East Street Arts launches dedicated PhD with the University

A PhD student from Leeds will be a part of the newly-launched four-year programme by East Street Arts.

From left to right: Benedetta d'Ettorre, Jonathan Ward and Gaynor Seville

East Street Arts September 2018

East Street Arts is a contemporary arts organisation based in Leeds working across the UK and EU.

Its Guild programme is new to the Arts Council’s National Portfolio, funded as a Sector Support Organisation. It will look to improve the resilience and sustainability of artist spaces across the country, which are historically self-organised, under-resourced and prone to burnout.

The programme – with partners including the University, Key Fund, a-n The Artists Information Company and the Stockholm Institute – will be a catalyst for sharing, growth and innovation, bolstering stability in the sector. It is hoped the programme will impact on more than 10,000 artists, with work taking place directly with 10 spaces and 10 colleges or universities nationally.

Benedetta d'Ettorre, a PhD student at the University, will spend the next three years with Guild exploring how different business models and managerial structures impact on the financial sustainability of artists spaces, as well as how they impact on local social dynamics and urban planning more generally. Her research will feed into, and support, the delivery of the wider programme.

Benedetta said: “Guild will be a fantastic testing ground for innovative ideas and approaches to sustainability.

“I am looking forward to the unfolding of the project! I am excited to work with national and international partners to tackle the complexities of running artists’ spaces and make my research a useful resource for the future.”

Dr Jonathan Ward, Cultural and Creative Industries Lecturer at Leeds, said: “With funding from the University’s Cultural Institute, Benedetta will be able to make an invaluable contribution to developing our understanding of how arts organisations can remain a sustainable part of their communities, and work to share findings with practitioners, policymakers and businesses.

“Being part of Guild is a great opportunity for a doctoral researcher, and continues our commitment to collaborations with creative sector partners to deliver important research and enhance opportunities for students.”

Visit the East Street Arts website for further information.

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