Skip to main content

Co-producing legacy: What is the role of artists within Connected Communities projects?

This research project explored how artists work within the AHRC Connected Communities programme. The programme has encouraged arts and humanities academics to work in different ways with communities to co-produce research across a range of disciplines. Many academics have worked with artists to realize ideas and help with a community engaged approach to research. At the same time artists have framed, challenged and theoretically informed engaged research.

The Co-producing legacy project was led by Kate Pahl (School of Education, University of Sheffield), Helen Graham (School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies), Steve Pool (Artist) and Amanda Ravetz (Manchester School of Art). It combined established research methods with an innovative open ended ‘studio’ form of enquiry aimed at understanding how artists have been working across a range of Connected Communities projects. The studio methodology asked how artists come to know and which theories of change they carry with them when working with communities.

Helen Graham at the University of Leeds specifically examined the role of art and design practice in the Ways of Knowing project, exploring how it enables ways of re-imagining and re-articulating participatory research with communities.

The team worked with Castlefield Art Gallery, A-N artists network, Arts Council England and the AHRC Connected Communities leadership fellows to generate and disseminate findings.

The full project team included: Kate Pahl, Steve Pool, Amanda Ravetz, Helen Graham with Richard Steadman-Jones, William Gould, Irna Qureshi, Zahir Rafiq, Marcus Hurcombe, Kate Genever, Graham Jeffery, Anne Douglas, Johan Siebers, James Oliver, Katie Hill, Tessa Holland. Research assistants: Hugh Escott and Kimberley Marwood.

The project was based at the University of Sheffield. If you would like more information about the project, please contact Dr Kate Pahl,

Image: detail taken from a picture by Tessa Holland, reflecting on the Ways of Knowing project