"I've read the report, it's brilliant! I like the way you've broken down the audiences. It's already got me thinking about marketing and event programming in a different way. Very useful!"
Manchester Science Festival
Manchester Science Festival
ST PHILIP'S CHURCH: HERITAGE OPEN DAYS RESEARCHER & WRITER
St Philip's is an iconic Salford church close to Manchester centre in the busy urban setting of Chapel Street. For nearly 200 years the church has reached out to help and improve its neighbourhood, wanted to share that history in the 2018 Heritage Open Day celebrations. This commission was to research the building and its role in Salford, to write a booklet commemorating some of the more and less well known twists and turns of its life from the early 1800s. Working with archivist Heather Roberts we scoured hundreds of pages of ancient parish magazines, photographs and biographies; and recorded oral histories of locals watching changes come and go over the past 80 or so years.. In this way we collected a personal, human account as much as an architectural and social record.
GAWTHORPE TEXTILES COLLECTION & THE WHITAKER: ACTION RESEARCH
Working as Action Researcher for Gawthorpe Textiles Collection and The Whitaker who jointly received funding to commission an action researcher for a year as part of a bigger programme to increase the resilience and sustainability of their organisations by becoming more closely connected to their communities and understanding / evidencing their social impact. Involved acting as critical friend to the directors, researching the national landscape for more opportunities to develop their social impact potential, and evaluating the outcomes and potential impact of some selected activities. Ultimately we reviewed the wellbeing and social impact of the general visitors to The Whitaker; a reminiscence project for older people run by the Friends of The Whitaker; and a community textiles studio project run by Gawthorpe Textiles Collection in partnership with a local housing agency.
This work quickly resulted in positive organisational outcomes including a visitor destination award and regional PR support for The Whitaker; and a commission from the NHS's social prescribing budget for Gawthorpe Textiles Collection - all of which were underpinned by the evidence and know-how gathered through this action research project. It also helped the directors reassess their priorities and structure their workloads and teams differently.
MUSEUM OF LONDON: BLENDED LEARNING RESEARCH
Working as Learning & Families Associate with Frankly, Green + Webb to research strengths and areas for development in Museum of London's blended learning for schools and families. The research included identifying if, how and why including digital technology alongside more traditional creative formats creates a different experience in workshops, tours or talks, and how much that matters to the museum's visitors.
UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS CULTURAL INSTITUTE: IDENTIFYING IMPACT
The Creative and Cultural Industries Exchange is University of Leeds' home for partnering academics and researchers with industry organisations in creative and cultural fields. Thanks to funding from the Higher Education Innovation Fund, over 40 projects have been created through such partnerships. The work involved exploring their impact to create a series of case studies showcasing the diversity and value of their activity, and identifying some of the ingredients for success, to help inform future programmes and development.
MANCHESTER SCIENCE FESTIVAL
Following five years of Festival activity, this research analysed the festival's demographic patterns across the years alongside 52 other reports covering:
> other UK science festivals from 2008 onwards
> science communication projects and evaluations
> museum evaluation and visitor pattern data from partner museums, local, regional and national museum visiting information
> local reports on cultural tourism in Manchester
The research resulted in an in-depth understanding of who, exactly, comes to the festival and why, allowing the identification of four key visitor types and their visiting behaviours and preferences regarding venues and type of events.
LANCASHIRE MUSEUMS: AUTISM CONSULTANT
Working with the Lancashire Museums team, local and national autism charities and the families who use them, and exploring examples of autism friendly museums, to research ways for museums to become more autism friendly. The museumsandautism blog holds much of the research and examples and will be an ongoing space to improve relationships between museums and autistic people. As a result of this work, Kids in Museums invited me to chair their national 'Welcoming Families with Autism' We'd love to share what we've found out at more workshops, conferences, seminars etc and help other museums developed their approach, so please get in touch if you'd like to help more museums become more accessible for more autistic people.
MUSEUM SUPPORT FOR SCHOOL TRANSITION
Commissioned by Curious Minds (Arts Council England's Bridge organisation for the NW, connecting children and young people with arts and cultural opportunities) to research the ways in which museums have been able to support children moving from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3. The work was part of the wider DfE commissioned Museums & Schools programme. The research explored 16 examples of museum and other cultural transition work from around the country, identifying a range of models of practice in museums of different sizes and governance structures, financial arrangements, social and curriculum areas and benefits linked to the activity, and the extent to which schools use this kind of provision. The research informs the 2016-17 round of Museums & Schools and how they can support school transition in the future.
Image: from ss Great Britain 'Go Aloft', one of the transition activities included in the research.
CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE'S ARTS PARTICIPATION IN RURAL AREAS
Advising a consortium of arts organisations about work with children and young people in rural areas: how to increase the opportunities for and take up by young people in rural areas; how to develop good practice for a range of very different organisations and practitioners in a way that is appropriate and meaningful to them, and how to create a cohesive approach across the consortium for a county wide shared ethos and vision for the future. This culminated in a a report including principles of good practice and a series of case studies to inspire and reflect on.
MUSIC EDUCATION HUB CASE STUDIES
Working with Curious Minds to research how Music Education Hubs helped schools working towards Artsmark or Arts Award. The case studies explored how day to day music education practice and special projects have something unique that creates wonderful results in teachers, children, young people and their local communities.
WELLCOME COLLECTION DIGITAL ARCHIVE
Working with Frankly Green & Webb to help the Wellcome Collection test a new digital tool online and in a new visitor space in the venue. Our job was to understand the vision of the Wellcome Collection team; test out a prototype version helping interpret objects from the collection in practice with potential visitors, and provide recommendations for the final version.
ARTS COUNCIL IRELAND & EARLY YEARS ARTS
Working with Earlyarts to identify characteristics of successful early years arts practice around the world. Case studies and interviews in Ireland and internationally led to a research paper for the Arts Council of Ireland. This paper contributed to the development of an arts policy for early years work across Ireland.
TATE LIVERPOOL HIGHER EDUCATION CONSORTIA
Researching and writing a module for Tate Liverpool's Higher Education network, and in particular the new Urban Education Masters at Manchester Metropolitan University. The module explored the role of the contemporary art collection, gallery and artist in facilitating learning and social development in areas of urban regeneration.
TOURING EXHIBITIONS GROUP
Touring Exhibitions Group is the UK's professional membership body for organising and touring exhibitions. This major 2 year research project identified the shape of, potential for, and barriers to touring exhibitions in the UK. The published report Mapping the Touring Landscape summarises touring aspects of: