International Colloquium on Arts Enterprise being convened at the School of the Arts in January

Next term Dr Patrick Campbell will be holding a two-day international colloquium exploring the field of Arts Enterprise.  It will feature keynote speakers from Nigeria, Brazil and the UK, each of whom will share their own experience of how the arts can contribute to sustainable economic growth, social transformation and innovation.  To submit an abstract to this event or register your attendance, please read Dr Campbell’s Call For Papers…

UPDATE 29 January 2013: Access the current programme for this event below.

University of Northampton School of The Arts hosts 2-day International Colloquium on the theme:



Thursday 30th – Friday 31st January 2014

10am – 7pm

Venue: Portfolio Centre, University of Northampton, Avenue Campus, St George’s Avenue, Northampton NN2 6JD

Confirmed Keynote speakers:

(i) Professor Gabriel Olatunde Babawale (Director General and CEO, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, Lagos, Nigeria).

(ii) Eliene Benicio Amancio Costa (Dean, Theatre School, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil)

(iii) Suzana Martins (Head of Research, Postgraduate Programme in Performing Arts, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil).

Law Faculty, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil (Wikimedia Commons)

Law Faculty, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil (Wikimedia Commons)

In September 2012, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) published a document entitled Enterprise and entrepreneurship education: Guidance for UK higher education providers, in order to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship education in UKHE. The document was produced in response to the growing need to foster enterprising and entrepreneurial mind-sets amongst graduates, preparing them for the workplace, embedding enterprise and entrepreneurial skills at all levels, regardless of the subject area or location of study. Of particular interest is how enterprise and entrepreneurship are defined by the authors of the document; whilst entrepreneurship is defined as “[…] the application of enterprise skills specifically to creating and growing organisations in order to identify and build on opportunities” (QAA, 2012: 8), enterprise, more surprisingly:

[…] is defined here as the application of creative ideas and innovations to practical situations. This is a generic concept that can be applied across all areas of education. It combines creativity, ideas development and problem solving with expression, communication and practical action. This definition is distinct from the generic use of the word in reference to a project or business venture (Opp. cit.)

The way the QAA coins the key terms reflects a growing tendency, especially in ‘Business’ circles, to conceive of Higher Education provision almost exclusively within the paradigmatic framing of academic capitalism. Such thoughts justify the commodification of knowledge transfer in which graduates are provided with the skills necessary to slot into an economic system that the Arts and Humanities in particular should critique rigorously, especially in light of the global economic crisis triggered by the banking collapse of 2006-08.

Lagos, Nigeria (Wikimedia Commons)

Lagos, Nigeria (Wikimedia Commons)

In the search for more equitable and sustainable business models – such as those proposed by the emerging field of Social Enterprise – the Arts in particular can provide a range of alternative practices and creative approaches that reappraise the ways in which creativity, culture and the economy can fuse and inform one another. Thus, this symposium will interrogate the field of Arts Enterprise and Entrepreneurialism within the wider frame of Social Enterprise and Cultural Leadership, drawing on an intercultural cosmopolitan network of entrepreneurs, scholars, artists and cultural leaders from Nigeria, Brazil and the UK, to share their unique visions of how the arts can contribute to innovation, sustainable economic growth and social transformation.

Key questions driving the event will include:

1)    What specific skills, knowledge and strategies can the Arts offer the field of Enterprise, and vice-versa?

2)    How can we draw on our rich experience as artists and cultural agitators in order to promote sustainable economic growth and positive social change within our communities?

3)    How can we equip young Arts graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop artistic projects and creative enterprises founded on holistic, collaborative, innovative models that benefit both themselves and the wider society, culturally and economically?

4)    How can HE pedagogic practices invigorate Arts Enterprise in order to radically challenge and transform economic systems rather than merely replicate worn out models of business and global capitalism?

5)    What are the important contributions and examples of best practice that are emerging in Nigeria, Brazil and the UK, and how can we develop equitable, culturally sensitive models of collaboration within Arts Enterprise that are mutually beneficial to all?


There are still a few spaces available on the afternoon roundtables for presentations. Delegates may submit abstracts (300 words max) on topics related to any one or more of the questions / subjects described above to the following e-mail address:

Deadline for submissions: 19th December 2013


Spaces at the colloquium are FREE, but limited, and will be allotted on a first come, first served basis. To reserve a place, please e-mail:

Access the most current programme for this event here:

Enterprise, Education and the Arts Conference 2014

About Dr Larissa Allwork

Dr Larissa Allwork worked at the University of Northampton School of the Arts (May 2012 - August 2015). She also participated in Professor Janet Wilson's EU-Marie Curie funded Constructions of Home and Belonging ITN. She continues to be affiliated to Dr Sonya Andermahr's Working Group for Interdisciplinary Research in Trauma, Narrative and Performance.

Posted on December 10, 2013, in Conferences, Events, School of the Arts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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