The role of volunteers in fostering social inclusion in a UK City of Culture

Expressing new narratives of the visual arts in the city

Authored by: Nigel D Morpeth

The Routledge Companion to Arts Management

Print publication date:  September  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138492226
eBook ISBN: 9781351030861
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter uses the context of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, to explore the role of volunteers as cultural mediators in their work in inspiring engagement in the visual arts with both fellow residents and visitors to the city. In initially providing literature review insights into volunteering, big society and cultural mediators, it sets the chapter within a wider context of academic insights, which are then applied to the case study of Hull. The chapter also provides empirical insights from assessors of the City of Culture visual arts programme, identifying the proactive role of volunteers in expressing narratives of different aspects of the visual arts to visitors and to community members. Their work with fellow residents in particular can be viewed as a form of social inclusion where residents who previously did not engage in the visual arts were inspired to participate.

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