ICCHS Research Student wins award to put ‘Research to Public’

The Afterlife of Heritage, Research to Public

Preparing the Exhibition at the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering

Preparing the Exhibition at the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering

Niki Black, a PhD researcher in ICCHS, has been awarded a grant within the Research to Public strand of the Afterlife of Heritage Project, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council. The project, designed to cross various disciplines within the arts, humanities and social sciences, is being led by the Institute for Cultural Practices at The University of Manchester and the School of Art & Design at The University of Salford in collaboration with artsmethods@manchester.

The impetus for the project is to ‘identify, understand and translate the benefits of research into ‘real-life’ contexts within the heritage and cultural sectors’. Niki’s proposal was to put together an interactive exhibition and activity explaining and demonstrating her research whilst simultaneously working to gather data from visitors towards her thesis.

“Having a professional arts and interpretation background before embarking on my PhD, I was already convinced that I wanted to share and ‘display’ my research with the non-academic public in a colourful and interactive way, to take it beyond the academic journal. Participating in this programme gave me the confidence to believe that what I wanted to do wasn’t just an overly ambitious or inappropriate idea and that I would be taken seriously!”

A condition of the project was that researchers worked in collaboration with partners within the heritage/cultural sector. The focus of Niki’s research examines the social impact of small-scale cultural festivals upon their host communities and Niki will be working with event organisers in Northumberland to engage the public in her research. The first event, which took place at the beginning of April, was the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering with subsequent events taking place during the summer.

For further information on the Afterlife of Heritage Project visit http://heritageafterlife.wordpress.com

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