Balshaw joins Mendoza arts crisis panel

Tate director Maria Balshaw (pictured here by Bloomberg) has been named today as a member of the expert panel exploring the impact of the Covid pandemic on the arts and their response.

The panel will look at issues such as a return to live performance, the implications of digital audience development, getting income from digital creativity and the connection between art and well-being.

Jointly chaired by the government’s commissioner for cultural recovery and renewal, Neil Mendoza, and Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) chair Professor Andrew Thompson, the panel will meet monthly from September and report its recommendations to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as part of the government’s pandemic recovery plans. Its findings will be released next summer.

“From heritage sites to immersive theatre, culture in all its forms is a vital part of our lives throughout the nation” said Mendoza, who was last weekend nominated as a prospective new peer. “This project is a unique and immediate opportunity to explore the impact of the pandemic on culture and learn how digital innovation can support the sector’s ultimate recovery and renewal.”

The panel consists of:

Maria Balshaw, director of Tate;

Joanna Abeyie, founder of the executive search agency Blue Moon;

John Cassy, former head of Sky Arts and founder of Factory 42;

Helen Chatterjee, professor of biology at University College London;

Andrew Chitty, professor of creative industries at Loughborough University;

Imogen Heap, musician and audio engineer;

Chris Michaels, director of digital at the National Gallery;

Neelay Patel, director Digital Theatre and former head of BBC iPlayer;

Sara Pepper, director of creative economy at Cardiff University;

Jo Twist, CEO of UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie).

The panel will guide the AHRC/DCMS joint research project gathering information from a range of research projects funded by the AHRC and the UK Research Institute with programmes in their Boundless Creativity response to Covid-19 such as Audiences of the Future, Towards a National Collection and the Creative Industries Clusters Programme.

Specific areas the panel will look at are:

How the pandemic is paving the way toward new business models in the creative and cultural sector;

 _Accelerated transformation in creative technology;

 _Challenges and opportunities in adapting to digital consumption;

 _How to accelerate the return to and Covid-proof live events;

 _The monetisation of digital cultural offerings and content;

 _The connection between culture and quality of life, including mental health and well-being.

“Culture and creativity are powerful forces. Together they shape our rich shared national heritage” Thompson said. “Both of these forces are increasingly entwined with the digital technological revolution of our times.

Boundless Creativity is designed to explore the interactions between the cultural and the digital, and between the physical and the virtual worlds. The AHRC is determined to bring to bear the insights from the research we fund on the recovery of our arts, cultural and creative sectors. This joint research project will put the expertise of arts and humanities researchers at the heart of Whitehall, forging a strong knowledge partnership between the AHRC and DCMS” he said.



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