Opening up who makes and enjoys arts and heritage.
Culture& is an independent arts and education charity formed in 1988 and based in London. Formerly known as Cultural Co-operation, we work in partnership with arts and heritage institutions and artists to develop programmes that promote diversity in the workforce and expand audiences. We aim to open up the arts and heritage sectors through workforce initiatives and public programmes. Our New Museum School diploma programme (2018-2020), in collaboration with A New Direction supported and by the Heritage Lottery Fund was delivered with Art UK, Bletchley Park Trust, English Heritage, Keats House – City of London, London Metropolitan Archives – City of London, Magnum Photos, Museum of London, the National Trust, Pitzhanger Abbey, Royal Collection Trust, the Southbank Centre and William Morris Gallery – London Borough of Waltham Forest.
In September 2021, the New Museum School has moved into postgraduate training in collaboration with the University of Leicester Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, supported by the Esmee Fairburn Foundation, the Marstine Foundation and arts and heritage parter organisations. We are providing 30 fully funded studentships from 2021-2024 that will enable participants to gain postgraduate qualifications from PgDip to MA level. Host Partner organistions are sponsoring students in return for a project in practise that will tackle key priorities that around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the organisations.
We employ the talent from our New Museum School alumni to deliver our public programmes. In the past four years, we have commissioned a range of cross arts projects with leading contemporary artists and performers — including a collaboration with composer Jocelyn Pook and the London International Gospel Choir for the 2017 New Music Biennial and Hull City of Culture, and a collaboration with Peter Edwards for Thelonious Monk: Modernist Pioneer at the British Library. In 2018 we commissioned Jocelyn Pook’s Hysteria’ song-cycle on the theme of mental health. In 2019 our projects included Cyborgs, which explored the boundaries we perceive between human and non-human, and between races, genders and how these are classified.
In 2019 The Memory Archives used the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) to provide accessibility and multi-sensory stimulation for Black people living with dementia. We worked to animate the Culture& archives at the LMA in collaboration with the Friends of the Huntley Archives. The project aimed to address key mental health, wellbeing using archival material as a memory stimulating device in order to highlight the experiences of diaspora and cultural dislocation.
In 2021 the Memory Archives is being repeated during the COVID-19 pandemic remotely delivering archival and cultural material to Black people living in care homes provided by the City of London Corporation which is supporting the programme.
Our public programme schedule has been curtailed by the pandemic, Culture& is seeking to explore new ways to engage our audiences during these unusual times.
Image: Rebekah Ubuntu courtesy of Angela Dennis Photography