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Queen Mary announces plan to become a world-leading centre for excellence in arts and culture

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has announced a plan to develop the university as a world-leading centre of excellence in arts and culture within higher education.

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Associate Research Fellow and performance artist Dickie Beau
Associate Research Fellow and performance artist Dickie Beau

A new arts and culture strategy was published at a celebratory event on Wednesday 8 November at QMUL’s historic People’s Palace.

Queen Mary is already a major contributor to London’s diverse artistic and cultural landscape, and has built strong relationships with its local, national and international audiences through the arts. The university’s cultural activities are underpinned by a commitment to social justice which has been central to the university’s identity since its founding.

The strategy sets out to “build on the university’s international reputation for distinctive and challenging cultural activity that has a positive impact on global challenges including poverty reduction, social justice, inclusion and well-being.” Arts and Culture at Queen Mary will be led by Andrea Brady, Professor of Poetry at the School of English and Drama.

Professor Brady said: “We have really innovative, interdisciplinary degree programmes such as the MSc in Creative Arts and Mental Health, the new MA in Heritage Management, and the forthcoming MA in Creative Industries and Arts Organising."

She added: "We have various artists in residence programmes, as well as many student and staff artists. QMedia and the Centre for Digital Music are world-leading creative industry pioneers which have developed multi-million-pound music technology spin-outs. The arts are really central to the way we teach, and how we develop our research and communicate about it with the public.”


The arts and culture strategy has three themes: global research, community engagement, and creative leadership. These themes, which have emerged in dialogue with Arts Council England, are central to each of the four strategic aims:

  • To develop QMUL’s role as an institution committed to diversity, inclusion, and well-being through artistic and cultural research
  • To support quality partnerships and build capacity for students and staff to engage in cultural activities
  • To contribute to the creative economy and enhance student employability
  • To communicate the range and value of QMUL’s cultural work
Professor Colin Bailey
Professor Colin Bailey

Professor Colin Bailey, President and Principal of QMUL emphasised the university’s long-standing commitment to public engagement and inclusive community outreach: “Arts and culture should be firmly embedded within our regional agenda, and it’s important that it is engaging for everyone”. 

He said that Queen Mary’s commitment to widening participation, and to its neighbourhood in the east end of London, means that the university is ideally placed to ensure that arts and culture are accessible to everyone in the community.


The evening included a range of performances by Lois Weaver, performance artist and Professor of Contemporary Performance at Queen Mary; ‘My Saree’s Story' performed by Showmi Das, directed by Rokshana Khan; the Chinese Music Studio; pianist Kate Ryder; poet Nick Makoha; singer and song writer Saida Tani; QMUL Associate Research Fellow and performance artist Dickie Beau; and live jazz music from QMUL's students.

Other speakers at the launch event included Stella Hall, leading festival director and member of QMUL’s Council; and Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England.

More information

To find out more about Tate Exchange please visit the website.

Download the Queen Mary Arts and Culture Strategy [PDF 17,652KB]

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