Workshop June 2012

Cultural Value: Developing the research agenda” was a 2-day residential workshop organised by Dr Eleonora Belfiore that took place on the 11th and 12th of June 2012 at the University of Warwick.

This research workshop brought together individuals from a range of disciplinary and professional backgrounds who share an interest in engaging with and developing an intellectually robust and theoretically framed research agenda around cultural value in a cultural policy context. Taking inspirations from presentations around work currently underway, the group discussed what has been learnt so far, identified gaps in understanding and reflected on what a reinvigorated research agenda for the future might look like.

The event also aimed to explore ways in which the artists’ perspective could be brought into the fold of policy debates through the involvement of Susan Jones of  a-n The Artists Information Company; Clare Cooper and Shelagh Wright of Mission, Models, Money, and Dr Jane Woddis, a freelance researcher whose area of expertise is the involvement of artists in the policy making process.

The #culturalvalue Initiative and this blog was partly a response to the obvious desire for exchange, collaboration and discussion on the topic of cultural value and its role in driving cultural policy making that emerged clearly from the event.

Videos of the presentations given by the speakers and the slides used will be posted here and made freely available as a contribution to the cultural value debate. However, please always refer to the original source if citing their content, and contact individual speakers for the latest version of their papers.

You can download the full programme of the workshop here: Cultural Value Workshop agenda.


  • Dr Eleonora Belfiore, Associate Professor in Cultural Policy, University of Warwick: ‘Addressing the cultural value challenge: the research perspective’. slides


  • Rachel Smithies, Director of Research and Knowledge and Dr James Doeser, Senior Officer of Research and Knowledge, Arts Council England: ‘Cultural Value and Public Value: The Arts Council since 2008’. slides


  • Dr Dave O’Brien, City University: ‘Proving the value of culture: on evidence, quality and the problem of commensuration’. slides


  • Dr Claire Donovan, Reader in Assessing Research Impact and AHRC/DCMS Fellow, Brunel University: ‘‘Priceless?’ A holistic approach to ‘measuring’ cultural value’. slides


  • Prof. Gayle McPherson, Chair in Events and Cultural Policy, University of West of Scotland: ‘The Co-Creation of Public Policy: the use of mega-events to add cultural value’. slides


  • Dr Cécile Doustaly, Senior Lecturer, Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France: ‘Researching cultural value: the French approach’. slides


  • Jean McLaughlin, Executive Director, Penland School of Craft, North Carolina, US: ‘Making the Case For Engagement at Penland School of Crafts’.


  • Dr Andy Miles, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC), University of Manchester: ‘Yartys, Bean Counters and Non Users: Class and the contest over value in cultural policy’. slides

The #culturalvalue Initiative Archive