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Niki Black – UK En-compass participant

I currently share my time between academic and professional practice – taking my Masters in Heritage, Interpretation and Education within the International Cultural Centre for Heritage Studies (ICCHS) at Newcastle University and working as a visual artist.

My artwork focuses predominantly on public and community based arts projects and training in arts and development. My work is particularly concerned with creative development within communities and using heritage links to strengthen a project and its participants. Recent projects have included community arts training and development in Botswana and Crete and a wide variety of projects in the UK, predominantly in the North East. I have worked recently on projects with older residents of Newcastle, exploring connections to local places and the changing nature of a region through artwork.

I am very interested in the importance of networking and recognising the links and similar issues faced by artists internationally. I feel strongly that using the arts and building on peoples’ innate, but often undiscovered creativity that it is possible to empower both individuals and their wider communities. En-compass, through its international scope of participants, can really work on not only celebrating the diversity of the countries involved, but also recognise and be strengthened by the similarity of the issues faced on a global level.

My academic interests focus on the social dynamics of local cultural festivals and the use of heritage to provide community cohesion, particularly with regard to areas with greater social, economic and cultural needs. I am working to combine my experience in the arts and also in the heritage sector (previously having worked in both managerial and educational roles at environmental and historical visitors centre in the UK) with research and working on the En-compass project.

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Niki Black
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