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Community, Identity and Locality: Sustainability & impact of university-housed, small-scale arts centres. A panel discussion.

Boehm, C and Linden, J and Gibson, J and Carver, G and Clennon, O and Mackenzie, N (2014) Community, Identity and Locality: Sustainability & impact of university-housed, small-scale arts centres. A panel discussion. European League of Institutes of Arts (ELIA)Glasgow.

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Abstract

The academically housed Contemporary Arts Centre “Axis Arts Centre” http://www.axisartscentre.org.uk/home/ in the Department of Contemporary Arts, Manchester Metropolitan University, has been running for more than 30 years and is known to foreground contemporary arts in the northwest of England and is co--‐funded by the University and Arts Council England. In response to a continuous expansion, over the last 3 years we have generated discussion and debate around the role and value of small academically housed arts centres, specifically issues around sustainability of regular programming and their impact within a diversity of communities. These discussions --‐ with different view--‐points and contemporary challenges --‐ have informed the ways we continue to develop our provision as a department AND an arts centre. In this process, the public panel discussion transcript represents the debate from its various perspectives, leading and simultaneously guiding us towards reconceptualising a more dynamic model on which to build the Centre’s sustainability, identity, and be able to maximise impact. Themes covered include: - Programming strategies of smaller contemporary arts centres with academic patronage - How ‘curating knowledge’ can support a relevant link between research practices and an ‘engaged public’ - Multiple communities, identities and localities - Interfaces between enterprise, research and learning - Demonstrating and identifying impact

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