Nick Wilson – Principal Investigator
My research and teaching focuses on everyday creativity in a cultural context. I combine an interest in art & aesthetics, arts based learning, authenticity, creative and art(ful) practice, critical realism, cultural management and leadership, cultural entrepreneurship, early music, mindfulness, social creativity, and theory/practice consistency. Recent research projects have included working with 53 Million Artists (now 64 Million Artists) on an action research project and ‘pilot’ campaign that aims to realise the potential of every human being in England by giving time and space for creative and artistic practice and reflection. I have extensive research experience, having led and collaborated on research projects for the Arts Council England, DCMS, LDA and World Bank Group, amongst others.
As a professional singer I have performed internationally in opera, oratorio, Harry Potter and other film soundtracks; as an entrepreneurship educator at Kingston Business School I led the development of enterprise education for non-business school students. I have devised and managed two world-class Masters courses: MA Creative Industries & the Creative Economy (Kingston) and MA Arts & Cultural Management (King’s). My book about the English early music revival The Art of Re-enchantment: Making Early Music in the Modern Age was published by OUP in 2014. I am an every- (other) day artist.
Anna Bull – Researcher
My research interests span education, culture, inequality, and bodily practice. I completed my PhD in the sociology department at Goldsmiths in 2015, under the supervision of Les Back and Bev Skeggs. This was an ethnographic study of classical music education, class and gender. Drawing on my previous career as a classical musician, I played with and observed four youth music groups – two youth orchestras, a youth choir, and a youth opera group – and wrote about the social learning that goes on in rehearsals, and how normal practices in classical music draw on historic ideas of class and gendered respectability. I am currently working on a monograph based on this research.
I am bringing to the Get Creative research project a focus on inequalities, with a particular interest in class. My own everyday creative practices include going to feminist comedy, and from time to time playing folk music, but I would like to have more dancing.
Jonathan Gross – Researcher
My research addresses the importance of the arts within everyday life. Through the use of ethnography and life history interviews I work with arts organisations and their participants to investigate the relationships between organisational conditions, varieties of participation, and questions of value. Following the completion of my PhD at the London Consortium, an ethnographic study of audiences at the BBC Proms, I have worked on a range of collaborative research projects at the Universities of Leeds, Liverpool, and Sheffield. These included an AHRC ‘Cultural Value’ project with a focus on wellbeing, and the evaluation of ACE’s Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy programme. I recently completed work on Understanding Audiences for the Contemporary Arts, working with five organisations in Birmingham across dance, theatre, music, visual art and craft. The project report can be found here: http://www.sparc.dept.shef.ac.uk/bcmg-project-report/
In addition to being a notoriously committed audience member, my own everyday creativity has included treading the boards in musical theatre as a youth, and beginners’ ballet classes as an adult. As a child I came to presume that people spend the majority of their time at home singing 60s hits and songs from the shows. I’d still like to think this is fairly standard practice. Findings to follow…