13 industry experts appointed by AHRC and DCMS to lead Covid-19 recovery panel

Image: UCL's Professor Helen Chatterjee, who is one of the 13 members of the Expert Advisory Panel

The UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have announced the 13 experts who will populate a new Expert Advisory Panel, conceived to help the creative industries navigate the Covid-19 pandemic.

The panel will be co-chaired by Professor Andrew Thompson, executive chair of AHRC, and Neil Mendoza, the recently appointed Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal who is perhaps best known for his eponymous 2017 review of museums in England.

The 13 figures will bring together their specialist insights to guide the AHRC/DCMS Joint Research Project. Members of this new group will attend monthly meetings between this September and July 2021, with the ultimate goal being to compile a set of conclusive recommendations for the sector’s ongoing Covid-19 recovery plans.

The panel

The newly-formed Expert Advisory Panel comprises:

Professor Andrew Thompson, Arts and Humanities Research Council
Neil Mendoza, Oxford University
Dr Joanna Abeyie, Blue Moon
Dr Maria Balshaw, TATE
John Cassy, Factory 42
Professor Helen Chatterjee, University College London
Professor Andrew Chitty, Loughborough University London
Professor Edward Harcourt, Arts and Humanities Research Council
Imogen Heap, Recording Artist & multiple tech founder
Dr Chris Michaels, National Gallery
Neelay Patel, Digital Theatre
Sara Pepper, Cardiff University
Dr Jo Twist, UK Interactive Entertainment

Meetings will aim to glean new insights, explore new data, and gather real-time intelligence from a range of live AHRC research projects – all of which are investigating the impact of the pandemic on the arts, cultural and creative sectors, along with the response of these sectors to the pandemic.

Areas of focus

Specific areas under consideration at monthly forums will include:

  • How the pandemic is paving the way toward new business models in the creative and cultural sector
  • Accelerated transformation in creative technology, with reference to cultural production and consumption
  • Challenges and opportunities in adapting to digital consumption
  • How to accelerate the return to and Covid-proof live events
  • The monetisation of digital cultural offerings and content
  • The connection between culture and quality of life, including mental health and well-being

“The AHRC is determined to bring to bear the insights from the research we fund on the recovery of our arts, cultural and creative sectors. This joint research project will put the expertise of arts and humanities researchers at the heart of Whitehall, forging a strong knowledge partnership between the AHRC and DCMS,” notes Andrew Thompson.

His co-chair, Neil Mendoza, adds that the project represents a “unique and immediate opportunity to explore the impact of the pandemic on culture and learn how digital innovation can support the sector’s ultimate recovery and renewal”.