Public Arts for Inclusive Placemaking: Perceptions, Evaluations and Actions (AHRC CDA)


Contact Dr Martin Zebracki to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

This 3-year studentship will make a significant contribution to understanding the role of artists and participatory arts in placemaking practices to promote social inclusivity.

Three research questions underpin this project:

1. Perceptions: What impact do the arts in placemaking have on individuals and communities?

2. Evaluations: What are the limitations and potentials of extant models for assessing social impacts of arts-led placemaking practices on diverse communities?

3. Actions: How can artists and the arts potentially inform planning/policies/public-private developments to promote inclusionary practices?

This studentship addresses a significant gap by the rigorous study of related perceptions, evaluations and actions, drawing from archival material, observational fieldwork, interviews and focus groups in carefully selected case studies in the Yorkshire region where artists have worked closely with planners and local and marginalised communities.

What impact activities will be supported by this studentship?

This project will extend, advance and disseminate a unique body of public knowledge and awareness of the role of artists and participatory arts in placemaking practices to enhance social inclusivity. This will involve both conventional academic outputs (i.e. peer reviewed articles) but also a programme of public outreach.

This studentship will involve 4 months of concrete engagement activities, which will support Beam’s general work and capacity to disseminate research across social and cultural policy sectors and the creative industries and to play to different agendas of key players in the field and government-funded bodies including the Arts Council England.

Key benefits

The successful candidate will benefit from the supervisors’ expertise, training in cutting-edge research methods and the project partner’s rare access to resources and links with beneficiaries to maximise impact. You will be actively involved in decision-making about the research design and execution.

This studentship provides a unique working relationship with Beam, the trading name of leading UK arts organisation Public Arts based in Wakefield, in support of its mission to advocate, commission and deliver transformative arts programmes to inspire communities, animate places and underpin the development of lively and inclusive places.

Through the unique access to its 30-year archive, live projects and professional network, you will advance the critical objective of Beam by interrogating how artists and participatory arts in placemaking practices may have engendered greater participation by particular members of the community – while such practices may have been profoundly exclusionary for other community members.

You will support Beam in catalysing collaborative action research with artists and its partners in national and international networks of consultants and trustees, which are key to the public art sector, to explore and demonstrate the benefits of arts in place(making).

Entry requirements

Strong applicants will have a good first degree in an appropriate subject, as well as a Master’s degree and professional experience relevant to the scope of the project (or experience of belonging to a collaborative team). Please note that all applicants should meet the AHRC’s academic criteria and residency requirements.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

How to apply

STAGE 1 - expressions of interest to the project supervisor - 10th December 2018.

If you require any further information about the application process, please contact Jacqui Manton e: