Dr Beatriz García, Head of Research 

Beatriz has been at the forefront of debates around the rhetoric and impact of culture-led regeneration interventions since 1998. Beatriz grew up and was educated in Barcelona, specialising in international communication policy, city marketing and the then emerging field of cultural policy research. During her studies, she spent exchange years in the UK, France and Australia.

Major research by Beatriz includes a review of all available evidence on the first three decades of the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) for the European Parliament; the pioneering Impacts 08 research programme on the multiple impacts of Liverpool as ECoC 2008; the assessment of the four-year UK-wide London 2012 Cultural Olympiad for Arts Council England and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport; and the first comprehensive study of the 20-year legacy of bidding and hosting an ECoC, focusing on Glasgow 1990. Beatriz has conducted fieldwork on the cultural dimension of every Olympic Summer and Winter Games since Sydney 2000 (see her Culture @ the Olympics blog) and most ECoCs since Liverpool 2008. Funders for her work include the AHRC and ESRC, the British Academy, Arts Council England, English Heritage, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the International Olympic Committee. She is author of numerous publications on the cultural dimensions of mega-events, including: ‘The Olympics. The Basics’ and ‘The Olympic Games and Cultural Policy’ (Routledge, 2012).

To contact Beatriz: beatriz.garcia@liverpool.ac.uk



Dr Kerry Wilson, Head of Research 

AHRC Leadership Fellow 2017-19

Kerry began her academic career in the field of library and information management, holding research posts at Leeds Metropolitan University (2001-03) and the University of Sheffield (2003-08). In this time she specialised in research on the social impact and organisational development of public library services, with funding from the museums libraries and archives council (MLA); British Council; Arts Council of Wales; and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). She moved across to Liverpool in 2008 to take up a part-time lectureship on the MA Cultural Leadership programme at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and ESRC-funded Research Fellowship with the University of Liverpool Management School. She has been with the Institute of Cultural Capital (ICC) since its inception in August 2010, providing academic leadership on behalf of LJMU.

Her main research interests as Head of Research at the ICC include professional identity; instrumental value and public policy; and collaborative practice. Since 2010 she has led a number of research projects funded by the AHRC, North West Development Agency, Arts Council England and National Museums Liverpool, representing these key elements of contemporary cultural work. She has also led the development of significant long-term collaborations with ICC research partners including Mersey Care NHS Trust.

To contact Kerry: k.m.wilson@ljmu.ac.uk


Gayle Whelan, Research Fellow

Gayle joined the ICC in March 2014 from the Applied Health and Wellbeing Partnership at the Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), where she led a two-year project mapping community assets on the Wirral, using social value methodology to understand the impacts of assets on mental health and wellbeing. As a social impact analyst, Gayle has used Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology in a number of projects and has recently delivered  information sessions on social value and the use of SROI in evaluations to local commissioners and partners. She has been active in public health research for seven years, evaluating organisations and projects delivering both cultural and health benefits to the wider community. Through this work she has developed expertise in community-based participatory research involving vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups, including disabled adults and children, Gypsy and Traveller communities, and victims of domestic abuse; and has collaborated with a range of partners including Merseyside Police, local authorities and NHS commissioners. Gayle’s research interests centre around mental health and wellbeing, grassroots initiatives and impact upon wider communities.    

To contact Gayle: g.whelan@ljmu.ac.uk


Dr Rafaela Ganga, Research Associate

Rafaela joined the ICC in September 2016 as part of the ‘Crossing Boundaries’ team, having formerly served as a Foundation of Science and Technology research fellow (2007-2011 / 2012-2013 / 2015) at the Sociology Institute of the University of Porto, with whom she continues to collaborate.

With a Degree in Education (University of Porto, 2006) and a Ph.D. in Sociology (University of Porto, 2013), Rafaela began her career as education curator at Casa da Musica (2006). Since then, she has focused her research interests and publications on cultural policy, contemporary art, research methodology, urban regeneration, migration and ageing.

Between 2008 and 2010, Rafaela was a visiting scholar at Tate Liverpool, Šiuolaikinio Meno Centras, and Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, conducting a global ethnography on arts education policies and practices. Rafaela currently acts as editor of the Social Barometer Platform (arts and culture), in addition to acting as referee for several journals. Former posts also include a position as curator for Shairart, an associate professorship at the Higher Institute of Social Work of Porto (2011-2015) and a position as Manager of Science and Technology at the University of Coimbra (2014).

To contact Rafaela: R.NeivaGanga@ljmu.ac.uk


Dr Tamara West, Research Associate

Before joining the ICC in the role of Research Associate, Tamara worked at the University of Birmingham. Here she was Teaching Fellow at the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, and also held Research Fellow roles in the Birmingham Business School and the Digital Humanities Hub working on collaborative AHRC (www.creativecitizens.co.uk) and EU (www.smartculture.eu) projects exploring digital cultural heritage, co-production, cross-sector collaboration and innovation, creative networks and citizenship practices.

Tamara is interested in how people share, negotiate or contest spaces of memory, heritage and identity and how these activities impact upon wider issues of policy and practice. Her main research interests and publications so far  have explored the practices and transmission of memory, heritage and identity — especially those involving visual and oral narratives — and enactments of identity and culture in relation to changes in place. She is also interested in the role of media and technologies in both enabling and limiting these.

Before taking up posts at Birmingham, she was an Associate Lecturer at both the University of Salford (Critical and Contextual Studies) and at Manchester Metropolitan University (Human Geography), where she also undertook her PhD in the Human Geography Department. Here she investigated memory and identity in and beyond post Second World War displaced persons camps in Germany, focusing on the children who had grown up in them and how their memories of displacement are shared and negotiated through images, stories, and cultural practices. Her BA (Hons) degree was in History of Film, Photography and Graphic Media.

To contact Tamara: Tamara.West@liverpool.ac.uk


Stephen Crone, Research Assistant

Since joining the ICC, Stephen has been involved on a number of projects, including, most notably, the evaluations of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the European Capitals of Culture programme and the Liverpool World Heritage Site. Stephen is also co-author, alongside Peter Campbell, Tamsin Cox and Stuart Wilks-Heeg, of a critical review of the role that culture is seen to play in processes of urban regeneration, with this research funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Stephen joined the ICC from Democratic Audit at the University of Liverpool, where, as a research assistant, he helped to produce a series of publications on issues of democratic concern, in addition to writing for prominent political blogs and featuring as an expert contributor on the Guardian Public Leaders Network. The organisation’s fourth periodic audit of UK democracy — of which Stephen was a co-author, alongside Stuart Wilks-Heeg and Andrew Blick — was published in 2012 with funding from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

To contact Stephen: smcrone1@liverpool.ac.uk


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