The Parliamentary Review – Professor Andrew Thompson

Earlier this year, The Parliamentary Review published a piece by Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Executive Chair, Professor Andrew Thompson, about the council’s relationship with the culture and heritage sectors.

Professor Andrew Thompson explored how the relationship between the cultural sector and arts and humanities funding has changed over the past decade as a number of museums, libraries, galleries, archives and heritage bodies were designated as Independent Research Organisations. Since then, the AHRC has established a reputation as the world’s leading funding agency, brokering partnerships between the UK’s research-intensive universities and flagship cultural institutions.

The article also explores the AHRC’s role in research and development of the creative industries. The UK is home to the two biggest research and development programmes in the creative industries: the Creative Industries Clusters Programme and the Audience of the Future programme.

Finally, the piece delves into AHRC’s contribution to the fight to end modern slavery. Professor Thompson articulates how this can only be achieved when we better understand its routes, its motivations, its context, its deterrents and its prevention.  The AHRC-funded Policy and Evidence Centre for Modern Slavery and Human Rights will, for the first time, bring together research councils, academics, policymakers, businesses, charities and victims to drive forward new studies, share knowledge and improve collaboration both at home and overseas, to further strengthen our response.

This article was published before the coronavirus outbreak took hold and the lockdown came into force in mid-March, which has had such a huge impact on the cultural and heritage sector. There has been a flowering of new technologically-driven creativity from people and organisations across the arts and culture community to keep connected with people, often reaching new audiences. For many, during this time of huge change, the arts has taken on an added new significance in their daily life as we stay at home.

Research and innovation can play an important part in leading the recovery of a sector that matters so much to people and communities across the UK and is such a success story, helping to cement our place as a global player in arts and culture. The AHRC will work with researchers, curators and people across the creative industries and cultural sector to find new pathways and opportunities to build deeper digital engagement and reconnect people with artistic and cultural spaces.

To find out more about AHRC’s work with the cultural sector, the creative industries and in the fight against modern slavery, read the full article via The Parliamentary Review.

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