Swindells, Steve and Powell, Anna (2014) Cultural Leadership, Education and Curation: Measuring the Immeasurable? In: CUVIC 2014 - Beyond Engagement: Creating Integration, Innovation and Impact, 20th-22nd May 2014, University of Victoria, Canada. (Unpublished)

In 2011 we commenced a formal partnership with Huddersfield Art Gallery, UK to offer a programme of exhibitions – entitled ROTOR – featuring the work of our colleagues at the University of Huddersfield. We asked the question how art and design practice might impact upon the locale, and what we should be looking for in order to better understand this impact and its value. Artists, curators, universities and research councils are now considering what it means to be ‘engaged’. As the concept of engagement grows, so the possibilities for relating research and public engagement expand. ROTOR and its subsequent research explore the role of the university sector in contributing to cultural leadership within a town locale, and the complexities of capturing and measuring impact within the visual arts. Questions reside upon whether all gazes are invited, encouraged and equalised through the interpretation and mediation of ‘the exhibition’. For many subject areas within the arts, it is problematic to identify where such areas are being influenced by academic research, or to provide measurements to show the levels of this influence. As cultural policy becomes an ever increasing component of economic and physical regeneration of towns and cities across the UK, we ask what will be the cultural legacy of exhibition programmes such as ROTOR?

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