The impacts of our research are diverse and include:
- the development of professional practice, including that of museum and heritage practitioners, musicians, artists and music entrepreneurs
- the enhancement of cultural life and identity for museum visitors and music audiences, and for community and youth groups
- impacts on cultural policy, particularly in relation to cultural heritage and tourism
Our showcase some of this research which has been widely utilised by the media – in press commentaries, radio broadcasts, film and television documentaries – enabling us to contribute to public debate and understanding of historical and current affairs.
Public engagement activities
Each year we offer a wide range of public engagement activities related to our research. Our compositions have been performed nationally and internationally, and recorded and released on a commercial basis. We have staged major exhibitions and installations based on our research and organised panels and workshops for music industry conventions.
Our research has also informed the production of documentary- and community-based films and public screenings and talks. We speak regularly on radio and we have produced and contributed to publications for wide-ranging audiences.
Music, Photographs and Stories from the Archives
One example of our public engagement activity is ‘Music, Photographs and Stories from the Archives’, a four-month project supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and based on collaboration between the Institute of Popular Music and the Open Eye Gallery (OEG), a photography gallery positioned in a prestigious and prominent new development at the heart of Liverpool’s regenerated Waterfront.
The project exploited the power of interest in heritage to engage the public in the significant but under-utilised archives of the IPM and the OEG. Members of the public were invited to visit each archive and select materials, some photographic and some audio, that resonated with their lives and personal experience. Working with the project team they then put together a photo story and a music story based on these materials.
This culminated in a public event presenting these stories and archival materials, with live music accompaniment arranged in collaboration with Liverpooljazz, an organisation working to raise the profile of jazz performance in Liverpool.
The project generated such interest that a weekly ‘Stories from the Archives’ slot was broadcast on BBC Radio Merseyside, and the project also featured as part of the regular radio podcasts of Liverpooljazz. A 90-minute documentary about the project was filmed and broadcast by Bay TV, while a shorter film was produced by the project team.
Other outcomes include scholarly publications and a research proposal. Music, Photographs and Stories from the Archives shows, therefore, how public engagement can not only follow on from and disseminate research but also spawn new research.