NCACE Annual Report 2020/21: Activities, collaborations and lessons learnt

We are delighted to present our NCACE Annual Report 2020/21, providing an informative overview of our first year outcomes involving more than 1,200 people who came together in a dozen events and activities covering our key five areas of work.

Our first chapter highlights the key involvement of our Regional Partners in our work on networking and brokerage to overcome the long-standing and pervasive barriers to building productive and mutually beneficial collaborations. See examples of impactful Knowledge Exchange (KE) activities offered for blue skies discussion, regional network building and the space to consider the impact of the pandemic on current and future collaborations.

NCACE’s work on development of skills and capacity for excellent knowledge exchange between Higher Education and the arts has been another key focus for the year. We know from deep experience that there is often a fundamental lack of awareness on both sides regarding respective operating environments, funding structures, motivations, priorities and even language. In Chapter 2 we outline the activities we offered to explore different ways of bringing people together, and showcase examples of excellent and impactful KE from around the country.

In Chapter 3 we focus on our important evidencing and impact development achievements. This area of work was set up in response to the lack of understanding and recognition of the impacts of knowledge exchange between Higher Education and the arts and cultural sector. Read about the work behind the launch of the NEW NCACE Evidence Repository, including the results of our Arts professional survey, the establishment of our Evidence Café events and activities supporting this workstream, including NCACE Reports, plus a body of primary research conducted in 2021.

Showcasing and Communicating the benefits of knowledge exchange and narrating this emerging field of practice runs to the heart of the NCACE endeavour and in our first year we have created opportunities for over a thousand people from across Higher Education and the arts and cultural sector to engage and play a role in shaping work that is relevant, useful and inspiring. In Chapter 4 we highlight our editorial partnership with ArtsProfessional (AP), including our most popular article on page 20 which ranks at 35/200 of AP’s most-read articles. NCACE Blogs fall under this Work Package too, which have generated significant and diverse stories and experiences from many cultural knowledge exchange professionals.

Evaluation has been integral to NCACE from the outset and in Chapter 5 we outline our plans, underpinned by principles of co-design, with particular regard to inclusivity, difference and diversity.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our successful first year. We have listed the NCACE networks that have taken part and helped bring NCACE to fruition, including our Hub Partners, Sounding Board, Collaborations Champions Network, and all the people who have participated in our activities.

To find out how to participate in future NCACE activities, sign-up to our monthly bulletins.

Read our Annual Report 2020/21 here