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New Online Research Library Celebrates 20 Years of Collaboration and Partnership between AHRC and Clore Leadership

AHRC and Clore Leadership Logo

Today Clore Leadership are pleased to be launching a new compendium of cultural research: The Clore Leadership/AHRC Online Research Library. The library is a curated repository of research undertaken by Clore Leadership Fellows, funded through a long-standing partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation.  Featuring over 70 research papers written across the past two decades, the dynamic body of cultural research will continue to grow with contributions from each cohort of Clore Leadership Fellows, reflecting current trends in cultural leadership.

Conceived originally as an opportunity for “research, reflection, and writing on a subject of practical relevance to the field in which they are working”, the partnership with AHRC was established at the outset of the Clore Leadership programme in 2003.  Across the past 20 years it has provided awards enabling Clore Leadership Fellows to undertake a focused research project supervised by an academic at a UK university. Since its inception, the partnership has supported over 200 projects, many of which are now available for the first time in the research library.

For AHRC, collaborating with Clore Leadership is part of its strategic drive to support talented people and world-class ideas that enable the arts and humanities to thrive. The research has benefitted from Clore Leadership’s work to make space for leaders from across the cultural sector and a diverse variety of backgrounds to think and develop. Their passion comes through alongside the practical relevance and rigour of the papers.

Research papers included in the library cover a wide variety of topics focussing on critical elements of leadership practice and development as well by prevailing local and global issues.  Consultant and Clore Leadership Fellow, Magnus Copps has curated the library, cataloguing papers into relevant themes which, in turn, link the research library with a far wider corpus of thinking, writing, and activity delivered by Clore Leadership.  These include: ‘Climate Leadership’; ‘digital innovation’; ’Inclusive Leadership Practice’; and ‘Leadership Styles’.   Papers are also classified by AHRC Research Subject Areas such as ‘Cultural Geography’, ‘Heritage Management’, and ‘Community Art’, meaning that they can be related to the breadth and richness of research supported across the AHRC portfolio in Higher Education Institutions and Independent Research Organisations.

We have taken the step to publish Fellows’ research papers to mark the 20th anniversary of the partnership between Clore Leadership and the AHRC and to provide a rich and varied resource for the sector.  As with all great libraries, the best way to learn about this one is to explore it; to find the unexpected inspirations or the keenly sought evidence that we might need.  We hope that cultural leaders and academics alike will find value in the explorations of Clore Leadership Fellows and that, in turn, their research will help stimulate further thinking and conversations which support leadership across the sector.

Clore Leadership and AHRC will be hosting a free online symposium to consider the learnings from the Research Library and explore what it tells us about future research needs. Featuring Fellows and academics who have contributed research projects to the Library, Magnus Copps, colleagues from AHRC and cultural sector leaders, the symposium will take place on Monday 15 January 2024 [Date TBC], with further details to be published in early November.

Sir Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library and Clore Leadership board member said:

“We are delighted to be launching the Clore Leadership/AHRC Online Research Library, giving access to the rich body of research that Clore Leadership Fellows have produced over the past two decades.  Funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council has enabled our Fellows to extend the explorations initiated during the Fellowship programme, stimulating wider debates and strategic responses to critical issues for the sector.  We are hugely grateful to the AHRC for their continued support for this research, which provides the time and space for cultural leaders to reflect deeply on practice and create important contributions to thought leadership.”

Dr Jaideep Gupte, Director of Research, Strategy and Innovation, Arts and Humanities Research Council said:

“AHRC’s 20 year partnership with Clore Leadership has enabled us to engage with the cultural sector through supporting fellows to undertake research projects and explore topics which meet sector needs, as well as developing and honing the Fellows’ research skills through collaboration and engagement. 

The launch of the Online Research Library will enable greater impact from the Fellows’ work and will provide a varied and stimulating resource for the sector to broaden and deepen the research, which we hope will contribute to the growth of a sector that is so vital for society and the economy.”

Magnus Copps, Consultant & Research Library Project Manager, said:

“As a recent graduate of the Clore Cultural Leadership Fellowship myself, it’s been a truly inspirational opportunity to bring together the Clore Leadership/AHRC Online Research Library. From the very outset of the programme, the papers show how fellows have channelled their rigour and passion into researching incredibly diverse and often challenging topics, and in doing so have pushed boundaries in many directions, most notably in my view toward a more inclusive cultural sector. I hope the availability of more of these papers online will offer new opportunities for cultural practitioners and academics to come together to strengthen the cultural sector for the future.”

Editors Notes

For interviews and further information please contact: [email protected]

Topics explored across AHRC/Clore Leadership Online Research Library papers include:

Race & decolonisation:  Investigation on how the cultural sector has and still needs to tackle the legacy of the historical injustices of racism and colonialization, featuring a number of contributions by leaders from minoritised backgrounds.

Community building & creativity:  Examination of social & cultural exchange internationally and how the cultural sector contributes to civic engagement.

Supporting freelance workers & artists: Exploration of support structures for those working as independent practitioners across the cultural sector.

Leadership development & transformation: Research into contemporary developments in cultural leadership including models such as co-leadership, use of emotional intelligence in cultural workplaces and leading during times of uncertainty.

Environmental Responsibility: Seeking to better understand the relationship between culture and  sustainability and cultural leaders can contribute towards and influence the climate debate.

AHRC/Clore Leadership Online Research Library papers have been produced by Clore Leadership Fellows, including:

Maria Balshaw, Director, Tate: “Creative partnerships – the impact of creative collaboration between artists and schools/young people

Tony Butler, Director, Derby Museum Trust: “Can culture be used to build sustainable rural communities?

Jamie Beddard, Co-Director,Diverse City & Lead Artists of Extraordinary Bodies:“What are the Synergies Between the Experience of Disability and Effective Leadership?”

Claire Antrobus, Coach, Facilitator & Consultant: “Two heads are better than one – What art galleries and museums can learn from the joint leadership model in theatre” / “Co-Leadership: An opportunity for the UK cultural sector to increase leadership diversity and impact

Tonya Nelson, Executive Director, Enterprise & Innovation, Arts Council England: “Analysing the Impact of Museum Exhibitions on Achieving Cultural Diplomacy Objectives

Dr Ceri Gorton, Founder, Bird & Gorton: “Building Digital Leadership and Resilience in the UK’s Cultural Sector

Jonathan May, Deputy Director, Photoworks: “Notes toward a personal manifesto of uncertainty

Julia Twomlow, Creative Director & CEO, PK Porthcurno: Cable Ties: Reconnecting Communities Through Heritage Activism

Gaylene Gould, Creative Director, The Space to Come: “Re Up: Restorative care practice as leadership development

Kate McGrath, Director & CEO, Fuel Theatre: “Fuelling Change: A case study of the effect of the producer on the UK’s performance sector

About the Arts & Humanities Research Council

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, funds internationally outstanding independent researchers across the whole range of the arts and humanities: history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages and literature, design, heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and much more. The quality and range of research supported by AHRC works for the good of UK society and culture and contributes both to UK economic success and to the culture and welfare of societies across the globe.   

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