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SYMPOSIUM - Art Practice in a Social Context

Symposium Event - Art Practice in a Social Context 

This symposium event will take place on 13th December at SOAR Works/Knutton Road Studios.  We aim to explore and examine the role that art, artists and arts organisations can play in communities and neighbourhoods. >>>Can the arts and artists make a valuable contribution to a neighbourhood? Many claims are made about culture and the arts being transformative, able to shift perceptions and bring about change >>>is this true and if so to what extent?

We hope this event will present an opportunity to discuss and ask questions; >>>Should culture be used to assist with social agendas? >>>Can art be useful? >>>What drives artists to work in a community context? >>>What motivates people to engage with art/artists? >>>>Is it better never to mention art? >>>What difference does it make?

The event will take place at the Knutton Road Studios part of the new SOAR Works mixed-use development in the heart of Parson Cross neighbourhood, Sheffield. We will use this innovative model of culture within regeneration and housing renewal initiatives as a starting point for imagining what could be and the role that artist studios could play within the ongoing development of this community. >>>Beyond Regeneration-how can we take our work forward?

The morning will see presentations from resident artists commissioned by Yorkshire Artspace to work in the Parson Cross neighbourhood of Sheffield during 2011. There will be an introduction from Rachael Dodd Programme Manager at Yorkshire Artspace about the rationale for working in Parson Cross, the focus on arts practice within this social context and the research being supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Steve Manthorpe will introduce Turning Point the national initiative to give a voice to the visual arts sector and asking >>>In a harsh economic climate, how can engaged practice be made sustainable? Should it be expected to demonstrate a return on investment and if so, how?

During the afternoon we will explore the role that buildings can play within communities and how artists and arts organisations can be part of developing their use. There will be a presentation from Francis McKee Director of the CCA Glasgow (Centre for Contemporary Arts), who will talk about how they shaped and adapted their building and programme in changing times. Along with representatives from SOAR Enterprises and Yorkshire Artspace to talk about SOAR Works and the Knutton Road Studios>>>Does the current financial climate and funding cuts present exciting possibilities in an imperfect world?

We would like to thank our supporters for this event: Turning Point Yorkshire and Humber.   

Yorkshire Artspace Parson Cross Programme funded through: Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Council England-Yorkshire