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Research project to allow groups at risk of exclusion to enjoy the Arts

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OU academics have received £316,000 from the European Commission Horizon 2020 Programme for a new research project which will enable groups who are at risk of exclusion from the Arts to participate.

The OU’s contribution is led by OU researchers: Dr Paul Mulholland, Dr Enrico Daga and Dr Trevor Collins in the OU's Knowledge Media Institute (KMi).

The project, called SPICE (Social Cohesion, Participation and Inclusion through Cultural Engagement), will start in spring 2020 and run for three years, during which time it will develop new technologies and methods that enable groups at risk of exclusion to actively participate in culture through a process called citizen curation.

Citizen Curation means that those who are often underrepresented in cultural activities will be supported in taking part in curatorially-inspired activities such as collecting, storytelling and exhibition design. The technology developed in the project will enable citizen groups to share their own collective view on life through culture and heritage, as well as understand and appreciate the alternative cultural viewpoints of other groups.

The project consortium, led by the University of Bologna, comprises four heritage institutions (Design Museum Helsinki, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Gallery of Modern Art Turin and Hecht Museum Israel) as well as three technology companies and seven university research centres.

Dr Paul Mulholland, Research Fellow at KMi, said, "Research shows that certain citizen groups such as older people and people with disabilities are less likely to visit museums and actively participate in cultural activities. The SPICE project provides a unique opportunity to work internationally with a diverse range of citizen groups to open up cultural participation to a wider audience."

Find out more about OU research in KMi

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