Dr. Ben Walmsley and Dr. Molly Goyer Gorman
A major challenge facing arts and cultural managers is an ever-growing need to demonstrate social and economic impact as justification for investment. This challenge is not only relevant to the publicly subsidised arts and cultural sector, but also regarding government rationales in creating supportive infrastructures for the establishment of new creative and cultural businesses. These limited views of justification make discussing the value of the arts and culture a difficult process. We will explore these issues in detail through talks by Dr. Ben Walmsley, Director of the new UK National Centre for Cultural Value, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and Dr. Molly Goyer Gorman and students studying on the MA in Arts Management in 2018/19 at Queen’s.
Dr. Walmsley will outline the vision and core strategic objectives of the new Centre for Cultural Value and explore the challenges inherent to addressing questions of cultural value and engagement in a pragmatic way that makes a tangible different to the arts and cultural sector.
Dr. Goyer Gorman present her recently completed PhD research into the social value of youth drama groups in rural areas of Northern Ireland.
Students who recently completed the 2018/19 MA in Arts Management at Queen’s will present new research, expanding our exploration of how, where and why value matters in the arts and cultural sector:
Kate Ellis, Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace: Policy, Practice and Prevention in the Publicly Funded Arts in Northern Ireland
Carley Gancher, The construction of LGBTQ+ Identities in Northern Ireland
Caoimhe McGee, A Study of Audience Response to Autistic Portrayals and the Impact of Representation
We hope you will join us for a reception afterward for chats with our guests, graduates and new students.
This is a unique opportunity for policymakers and arts and cultural practitioners to engage in analysis and discussion of new research in Northern Ireland and explore ways we can work together more. It is the only offering of its kind in an MA in Arts Management course in the UK.
Ben Walmsley is Associate Professor in Audience Engagement in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds (UK). He is Director of the national Centre for Cultural Value and of the International Network for Audience Research in the Performing Arts. Prior to his academic career, Ben managed a small touring theatre company in Edinburgh before working as Operations Manager and then Producer at the National Theatre of Scotland. Between 2010 and 2017, Ben was engaged as an Artistic Assessor for drama for Arts Council England. Since 2014 he has been the Academic Director of the Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme, which is now one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations. Ben is the Co-Editor of Arts and the Market and has published widely in a number of peer-reviewed journals on arts marketing, arts management, cultural policy and cultural value. His monograph Audience Engagement in the Performing Arts: A critical analysis was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2019.
Molly Goyer Gorman is the Fundraising Manager for Imaginate, Scotland's national organisation which promotes and develops professional theatre and dance for children. Her focus is on developing new income streams beyond public funding, in particular from trusts and foundations and corporate sponsorship. As well as her fund raising activities, Molly recently led a successful application to the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities to secure a Collaborative Doctoral Award for Imaginate: a 4-year funded PhD studentship in partnership with the University of Aberdeen. Commencing in October 2019, the PhD student, Belinda Mc Elhinney, will explore how children, parents and teachers value experiences of live theatre and dance through Imaginate's projects. One of the first graduates of the MA in Arts Management at Queen’s University Belfast, Molly completed a PhD with the university in 2019. She has previously worked as Development Officer for Toonspeak Young People's Theatre and Outreach Assistant for Young at Art. Molly is motivated by the joy of youth arts, and the challenge of understanding and communicating the value of the arts to individuals and society.