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University of Bedfordshire
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Arts & culture

The University of Bedfordshire partners with many organisations to widen participation in the arts and enable the artists in our communities to thrive.


  • testbeds is informed by current entrepreneurship practices in the commercial start-up and technology industries. By immersing artists and creative practitioners in a University-led hothouse for creative innovation, testbeds pushes them to consider the social, economic, environmental and technological contexts that impact their work. Ideas incubation, partnership creation and business skills-development all aid artists in considering their practice in entrepreneurial contexts to inform new creative businesses.
  • Artists explore their practice in the context of the placemaker in Luton: examining how their work can help shape and define this super-diverse town. testbeds positions Luton as the centre for the creative industries in Bedfordshire. It cultivates a thriving economy in Luton and enables artists to build successful creative enterprises that benefit Luton economically, creatively and socially.
  • testbeds brings choreographers, musicians, designers, theatre-makers, visual artists and writers together in a collaborative incubator for arts innovation. Artists of all backgrounds will significantly increase their capacity to affect real change on the community of Luton and work as placemakers, global citizens and catalyst for change.
  • testbeds is part of Arts Council England’s Luton Investment Programme and in partnership with Luton Culture and ROH Bridge, will cultivate a thriving creative ecology in Luton, enable artists to thrive economically, creatively and socially, and increase young people’s access to arts and culture.

2017 Conference: A Sense of Place: Arts, enterprise and placemaking

a sense of place: arts, enterprise and placemaking - an interdisciplinary conference

Artists engaged in a range of art forms, artistic and cultural practices are exploring our new concepts of home, community, and location. Our sense of place has been challenged by societal and technological change leading to concerns over location mapping, population movement, suburban development and the dislocation of community. Creative practice allows us to explore these changes and test new scenarios which in turn have important benefits for social cohesion, rural and urban identity and public impact.

Placemaking as a concept is receiving considerable interest and is deployed across a range of professional, policy and academic domains as a means of both intervention and knowledge production in relation to public space, cultural policy, participatory practices, identity and community engagement. In the light of significant challenges to notions of globalisation and international mobility, placemaking becomes a further contested and challenging locus for debate. It is an inherently multidisciplinary endeavour which relies on collaboration and partnership working.

Call for Papers is now open until 31 August 2017.

Bedfordshire University

Partners» Arts & culture