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Anthony Ruck

I am an ESRC Doctoral Researcher, working on a collaborative award between The University of Warwick and Stan’s Cafe in Birmingham. My research interests include cultural policy, education, the arts and inequalities. My research sits between the Department of Sociology and the Department of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies and is looking at arts education and the potential for social and political change.

I have worked in formal and informal education, design, and in arts education and policy for regional and national organisations. Beginning with youth work and democracy, I have volunteered with organisations such as Coventry City Council, UK Youth Parliament, The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS) and the Terrence Higgins Trust.

My first degree was in graphic design and advertising at the London College of Printing, followed by the setting up of a design studio based in London focused on participatory design practice with children and Young People. Later I worked as a regional cultural adviser to the governments Building Schools for the Future programme, developing partnerships between cultural organisations, schools and local authorities to explore the transformation of education through arts and culture. After this, at MADE (Midlands Architecture & the Designed Environment) - I worked as arts and cultural programmes manager developing and leading the built environment programmes and public events for artists, Young People and other built environment professionals.

My Masters at the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies at the University of Warwick explored the potential for cultural citizenship within the English education system, and after this I worked at A New Direction and Arts Council England in the national learning team - and have shaped and lead a number of regional and national programmes, projects and consultations. I have worked with a wide variety of practitioners, schools and organisations and have shaped, produced and spoken at national conferences and developed research programmes with partners that include large-scale quantitative studies, action research and ethnographic studies. Highlights have included a two-year Department for Education programme ‘Strong Voices’ looking at cultural engagement of disadvantaged and vulnerable young Londoners, and a national consultation with Virtual Schools looking at arts and culture alongside the education of children looked after.

Nicholas Whybrow
Cath Lambert

Sample Projects:

Politics Power Culture (Facilitator):
A video, created and developed by Young People, exploring politics, power and culture as part of Parliament Week 2014 at the Houses of Parliament.

Cultural Capital Conference (Organiser):
An event that looked at how London’s arts and cultural sector can come together with organisations that work with disadvantaged young people to ensure equity of access. We set out shared priorities for Young Londoners, and heard about A New Directions latest research and programmes that shed light on the lives of all young Londoners.

Strong Voices Conference (Speaker):
A presentation with Lara Stavrinou sharing the findings of the two-year programme looking at connections between the youth and cultural sectors, working with disadvantaged and vulnerable young Londoners,


Anthony Ruck