NCACE supports four Micro-Commissions to co-create a new and different future for Arts/Culture and Higher Education collaborations

Following on from the NCACE Ideas Pool Open Call ‘Co-Creating a New and Different Future for Arts / Higher Education Collaboration’ in the Autumn of 2021, inviting NCACE Micro-Commission applications, the team is delighted to announce that four awards have been allocated to university and arts/cultural sector partnerships this January 2022. 

Outcomes from the four awarded collaborative projects will feed specifically into NCACE’s Brokerage, Collaboration Support and Networking’ Areas of Work, to aid academic staff with a keen interest in developing social impacts, and arts/culture sector workers who wish to develop university partnerships, with better knowledge exchange and collaboration understanding.

The following collaborative proposals have received NCACE Micro-Commission awards to take their ideas forward;

  • The Independent Theatre Council (ITC) and The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) will collaborate to research the key enabling factors that support a theatre organisation (or other arts and cultural organisation) to undertake knowledge exchange or collaborative research with a university partner, and deliver guidance to help universities budget appropriately for this work within funding bids and their wider KE work.
  • The Stables in Milton Keynes will work with The Open University's Music Computing Lab partnership on the Polifonia project, and deaf and disabled artists, on a project exploring the use of adaptive technology to develop inclusive music with participation by Deaf and Disabled people. The project will interrogate barriers to knowledge exchange and HE collaboration from the point of view of a cultural organisation developing its disability and access work, and how they share their learning and insights.
  • Sangini and Vamos will collaborate with Northumbria University to understand how knowledge exchange between HE and grassroots cultural practitioners (particularly small Black and Minoritised organisations and freelancers) both regionally and in academia can become more resilient, better understood and valued. The Micro-Commission will support two workshops that will begin to investigate a vision and practicalities for a joint Black-led cultural resource centre and living archive in the North East. 
  • Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) and Birmingham City University will use their award to interrogate their existing successful partnership to help better understand the civic role of universities and how this plays a part when developing relationships; how university resources can be unlocked, defining the benefit to the partnership to create sustainable, longer term, meaningful relationships. A particular strand of enquiry will focus on how knowledge exchange can help decolonise collections and learning resources.

These small awards will culminate in an NCACE report for the higher education and arts and cultural sector, aiming to;

  • Identify key learnings and outcomes from the micro-commissions partnerships
  • Share findings in a concise and accessible way with the relevant constituencies
  • Signpost additional relevant resources and opportunities for those wishing to develop collaborations and enhance capacity and skills in this area, both from within NCACE resources and activities or other external sources.

NCACE will further support the dissemination of project learning through a combination of blogs, workshops and engagements. These, along with the report, will be accessible via the NEW NCACE Evidence Hub, also announced this January.

Micro-Commission outcomes will be highlighted in the NCACE bulletin later in the Spring, so sign-up to be notified.