Research Interests/Professional Background
François is an independent writer and researcher with a long career in arts practice, theory and policy. Between 1979 and 1994, he worked as artist and producer in community arts, before moving to consultancy and research, where he undertook groundbreaking work in the evaluation and social outcomes of arts participation, notably in Use or Ornament? (1997).
Today, his work includes writing, research and consultancy. Since 1994, he has worked for many clients ranging from the World Bank and the Council of Europe to the South Bank Centre and Aberdeenshire Council. He has also served on the boards of bodies such as NESTA, Arts Council England, and an Arts and Humanities Research Council programme.
François' work is recognised internationally through extensive publication, translation, academic positions, and conference invitations: he has worked in more than 35 countries, from Eastern Europe to Japan, Colombia, Australia and Burkina Faso.
In 2011, François began to explore undervalued areas of cultural life: Regular Marvels values the richness and diversity of everyday art practice, especially when it is disregarded by power: the first publications address migration, age and amateur performance. Current projects focus on artistic taste and musical intelligence.
2013 Bread and Salt, Stories of Art and Migration, Utrecht (Dutch edition, Brood en zout: Verhalen over kunst en migratie)
2013 Cultural Encounters, The Swiss Cultural Programme in SE Europe 1999-2012, Sarajevo
2012 Winter Fires, Art and Agency in Old Age, London
2012 Where We Dream: WBOS and the Fine Art of Musical Theatre, West Bromwich
2010 Telling Stories: The arts and wellbeing in North Liverpool, Liverpool
2013 ‘Creative Progression: Reflecting on quality in participatory arts’ in UNESCO Observatory Multi-Disciplinary Journal in the Arts, Vol. 3, III, Melbourne
2013 ‘Late flowering: Art and wellbeing in old age’, in Lang Leve Kunst, Over Ouderen en Cultuur, Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie, Rotterdam
2013 ‘All in this together’: The depoliticisation of community art in Britain, 1970-2011’ in van Erven, E. ed., Community, Art ,Power, Rotterdam
2012 ‘Beleid, politiek en de complexiteit van het culturele landschap’ in Schramme, A., Schrauwen, J. & Rommes, C., ed., Goed Bestuur Voer Cultuur, Antwerpen
2009 „Po?ród nat??onego ruchu”. Istota w??czenia w kultur?? in Kultura Wspó?czesn?, nr 4(62) 2009, Warszaw
2008 « Politique culturelle et diversité? au Royaume-Uni » in Négrier, E. & Bonet, L. (éd.) La fin des cultures nationales. Les politiques culturelles à l'épreuve de la diversité? Paris