Contributing to the national cultural policy debate

the Authors

Christopher Gordon, David Powell and Peter Stark have worked in the arts and culture - together and independently - over the last 45 years. We share a concern for community and the local, for the work of the contemporary artist and a profound belief in the importance of local government. To this Christopher brings 25 years of work in the cultural policies and structures of Europe, East and West, North and South. David adds a lifetime's commitment to London and the experience of Docklands renewal. Peter brings the experience of the regeneration of Tyneside and the fresh perspective of his recent return from 12 years work with the arts and culture in South Africa.
Purpose and locus
Working together we seek to enliven and enrich debate and effect change through our research reports where we also work with other like-minded and experienced colleagues and in our commentaries. Our 'homeland' focus is on contemporary England but we always seek to locate our work historically and in a wider British, European, Commonwealth or international context as appropriate to the work in hand.
Independence and Funding
All of our work to date as GPS culture has been self-funded. We intend that some of our work in the future will attract funding without compromising our independence. Individually, we are all still - necessarily - working professionally in our fields.

Peter Stark's work in researching, developing and delivering cultural policy and projects in the UK has ranged from his founding directorships of South Hill Park Arts Centre and Voluntary Arts to the culture led transformation of his native Tyneside. In South Africa since 2000 he has worked in Inner City Johannesburg, in Nelson Mandela Bay and in the former homelands of the Eastern Cape. Throughout his career he has been a teacher of cultural management and leadership. He was awarded the OBE in 1990 for his work as Director of Northern Arts and he was appointed Professor in Cultural Policy and Management at Northumbria University in 2000. He is the Chair of Voluntary Arts (UK & Ireland).

Christopher Gordon is an independent consultant and university lecturer in international cultural policy in the UK and in continental Europe. Formerly Chief Executive of the English Regional Arts Boards, a local authority Arts Officer (London Borough of Camden and Hampshire County Council) and festival programmer, he led and wrote the National Cultural Policy Evaluations of Italy, Latvia, Cyprus and Turkey for the Council of Europe, and is author of two UNESCO cultural policy publications.  Sometime adviser to the Culture Committee of the European Parliament, Treasurer of the European Forum on the Arts & Heritage, he is an Editorial Board member of the International Journal of Cultural Policy.

David Powell works as an animateur, consultant, mentor and board member with arts and cultural organisations across the UK and internationally. Since 1990 he has run his own research and development practice, DPA, which promotes the role of cultural practice and creative businesses in regeneration and community building, helping strong local cultures and economies to flourish. He has advised civic and cultural leaders in East London and the Thames Gateway, the North of England, in coastal communities and elsewhere. He was a Director of Inter-Action, the influential arts and community development charity until 1985. Former Chair of Camden Arts Centre and Film and Video Umbrella, he is a Director of ACAVA, the national artists’ studio development company and is one of the initiators of the Camley Street Sustainability Zone in Camden, London. Now based in South Wales, he is a Visiting Professor at University of East London and a founder member of the London Legacies Group..

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