We’re delighted to announce that Laura Ager has just been appointed to a PhD studentship under the supervision of Tim May and Beth Perry at the SURF Centre, University of Salford.  Laura is going to be examining the role of universities within cultural intermediation processes.  We’ll get her to post some details about her work as she gets started, but in the meantime she’s sent us a short bio:

Laura is a former Fashion Design graduate whose adventures and experiences in running a small business and producing original work led her to become interested in researching urban communities, creative practitioners and the cultural economy.

In the late 90s and early 2000s, she worked closely with fashion companies in the well-known Lace Market area of Nottingham at a time when a significant creative cluster of businesses were transforming a former industrial district into a hip and lively part of the city. She also produced a series of club nights and live music events in the city which meant a lot of late nights and more than just a glimpse into an interdisciplinary, DIY world of cultural production and consumption.

After moving to Leeds and completing an MA in Culture, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, where she focussed on culture-led regeneration of historic buildings, she became involved in running a mixed arts and performance space in Halifax. This restored Grade 2-listed former non-conformist chapel is strategic to its local community, providing a wide range of educational and cultural activities for older or marginalised groups and a sophisticated volunteering programme.

Over the past two years she has also worked at major international film festivals in Leeds and Bradford and now programmes a selection of short animated films for the World Animation Award at the Leeds International Film Festival, which is an Academy Awards qualifying competition.

Laura has always been able to translate academic achievements into benefits for other projects and now brings her enthusiasm for trans-disciplinary research to SURF and the Connecting Communities Programme.