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About us

The Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value has conducted a 12 month inquiry into how Britain can secure greater value from its cultural and creative assets. Launched in November 2013, the Commission has been culturally led and academically informed. It has reviewed a wide range of inputs and analysis, including:

• Evidence and testimony from over 200 individuals from across the arts, culture and heritage sectors, the creative industries, organisations responsible for arts development and training, government bodies and academics.

• Insights from those knowledgeable about culture: those who make, market, consume, teach, learn, and enjoy art.

• Four Commissioner evidence days, which explored themes including education and talent, and valuing and investing in culture.

• Three high-profile public debates, including contributions from Robert Peston, Sir John Sorrell, Graham Sheffield CBE and Munira Mirza, amongst others.

• Targeted evidence and research reviews from key staff across the University of Warwick.

Who are we?

The Warwick Commission connects 15 prestigious Commissioners with a distinguished academic reference group and a management team at the University of Warwick, as well a series of partner institutions.

The Commissioners

The project is led by fifteen Commissioners and their Chairman, Vikki Heywood CBE. These are high-profile artists, chief executives, economists and professors who have influential roles in the arts world, and work ceaselessly to promote culture in the UK today.

The Academic Reference Group

The Commission’s Directors of Study, Prof. Jonothan Neelands and Dr Eleonora Belfiore lead the academic reference group. This is a selection of internationally recognised scholars from the University of Warwick with specialisms from languages, medicine and business, to sociology, literature and politics.

Commission Partners

The Commission is delighted to be working closely with four partners across the UK: the British Council, Cheltenham Festivals, the Design Council and the RSA. Our partners will provide important evidence to the Commission, support and host the strategic thematic meetings, and facilitate a wide ranging public engagement.

The Warwick Team

The project is supported and guided by the Project Manager and Research Fellows at Warwick, who provide organisational and research support for the Commission.

The Warwick Commission Model_dsc3605.jpg

The Warwick Commission was established by the University of Warwick in 2007 with the aim of drawing on the scholarly expertise of Warwick academics as well as practitioners and policy makers to address issues of global importance.

In the best traditions of intellectual discovery, the Warwick Commissions are charged with carrying out independent analysis of a particular issue with the goal of making practical and realistic recommendations about how to move it forward.

The aim of the Commissions is to make thought provoking contributions to the debate thereby assisting policymakers to find solutions to sometimes seemingly intractable problems. The activities of the Commission and its Reports are intended as an exercise in public policy informed by rigorous scholarly and analytical thinking.

The History of the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value

The current Warwick Commission grew out of another Warwick arts initiative, the Warwick Creative Exchange (WCE). Bringing academic staff from twelve departments across all four faculties together with practitioners from 15 West Midlands cultural organisations, WCE aims to develop interdisciplinary research and knowledge exchanges between the University and the West Midlands cultural community.

WCE logo

Arising from an exchange of information about their work objectives and areas of interest, the participants initially identified five research themes as summing up their main research interests and concerns. These were:

1. The Real Value of Arts and Culture;
2. Rethinking Impact and Evaluation;
3. Performances and Audiences in the Digital Era;
4. Reconnecting Classical and Contemporary;
5. Professionalism and Participation.

As the project developed, the first two of these themes were refined down to one: ‘Rethinking Value – Revaluing the Arts’. It was at a conference session on this subject of value that the suggestion was made for a Warwick Commission specifically focused on cultural value, a suggestion that was enthusiastically endorsed by those present.

As it has progressed, the Commission has maintained strong links with the Warwick Creative Exchange and many of our academic members continue to work on both projects.

To find out more about the Warwick Creative Exchange, visit their website: