Collaborations and Connections: Life in lockdown at the ICC

Added on Friday, April 2nd, 2021

As we reflect on a year in lockdown (mostly), I thought I would share an update on current research activities, including how I have been staying connected and keeping busy, thanks to a fab group of colleagues and collaborators, old and new!

Firstly, I am so pleased to be continuing and developing our research partnership with the House of Memories team at National Museum Liverpool, including a new commission to evaluate the Connecting Yemeni Elders Heritage project. This project creates a fascinating platform to develop the museum group’s relationship with the city’s Yemeni community, and also to consider the value of culture and health programmes like House of Memories in meeting some of the museum sector’s wider social objectives, concerning equality, access and workforce diversity.

We’ve also been busy working on plans to develop House of Memories-Brazil, building upon NML’s success in rolling out international programmes in North America and Singapore, and our scoping work back in 2018 with Museu Paulista at the University of São Paulo. Rafaela and I are delighted to be working with Prof Lisa Shaw and other colleagues at the University of Liverpool on this exciting initiative.

It has been a pleasure to develop other new research and evaluation partnerships over the past few months, including a new commission to work with colleagues in LJMU’s Faculty of Health, Dr Caroline Brett and Dr Hannah Timpson, in developing an evaluation framework for Homeshare UK. I’m also doing similar work as part of a new, emerging research network on culture, creativity and women’s health, including the Improving Me Cheshire and Merseyside Women’s and Children’s Services Partnership, Live Music Now and the Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing at Edge Hill University.

Alongside the research partnership with NML and other evaluation work, I am continuing to develop a research agenda on professional ethics and cultural work in health, social care and criminal justice, including development of an international training programme in collaboration with Dr Adele Chynoweth at the Australian National University. I recently shared thoughts on how this work is shaping future directions for the institute, moving forwards, at an event led by the UKRI MARCH mental health network on ethics in arts and mental health practice and research.

I am so grateful to all inspirational collaborators and for the new connections made for keeping me going this past year. As Spring starts to flourish, we’re all gradually vaccinated and our worlds open up again, I look forward to seeing you again in person. Have a lovely Easter break everyone!


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