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level7

7AAIAM09 Festivals: Arts, Public Spaces and Communities

Module convenor: Dr Lauren England
Credits:
20
Teaching pattern: Ten one hour lectures, ten one hour seminars, and one three hour workshop

Prohibited module combination:

7AAICC14 Cultural Management: In Small Arts And Cultural Organisations

Module description:

The module introduces students to the role of arts festivals in the creative economy. The module provides both a theoretical and practical understanding of the way festivals operate and engage audiences. The module will specifically focus on small scale (free) arts festivals rather than large scale commercial festival (but some of the learning will be transferable to other sectors). In particular, from the practical perspective the module will explore how planning for festivals take place, which funding and opportunities are available for festival organisers. It will also give students an insight on how festival organisers manage and support artists as well as communities and volunteers. From a theoretical perspective the module highlights the value of festivals as form of the community expression but also their connections with public spaces and public policy. It will also aim to reflect on how evaluation of festivals and cultural events is understood by academia and policy makers and finally how discourses of social inclusions and well-being are articulated in the value of festival for local communities. The module is co-taught and co-developed with an external cultural partner, Lydia Fraser-Ward, Director of Fantasy High Street, to bring practical insights and knowledge alongside the academic research being explored.

Draft teaching syllabus

  • Week 1:  What are festivals and why they exist
  • Week 2:  Arts, events and public spaces
  • Week 3:  Planning arts in public spaces
  • Week 4:  Funding arts in public spaces
  • Week 5:  Artists, networks and festivals
  • Week 6:  Managing artists
  • Week 7:  The social and economic impact of festivals
  • Week 8:  Festival and community participation
  • Week 9:  Festival and marketing
  • Week 10: Evaluating festivals and cultural events

Module aims

The module introduces students to the role of arts festivals in the creative economy. The module provides both a theoretical and practical understanding of the way festivals operate and engage audiences. The module will specifically focus on small scale (free) arts festivals rather than large scale commercial festivals (but some of the learning will be transferable to other sectors). In particular, from the practical perspective the module will explore how planning for festivals take place, which funding and opportunities are available for festival organisers. It will also give students an insight on how festival organisers manage and support artists as well as communities and volunteers. From a theoretical perspective the module highlights the value of festivals as form of the community expression but also their connections with public spaces and public policy. It will also aim to reflect on how evaluation of festivals and cultural events is understood by academia and policymakers and finally how discourses of social inclusions and well-being are articulated in the value of festival for local communities.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding of:

  • The concept of festival and the literature and debates on the value of festivals in socio-cultural terms
  • The relation between festivals and cultural events and public places and public policy;
  • The role of audiences and community engagement in festivals planning
  • The importance of evaluation and economic impact for festivals.

A range of subject specific intellectual skills:

  • A critical and reflective understanding of the development of the theories and debates around festivals
  • Ability to make informed connections between the literature on festival, cultural planning, socio-economic impact of the arts
  • Ability to explore case studies and apply of the theories covered by the course.

A range of transferable/general (key) skills:

  • Pursue knowledge in an in-depth, critical and engaged manner
  • Propose ideas in a coherent and cogent fashion through written proposals and presentations
  • Assess feasibility, sustainability and management of temporary cultural projects

Core reading

  • Bowdin, G. A. J. (2011). Events management (3rd ed ed.). Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Delgado, M. (2016). Celebrating urban community life: fairs, festivals, parades, and community practice. Toronto Buffalo, London: University of Toronto Press.
  • Hauptfleisch, T. (2007). Festivalising!: theatrical events, politics and culture (Vol. 3). Amsterdam: Rodopi.
  • Newbold, C., & Jordan, J. (2016). Focus on world festivals: contemporary case studies and perspectives. Oxford, England: Goodfellow Publishers Ltd.
  • Richards, G., & Palmer, R. (2010). Eventful cities: cultural management and urban revitalisation. Amsterdam London: Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Shone, A., & Parry, B. (2013). Successful event management: a practical handbook (4th ed ed.). Andover: Cengage Learning EMEA.

Assessment

1 x 2,000-word funding proposal (50%)

1 x 2,000-word essay/critical reflection (50%)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

 The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

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