The Centre for Applied and Participatory Arts is a multi-disciplinary research centre which works closely with colleagues in academic schools, research centres and institutes across the University. The Centre connects the 'applied' expertise of academics in the performing arts to other disciplines.
The use of the arts and creativity across social and public sectors, both local and international is well known for its benefits in increasing well-being, education and cognitive awareness/understanding across a wide spectrum, from self-awareness and advocacy to policy change.
Our experience in applied arts practice, working as cultural brokers and facilitators in different HE, business and community contexts, enables us to work with the arts to create shared values and purpose in partnerships between researchers in socially-engaged projects and their partners in diverse communities and settings.
The value of this 'applied' approach is explored in a recent report on HEI Knowledge Exchange collaborations published by Virani and Pratt, (2016) which analyses collaborations between HEI and industry. The report sets out a case for a greater role for 'cultural intermediaries' to establish trust between academic and industry partners who may have conflicting needs and attitudes in relation to research. Establishing or 'translating' rules of participation, they argue, is a key function in successful KE collaboration.