Author Q&A to discuss the critical role of community arts

Thu 14 January, 2021
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Two University of Bedfordshire academics are hosting a virtual Author Talk and Q&A to present the research-rich content of their new book, Developing a Sense of Place.

Co-editors Dr Tamara Ashley, Senior Lecturer in Dance in the School of Media and Performance, and Professor Alexis Weedon, Director of the Research Institute for Media, Art and Performance, will lead the Talk before being joined by many of the book’s contributors for a special Q&A segment . The event promises to provide the audience with a rich and stimulating conversation about the role of arts in community regeneration, with the editors presenting some of the case studies and projects highlighted in the Open Access book.

Published recently by UCL Press, the book was funded by the University’s Arts & Culture Projects team and focusses on the critical part that creative and performance arts play in economic regeneration of communities. Bringing together new models and case studies from a variety of geographical or socio-cultural contexts, Developing a Sense of Place considers how planners, policy-makers and artists build a ‘sense of place’ in their community.

To further explain their work and to take questions on the subject, Professor Weedon and Dr Ashley decided to host this free event for students, staff and the public to join on Wednesday 20th January. To attend, email and receive the Zoom link.

Event: Developing a Sense of Place: Author Talk and Q&A
Time 11am-1:15pm, Wednesday 20th January 2021
Location: Zoom – Links will be sent to registered individuals
Tickets: Email


Dr Ashley, whose past research has included post-humanism and dance in the context of environmental change, believes the collaboration shown in the creation of Developing a Sense of Place was vitally important to its success. She said:

Producing this book has been an incredibly rewarding experience and it has been fantastic to be able to document some of the excellent and innovative practice on place-making by the UK’s arts and university sectors, as well as further afield.

This book shows what is possible when artists collaborate with local communities and engage in work that contributes to civic development and improves the quality of life for those involved.

Therefore, we thought it a great opportunity to host a public Q&A involving some of the book’s editors and contributors, to help share our collaborative thoughts, findings and experiences with a wider audience. This event could even help inspire future policy-making through the involvement of upcoming arts projects and new partner artists.

Dr Ashley continued:

The models of partnership featured in the book between local councils, civic organizations, universities and hard to reach populations, such as people at risk, illustrate that the artist is a catalyst for communication, connection and collaboration that ultimately strengthens the sense of place and community for all involved.

The book was funded by the University’s Arts and Culture Projects team, based within the Faculty of Creative Arts, Technologies & Science, and is available to purchase in hardback and paperback – as well as to access for free as an Open Access PDF – via the UCL Press website.

Further details about the Author Talk and Q&A can be found on Facebook or via the University’s Events Calendar.

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