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Arts Strategy

Arts, culture and creativity at the heart of our University

Arts, culture and creativity are at the heart of our University. The University of Southampton has reaffirmed its commitment to arts, culture and creativity through a new Arts and Culture Strategy (2018-22) and a Memorandum of Understanding (2018-2021) with Arts Council England.

Arts Ambassadors Ben, Molly, Annette and Hannah with Darren Henley and Sir Christopher Snowden
Arts Ambassadors Ben, Molly, Annette and Hannah with Darren Henley and Sir Christopher Snowden
Arts Ambassadors Annette, Ben, Hannah and Molly at John Hansard Gallery
Arts Ambassadors Annette, Ben, Hannah and Molly at John Hansard Gallery
Arts and culture leaders from the City of Southampton, University of Southampton and representatives from Arts Council England come together to celebrate a shared commitment to creativity
Arts and culture leaders from the City of Southampton, University of Southampton and representatives from Arts Council England come together to celebrate a shared commitment to creativity
Arts ambassador
Arts Ambassadors interview Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England. Image: John Bamford
John Hasgard event
Launch event for John Hansard Gallery at Studio 144, May 2018
Auditory Learning
Auditory Learning, as part of British Art Show 8 exhibition at John Hansard Gallery.
Dame Judith Macgregor
Dame Judith Macgregor speaking as part of John Hansard Gallery’s 12/48 Portraits talks series
John Hansard Gallery’s Summer in the Square festival
John Hansard Gallery’s Summer in the Square festival
Turner Sims, Chineke project
Turner Sims, Chineke project
Yazz Ahmed at Turner Sims in March 2018
Yazz Ahmed at Turner Sims in March 2018 copyright Gerry Walden

Our University’s Arts and Culture Strategy – a commitment to creativity

Central to the University of Southampton’s strategy is a pledge to continue to contribute to Southampton’s growing cultural reputation, and to “animate the city” through its inspiring arts and culture programme.

 Our arts and culture programme is locally relevant and internationally acclaimed and we want that reputation to continue flourish. We attract leading national and international talent - from our students and staff to the artists we work with and we will continue to support high quality, innovative and interdisciplinary practices that bring together artists with pioneering researchers in a unique creative environment.

Louise Coysh, Associate Director, Arts and Culture, said: “The University of Southampton’s arts and culture programme enriches people’s lives, giving opportunities for discovery, increasing engagement, connectivity and wellbeing for our students, staff and diverse communities. These activities are at the heart of what we do as a University and they remain as a focal point of our new arts strategy,”

The arts strategy is also focused on continually improving the career prospects of our students through professional development opportunities and workplace placements which arise through our collegiate and pro-active partnership activities with a wide range of organisations. Many of our students have recently become Arts Ambassadors which is another important programme to support their career progression whilst raising the profile of the University’s arts activities throughout the student community and beyond.

Find out more by downloading The University of Southampton Arts Strategy pdf.

Shared Commitment with Arts Council England to Creativity in Southampton

Southampton’s growing reputation as a city of culture and creativity has received a major boost with the signing of a new agreement between the University of Southampton and Arts Council England (ACE).

Thanks to a new Memorandum of Understanding, the long-standing partners will embark on a new phase with a strategy to further champion the provision of arts and other creativity-focused activities throughout Southampton and the wider region.

The University has made a commitment to animate the city with inspiring arts and culture activity through its own arts and culture strategy. This, in conjunction with Arts Council’s current strategy – Great Art and Culture for Everyone will embed creativity as an essential part of everyday life for everyone in the city and the surrounding area, particularly children and young people. ACE Chief Executive, Darren Henley and University of Southampton President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Christopher Snowden signed the document. 

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “This city is a hotbed of creativity and innovation thanks to the long-term support of the University of Southampton. It’s exciting to mark the next stage of our partnership. I’m certain the arts will continue to grow in importance here, as Southampton develops even further as a great place to live, work and study.”

Vice Chancellor Sir Christopher Snowden and Darren Henley
Vice Chancellor Sir Christopher Snowden and Darren Henley, Chief Exec

University of Southampton President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, said: “We are very pleased to enter into this new phase of our relationship with Arts Council England. This agreement recognises the importance and value of creativity as an essential part of everyone’s lives and will help facilitate using the arts as a way of increasing connectivity throughout our community and region whilst improving the health, well-being and improving life chances for the young people of Southampton.”

The agreement also pledges a shared commitment from Arts Council England and the University of Southampton to:

Download the Memorandum of Understanding here pdf

Over many decades, the University of Southampton has developed and nurtured a pioneering history of cultural patronage through the arts, theatre and music, playing host to some of the city’s most respected and renowned venues: John Hansard GalleryTurner Sims and close associate with Nuffield Southampton Theatres. The institution is also home to a research-active Arts and Humanities Faculty encompassing Winchester School of Art, as well as a successful and well-connected multidisciplinary Public Engagement with Research Unit (PERu) and over 40 performing arts student societies.

There is a wealth of arts and cultural activity taking place across the University of Southampton. Here are a few recent examples, and you can find out more across our Arts at University of Southampton pages and via our social media channels.

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