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Visual Arts Management and Curating Professional Practice Exchange

Last week students from the MA in Visual Arts Management and Curating took part in a weeklong series of professional practice events.

On Tuesday students participated in a day long Professional Practice Exchange with talks on the diverse range of career opportunities in the arts by staff from major London institutions including: The Design Museum, Serpentine Gallery, Museum of Richmond, Imperial War Museum, Crisis, Art Fund and the Royal Academy.

With careers ranging from audience researcher to curator, arts manger at a homeless charity, education producer for schools, digital producer, community engagement manager to fundraiser – students gained a valuable insight into what it’s really like to work in the arts today.

The event which was co-managed by the MA cohort, from chairing sessions to meeting and greeting speakers provided students with the opportunity to network and ask questions from those working in the field.

Dr Oonagh Murphy commented “When we host events like this I am always reminded how lucky we are to work in such a generous, committed and friendly field. All our speakers provided solid, honest and inspirational advice to our students, and shared their experiences as early career professionals; it’s great to see students really grow in confidence and ambition over the course of events like this and it is one of the reasons that the MA in Visual Arts Management and Curating has a solid foundation of Professional Practice opportunities, it’s important that our students graduate with their own network and contacts alongside a solid academic understanding of contemporary arts management theory and practice”.

On Wednesday, Dr Kate Mattocks hosted Mike Clewley from the City Hall, Culture Team to provide an insight into current issues around Arts Policy in London. Dr Mattocks leads the Arts policy course on the MA, and seeks to engage policy with practice through a series of guest speakers and visits, so far this term students have visited Liverpool to examine the impact that the City of Culture Model has on the cultural infrastructure of a city, and in a few weeks she will take students to meet key policy staff at the Arts Council of England.

On Friday students participated in an Innovation Study Day, which began at the Kensington Campus and ended at the V&A. The Study Day which was led by Dr Oonagh Murphy, Associate Professor of Visual Arts Management and Curating was funded by the International Visual Arts and Culture Research Centre at Richmond, and focussed on Design Thinking and Innovation Management in the cultural sector. As an outward looking and collaborative MA programme, faculty and students alike were delighted to work with students from the MSC in Business Management in the Creative Industries at De Montfort University during this Study Day. Students came together to work in interdisciplinary workshop teams, and brought their differing work and academic experiences to develop design thinking prototypes from videos to pop up shops, welcome packs to teacher training formats. The collaborative group also brought a unique international perspective with participants from: America, England, China, Thailand, Russia, Italy, and Bulgaria.

On Sunday students were invited to attend an exclusive friends and family private view of the soon to open Design Museum.

Alongside a vibrant week of invited practitioners, students meet with Faculty to gain 1 to 1 careers advice and support in developing their major professional research project, and attended workshops on developing CVs, writing cover letters and career planning.

Students have been left inspired and excited, and are starting to think about what opportunities they can seize while studying in London, one of the worlds most international, vibrant and dynamic cultural capitals.

Plans are currently being made for a similar series of events in Spring, which will focus on Arts Fundraising, Cultural Diplomacy, and Curating.

The MA in Visual Arts Management and Curating is a 12 Month programme which includes an accredited internship and the opportunity to complete a professional research project. For further details contact Dr Oonagh Murphy, Associate Professor of Visual Arts Management and Curating or consult our website.

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