The auspicious university

Dear reader: Let me save you some time. This post is written specifically for practice-based researchers. If you aren’t a creative type (artist, writer, poet, dramaturge, designer), you can probably stop reading now. If you are, please keep reading – I need your help.

What’s an artist to do?

I work with the cool people at the university: artists, designers, architects, social scientists, humanities scholars and educators – all sorts of excellent people.

Many of them are professionals in their chosen professions. That is, they are professional artists, designers, architects, poets, writers, etc. Their research is ‘practice-based’ research; they create stuff. The process of creation is an integral part of the research process. It meshes with their teaching, which is often studio-based, using workshops and mentoring rather than lectures and tutorials. These people fit very well into a university landscape.

Until it comes to funding.

Arts funding, like all funding, is built for the people who need it. It is organised around independent individuals (or small collaborations) or highly focused arts-based organisations (theatres, for example). These are the people who need the funds, so that is how the funds work.