The Understanding Everyday Participation project (UEP) and The Whitworth hosted a workshop on March 22, 2017.
The event Valuing Parks and their Communities, centred on the values and practices of community engagement in public parks. It considered the recommendations of the recent CLG Select Committee on the Future of Public Parks, which identified issues concerning the competing demands and inequalities of access amongst different user groups. Participants discussed these in the light of recent University of Manchester research and the work of cultural institutions and community groups. Attendees included representatives from Manchester City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, community groups and the National Trust.
During the afternoon participants considered the co-production of a guide to good practice to inform community engagement and sustainable management models for public parks.
Policy blog: Dr Abigail Gilmore, who Chaired the event, discusses related issues in her recent blog: The Space to Thrive: Public parks and everyday participation.
Public parks have provided generations of urban dwellers with havens from the noise and pollution of their towns and cities. They are places where people participate in family life, friendship, sports and exercise, nature watching and private contemplation.
Read UEP’s Research Briefing: The Value of Public Parks and their Communities UEP Research Briefing
We are delighted to announce the publication of Understanding Everyday Participation’s second special issue of Cultural Trends. This issue focuses on the situated nature and territorial dynamics of participation. It contains six main articles that explore – in different ways and various contexts – how everyday cultural practices and understandings of their value both shape and are influenced by place, space and locality.
- Editorial: Everyday participation and cultural value in place; Andrew Miles and Lisanne Gibson (publication expected 6/02/17)
- Fields of participation and lifestyle in England: revealing the regional dimension from a reanalysis of the ‘Taking Part’ Survey using Multiple Factor Analysis; Adrian Leguina and Andrew Miles
- The park and the commons: vernacular spaces for everyday participation and cultural value; Abigail Gilmore
- Libraries and the geography of use: how does geography and asset ‘attractiveness’ influence the local dimensions of cultural participation?; Varina Delrieu and Lisanne Gibson
- The village in the city: participation and cultural value on the urban periphery; Andrew Miles and Jill Ebrey
- Counting the Pennies: The politics of place and the cultural value of charity shopping in the creative economy; Delyth Edwards and Lisanne Gibson
- Performing Moreton Hampstead: rurality, participation and cultural value; Kerrie Schaefer, Delyth Edwards and Jane Milling
The first Understanding Everyday Participation special issue
The first Understanding Everyday Participation special issue of Cultural Trends contains articles by Eleonora Belfiore, Jill Ebrey, Lisanne Gibson and Delyth Edwards, Andrew Miles and Mark Taylor, which set out some of our early findings. It also frames the central propositions of Understanding Everyday Participation. The research is concerned with the orientation of cultural policy and state-funded cultural programming, cultural participation, and value.
UEP argues that cultural policy and state-funded cultural programming is in need of a radical overhaul, beyond the orthodoxy of cultural engagement approaches which are based on a narrow definition (and understanding) of participation – and which obscure the significance of other forms of cultural participation situated locally in the everyday realm.
This summary of Susan Oman’s recent chapter, ‘Measuring National Well-being: What Matters to You? What Matters to Whom?‘ outlines the importance of in-depth enquiries into the methodological aspects of metrics and what they might tell us about culture. Continue reading
Dr Abigail Gilmore leads discussions on the role of culture in the Northern Powerhouse
Here Susan Oman reposts her review of Making culture count: the politics of cultural measurement, edited by Lachlan MacDowall, Marnie Badham, Emma Blomkamp and Kim Dunphy, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, ISBN 978-1-137-46457-6.
Sarah Hughes shares insights from her UEP PhD research in her post, Understanding cultural participation and value in former coalmining communities in and around Barnsley
One of the aims of the Understanding Everyday Participation (UEP) project is to strive towards a more democratic understanding of participation. We are exploring ways in which decisions about cultural investment are made, and how they relate to particular forms and contexts for governance, nationally and in relation to different local cultural eco-systems in England and Scotland.
Culture is frequently described in terms of its relationship to well-being. Often, the implication being, that culture is only as GOOD as the quality of its attachment to well-being. Well-being is the patriarch, the most powerful and the one to do the serious work of policy, while culture is there to make us feel pretty. While playing with the ways in which the culture – well-being relationship is represented, the serious work of my provocation is to ask for a rethinking of this portrayal in order to move forward. To break not only the Temples of Culture, to cite the name of this event, but what seem to be sacred depictions of culture, as relative to well-being, in policy.
This report describes research focusing on the participation of young people growing up in care. The research was carried out as part of the Understanding Everyday Participation- Articulating Cultural Values project. In this work we wanted to understand the ways in which the ‘facilitated’ and ‘everyday’ activities of young people are valued by them, their immediate carers, and the representatives of the corporate parent. Continue reading
Abi Gilmore looks at why policy-making for the arts and culture is an important area when considering the implementation and impact of DevoManc.
Cultural policy is often an afterthought, frequently side-lined by other policy debates on health, housing and crime reduction. When decision-making for the arts makes the news, it is usually in relation to some perceived injustice, which either falls outside of prevailing norms of what art and culture is valuable (e.g. consternations over the national follies of Lottery funding for the Millennium Dome) or fares poorly in comparisons with other policy areas which assume greater social need (e.g. funding for public art in hospitals compared with hospital beds). Continue reading