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Culture and
Creative Arts

We are interrogating the past and learning for the future, nurturing arts and culture to positively challenge and change our world.

Focus on creative practice

Global culture and creative arts are vast and varied, however perceptions of value can fluctuate. In a world facing many issues, culture and creativity can be dismissed in the face of economic, social, and environmental pressures. 

Arts and creative practice need to be positioned as opportunities for advancing knowledge and enriching experiences. They can be catalysts for public debate, and powerful storytellers.  

We need to focus on understanding and maintaining our global culture. Challenging history and learning from our past can help us in developing and enriching our future.  

There is huge potential in the arts for creating space for possibility, risk, and experimentation.  

We are challenging historical perspectives and enriching the future through arts and culture. 

Meet Ako, freelance journalist

Ako left his home in Iraq to seek sanctuary in the UK. Working as a journalist in Iraq had put his life at risk.

He documented and shared his lived refugee experience through photography, working with our academics Dr David Baines, Theresa Easton, and Skimstone Arts.

As part of Refugee Week, Ako exhibited photographs documenting his experience of Iraq, in particular the aftermath of the Halabja chemical attacks.  

Watch his film and discover his story.

Our culture and creative arts researchers, as well as producing work that pushes the boundaries of their disciplines and practices, create work that addresses some of the major challenges facing society from social justice to climate change. This shows how vital culture and creative arts are to understanding and contributing to the world around us.

Professor Vee Pollock

Dean of Culture and Creative Arts

Innovative and interdisciplinary

Our work in creative practice is world-renowned. Our colleagues are at the forefront of practice in their fields of: 

  • heritage 
  • fine art 
  • creative writing 
  • folk and traditional music 
  • creative industry policy 

We have a strong history of innovative interdisciplinary working across sectors. Much of our work is co-produced with partners. Our influence is regional, national, and international. 

We are the lead partner of the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (Creative PEC). This collaborative research initiative gives evidence-based policy insights and analysis which support the creative industries. We co-host the Creative PEC with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) through our innovative twin-hub model. We’re using our combined expertise and shared vision to bring huge benefits to the UK creative sector.  

We’re contributing to the Northern Creative Corridor, a partnership led by the RSA, aimed at unlocking the creative potential of the North of England. We’re helping capitalise on the strengths of the creative economy in our region, by adding to the evidence base, addressing sector workforce needs, and fostering engagement through our cultural venues.  

Our Oral History Unit and Collective collaborates across various disciplines, from creative arts to medicine. In partnerships with researchers worldwide, history groups, and community historians, we  explore the role of oral history in communicating the past in the present.  

Empowering research and practice

Our Newcastle upon Tyne campus and the North East of England provide great opportunities for culture and creative arts research and practice

From World Heritage Site, Hadrian’s Wall, to captivating Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the region serves as a rich source of inspiration and study. We partner with prominent urban and rural arts venues, as well as arts and heritage organisations. An extensive international network of writers and poets, including participation in the Newcastle Poetry Festival, further enhances our creative community.

Our Newcastle city-centre campus provides galleries, museums, and award-winning collections and archives that benefit staff, students, partners, and the public. Our LIVE in King’s Hall Concerts and INSIGHTS Public Lectures are free and open to everyone. One of our regional partners, Northern Stage, is also based on our campus. 

Our facilities include research institutes and centres dedicated to heritage and arts practice. They are complemented by world-leading workspaces and on-site studios. This integrated approach creates an ideal setting for innovative and impactful creative practice.  

Cultural venues

Our cultural venues support the cultural richness of Newcastle upon Tyne. They are interdisciplinary research hubs and bridge the gap between our innovative work and the public.  

The Great North Museum: Hancock is our museum of natural history, archaeology, geology, and world cultures with university research at its heart.

The Hatton Gallery stages a programme of modern and contemporary art exhibitions and events. It is also a living lab for teaching, research, and contemporary programming. The Gallery is complemented by art across our Newcastle campus

The Farrell Centre is our newest cultural venue. Its exhibitions, talks, tours and activities for all ages are inspired by architecture and urban design. 

Our Special Collections and Archives curate and showcase a distinctive collection of books and archives for university staff, students, researchers and the wider community.  

Research centres

Our research centres and institutes are key enablers of our culture and creative arts research, including: 

We also work with our three National Innovation Centres: Ageing, Data and Rural Enterprise

Home to prize winners

We are home to TS Eliot and Forward prize-winning poets, playwrights, and multi-award winning authors. Our artists include Turner Prize nominees. Our musicians have BBC awards.