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New network with 1.2 million audience brings together UK’s university based arts venues

Warwick Arts CentreA consortium of university-based centres with a combined annual audience of over 1.2 million people has been launched to share best practice and offer opportunities for collaboration.

The new University Centres for the Arts Network (UCAN) is a response to the very widely reported “Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value” run by the University of Warwick last year. One of the Warwick Commission’s recommendations was that: “Higher Education institutions should develop long term commitment and strategies to position themselves as beacons of civic and cultural engagement and as a resource for the local community by offering access to facilities, skills and new avenues of funding”.

Andrea Pulford, spokesperson for the  new network (and  Director of Planning and Operations at Warwick Arts Centre) Andrea Pulford, spokesperson for the new network (and Director of Planning and Operations at Warwick Arts Centre) said:

“This is a dynamic group of twenty two university based arts venues who are united in our understanding of how Higher Education operates within an arts context; how university structures can influence, develop and support the arts industry and a have direct link to Higher Education in England, Scotland and Wales.”

“Together, these venues present to, and engage with, in excess of 1.2 million audiences annually with an annual total turnover in excess of £25 million.”

Alongside the professional public-facing programmes of artistic work which are produced and presented, the venues in the new network share a commitment to and expertise in:

  • Supporting artists and new work, acting as incubators and catalysts for new ideas and innovative practices, and developing partnerships with artists and organisations regionally, nationally and internationally.

  • Supporting students and young people as producers, curators and performance makers, developing transferable employment skills and embedding the value of lifelong learning.

  • Creating conversations, spaces and environments where creatives, academics, professionals and communities can meet, develop cross disciplinary collaboration, new insights and connections, innovation, participation, presentation, and shared experiences.

  • Supporting universities’ research and impact agenda and teaching programmes directly and indirectly, and encouraging curiosity and creativity through problem solving in learning.

  • Engaging with local and regional communities, widening participation through events on and off campus, maximising social impact and community cohesion.

  • Contributing to the local landscape socially and economically through cultural place making.

Notes to Editors

The University Centres for the Arts Network (UCAN) is a consortium of arts centres, theatres, concert halls and galleries based in the UK, each with the University as a major stakeholder. Current UCAN members are:

 

Aberystwyth Arts Centre (Aberystwyth University)

Attenborough Arts Centre (formerly Embrace Arts) (University of Leicester)

Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (University of Sussex)

Derby Theatre (University of Derby)

Gulbenkian (University of Kent)

Hardwick Gallery (University of Gloucestershire)

Ivy Arts Centre (University of Surrey)

Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University (Lancaster University)

Leeds College of Music (Leeds City College)

Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (University of Lincoln)

Macrobert, Arts Centre (University of Stirling)

Middleton Hall and Gulbenkian Centre for Hull (University of Hull)

National Glass Centre (University of Sunderland)

Nottingham Lakeside Arts, (University of Nottingham)

Northcott Theatre (University of Exeter)

Peninsula Arts (Plymouth University)

Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre (Bangor University)

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (University of South Wales)

Taliesin Arts Centre (Swansea University)

The Edge (formerly ICIA) (University of Bath)

Turner Sims, also representing The Nuffield and John Hansard Gallery (University of Southampton)

Warwick Arts Centre (University of Warwick)

 

The Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value

The 2015 Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value explored the social, economic and artistic value of culture and stated “Culture and creativity exist in a distinct ecosystem. They feed and depend on each other. The points of connection between the Cultural and Creative Industries are where the potential for greatest value creation resides – culturally, socially, and economically. Higher Education Institutions should develop long term commitment and strategies to position themselves as beacons of civic and cultural engagement and as a resource for the local community by offering access to facilities, skills and new avenues of funding”.

“The key message from this report is that the government[s] and the cultural and creative industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and bad for society.
Vikki Heywood CBE, Chairman of the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value

 

For further information please contact:

Andrea Pulford, Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL
Email: a.pulford@warwick.ac.uk
Tel: 024 765 24452

or

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy, University House
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 8UW, United Kingdom
email: p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)24 76 523708 Mobile/Cell: +44 (0)7767 655860

PR402 23rd May 2016