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  • Professor Sara Selwood
  • Honorary Professor
  • sara@saraselwood.co.uk
  • UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY UK

Sara Selwood

Sara Selwood is an independent cultural analyst, research and writer. Having previously worked as an art historian and curator of contemporary visual art, much of her current work focuses on cultural policy and the public sector. She has written extensively on the relationship between the expectations of policy and the public’s experience of cultural provision. She currently edits the journal ‘Cultural Trends’ which champions the need for better evidence on the cultural sector.

Sara’s work concerns museums and heritage. This includes evaluations of major national and international programmes, including Renaissance in the Regions, a £300m government programme of investment in England’s regional museums, and UNESCO’s Strategic Programme Objectives in Culture.

She is also leading a project based on a time series of 150 years’ worth of visits to English museums, which is raising a number of questions about factors that determine museum visiting in general.  

A former Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, Sara currently chairs the Portrait Trust, which promotes the public’s learning through the medium of portraits. She was also formerly a member of the Mayor of London’s Cultural Strategy Group and Chair of its Cultural Policy Reference Group.

Future Policies, frameworks and legislation: the conditions under which English museums operate (co-author, Stuart Davies) in McCarthy, C (ed). Museum Practice: Critical debates in the museum sector. International Handbooks of Museum Studies. General editors Macdonald S & Rees Leahy H. Oxford: Blackwell
2013 Literature review: Public attitudes towards museums London: Museums Association. http://www.museumsassociation.org/museums2020/11122012-what-the-public-thinks

Mapping Heritage Craft. The economic contribution of the Heritage Craft sector in England (Pomegranate, TBR & Qa)

London: Creative & Cultural Skills. http://creative-blueprint.co.uk/library/item/451
2012 Practical Futurism: the value of culture and the key cultural trends of the future Future Forecasting: the challenges facing museums and cultural institutions. The Republic of Ireland: National Gallery of Ireland
2011 Evaluation of UNESCO’s Strategic Programme Objectives in Culture (strategic programme objective 9: Strengthening the contribution of culture to sustainable development and its strategic programme objective 10:Demonstrating the importance of exchange and dialogue among cultures to social cohesion and reconciliation in order to develop a culture of peace (in conjunction with Education for Change) Paris: UNESCO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0019/001918/191822e.pdf

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