Slough CPP.
Emma Wilcox is Director of Creative Estuary, a four-year DCMS funded project driving forward the creative and economic evolution of the Thames Estuary, unlocking its potential as an international production hub and as a collaborative, inspiring place to live and work. Creative Estuary will boost inward investment, build local skills, stimulate new infrastructure and forge a new cultural identity for North Kent and South Essex. Led by the University of Kent, Creative Estuary is a partnership of higher education institutions, cultural organisations and public and private sector partners.
Emma has over twenty years’ experience working in the creative industries. Since 2008 she has worked in cultural policy, creative production and arts management, developing and delivering national and regional strategy and policy for the creative economy, placemaking and sustainable growth. She has worked as successful fundraiser for organisations across the south east, securing investment in both capital and revenue projects. Prior to 2008 Emma worked in the commercial design sector as an account director for clients including Mars, Hasbro and Buena Vista Entertainment. She is a trustee of People United, a Kent-based charity using creativity to encourage empathy and kindness and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.