The Cultural Value Project enters its second phase

A great deal has happened since Easter when we last posted. Whereas we then spoke of coming of age, we have now progressed to watch the seeds planted in the first phase of the Project begin to grow. The Open Funding Call, which closed on 16 April, resulted in some fascinating proposals. The Assessment Panel met in early June and faced the difficult task of making funding recommendations. The outcomes were announced in July. You can see the full list of the 43 proposals funded under the first round of funding here.

The range of the projects supported under our Open Call is broad and diverse. The projects have however some points of commonality and shared characteristics. Many of the research awards involve collaboration with cultural organisations, often small and local in character. Above all, the funded work sees cultural value as more nuanced than the simplistic instrumentalist account would allow and promise some imaginative answers to the challenge of getting a better grip on cultural value. Indeed, the aim of the first call was to harness the imagination of the research community and its success should be measured in these terms.

Sadly, we will have to wait a while for the answers to be harvested – to stick to the life-stages metaphors – as the majority of these projects will not be completed until 31 May 2014. We will, of course, seek to engage with the awardholders between now and then. We are, for instance, thinking of bringing projects with cognate methodological approaches and thematic overlaps together in a series of workshops. We will keep you updated about this on this blog. We will also be giving you a ‘preview’ of all these projects by inviting the awardholders to contribute blog entries explaining what makes their projects exciting and important from the point of view of the Cultural Value Project. Indeed, over the next few months, we will be publishing here contributions from our researchers – please watch this space!

If you missed the first Open Call but still want to engage with the Project – the good news is that it is not too late. In fact, our second funding call is released today. We will be supporting three types of activities: Critical Reviews, Research Development Awards and Expert Workshops. Please have a look here for more details. Unlike the Open Funding call, this call is much more targeted. Following a consultation with the Project’s Advisory Group, this directed call invites applications in a number of clearly defined areas in order to address the gaps remaining after the first round of funding and to cement the framework delineated by what we’ve called the components of cultural value. Two things it does share with the Open Call are: the expectation of imaginative responses to the set questions and the tight time scale – the deadline for all applications is 7 November 2013. So, it’s not too late to engage with the Project, but, if you want to do so, you have to act with some urgency. Please pass this on to any others whom you think might be interested. We look forward to getting high-quality applications for all three types of activity.

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