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Arts showcase shows University’s support to the creative economy in our region

A display of stunning knitwear and fashion designs by Nottingham Trent University graduates will be part of a London showcase tonight. (27)

A display of stunning knitwear and fashion designs by Nottingham Trent University graduates will be part of a London showcase tonight (Thursday 27 October), shining a spotlight on universities’ role in cultural leadership, supporting the arts, and driving forward the creative economy in their cities and regions.

University Alliance, the mission group representing Britain’s universities for cities and regions, will feature work by Graduate Fashion Week 2016 knitwear prizewinner and BA Hons Fashion Knitwear graduate Kendall Baker at its event at London’s Southbank Centre.

In addition, work from the 2016 MA Fashion Knitwear Design graduates will be documented, showing how students are responding to societal issues. Examples include Lisa Shawgi’s ‘Fashioning a Heart Beat’ garment, which focused on knit techniques and garment structures, creating added warmth to protect the body’s core. Through carefully selected yarns, the garment encourages increased blood flow in a Raynaud’s sufferer. Sophie Neff created an accessible, functional knitwear line, ‘Fashioning Identity – Inclusive Knits’. Her collection focused on contemporary design and identity, as well as diversity and a variety of needs, responding to the lack of fashion clothing tailored to wheelchair users.

The pieces are part of a large exhibition designed to highlight examples of existing partnerships and the ways in which universities are acting as custodians and champions of the arts. These will also be published in a collection of case studies, Making Places: Universities, the Arts & Creative Industries.

University Alliance will use the showcase as a platform to launch new guidance to support arts and cultural organisations seeking to partner with universities, produced in conjunction with Arts Council England.

Julie Pinches, Dean of the School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University, said: “Our School has a long history of working closely with the arts community in the region for the mutual benefit of students and the wider public. We are proud to be involved in many partnerships with organisations across the city in theatre, arts and the creative economy, and we are delighted to be able to showcase via this national event how our students are able to respond to and benefit from the opportunities these provide.”

University Alliance Chief Executive Maddalaine Ansell said: “As cultural leaders in their cities and regions, universities catalyse creativity, promote access to great art and cultural activities, and support growth and job creation in the creative economy.

“We are proud to be showcasing many fantastic examples of this activity from across Alliance institutions, and we hope the joint guidance we are publishing with Arts Council England will support the growth of partnerships between higher education and arts and cultural organisations of all sizes.”

Arts Council England Chief Executive Darren Henley OBE said: “Higher education institutions are playing an increasingly vital role as custodians and champions of arts and culture in towns and cities across the country. They support the development of young talent, they lead on research of national and international significance, and their investment in arts and culture helps to build a sense of place.”

University Alliance will also be undertaking a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to map knowledge exchange partnerships in universities with the creative economy.

AHRC Interim Chief Executive Professor Andrew Thompson said: “The University Alliance research project is very timely – an exciting opportunity to develop new methodologies to tell the ‘hidden story’ of these partnerships and better understand their value. We hope that the findings of the pilot will enable both academics and universities to tell a more comprehensive and confident story of a broad range of knowledge exchange that is flourishing in the arts and humanities across the UK, and the support thereby provided to the UK's flagship creative and cultural industries.”

  • Notes for editors

    Nottingham Trent University’s five-year strategic plan, Creating the University of the Future , has five main ambitions: Creating Opportunity, Valuing Ideas, Enriching Society, Connecting Globally, and Empowering People.

    The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education was awarded to Nottingham Trent University in November 2015.  It is the highest national honour for a UK university and recognises the institution’s world-class research. Pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula, and combat food fraud, led to the prestigious award.

Arts showcase shows University’s support to the creative economy in our region

Published on 27 October 2016
  • Category: Press office; School of Art & Design

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