Milapfest and Hope University Partnership Featured in New Research

In 2010, Milapfest was invited to take up residence at Liverpool Hope University’s new state of the art Capstone Theatre, in their revamped Creative Campus in Everton. This was a wonderful opportunity to be embedded in a University with an interest in arts and humanities, and a desire to make Indian classical arts part of their academic life. We were immediately proud and excited to call the university our home, a few steps away from award-winning gardens and within a fantastic venue. This was planned to be much more than an office rental, and we became part of the academic community. From 2011 onward, Milapfest began to bring some of our most treasured programmes, some top class events, and a series of premieres and world firsts to Liverpool Hope University, including Dance India, Tarang, the Sannidhi Centre for Indian Arts, and Arts School, while continuing our programme of national and international work.

Over the years, Milapfest became increasingly involved in University life, and contributed to all kinds of areas, from one-off lectures by visiting artists, to full partnership events and residencies. We have also engaged in a variety of research projects. One of the most important projects in recent years is the ‘Instruments India‘ collaboration, which has enjoyed success in creating new musical works, a research partnership of mutual benefit, and a new website and iPad app with far-reaching implications for audience development and music education.

Apart from creating some fascinating friendships, experimental works and a host of opportunities, the partnership was also been nominated for the Times Higher Education Awards in 2016 for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.

The partnership caught the attention of ‘Common Cause‘, who spent two years looking in depth at the landscape of Black and Minority Ethnic community-university partnerships. In September 2018 they released a report detailing their findings and recommendations alongside a list of 10 Principles for Conducting Fair and Mutual Research Partnerships. Hope University’s Dr Manuella Blackburn and Milapfest’s Alok Nayak attended the report launch, and heard about how the landscape had changed, and the many challenges organisations still face. The report is crucial to the understanding and development of race equality and relationships between organisations, and the Milapfest-Hope partnership has been held up as a case study. We have achieved a lot, but there is still much we can learn and develop!

The report is called “Building Research Collaborations Between Universities and Black and Minority Ethnic Communities“. The research project was based on 19 case studies and the work of universities and other organisations, and addressed the many serious issues of barriers, challenges and opportunities for universities and community, arts & culture organisations in working together. The Instruments India Case Study is now available to view online.

Teaching Indian Music with Confidence (Workshop)

Next on the Instruments India agenda is a workshop intended to give primary school teachers and educators of young people the skills to teach Indian music with confidence. One of the outcomes of the Instruments India project is the new iPad app, which is designed to help children and young people learn about Indian music. For teachers and music leaders, ‘Teaching Indian Music with Confidence’ is a joint event at Liverpool Hope University on October 16 2018 (1-4pm). The session is a training and sharing day of discovery, to  learn, understand and share ideas about teaching Indian music in the classroom. Places are free but must be booked in advance. For more details and to register for a place, please visit here.

Tuesday 16 October 2018 (1-4pm) – Liverpool Hope University

Free – Registration Required

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