Marjolijn Brussaard

Former Dean of the School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University, Vice Chancellor of ArtEZ, Institute of the Arts in The Netherlands

Marjolijn Brussaard

I’m the Dean of The School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University. As the Dean, I manage the School that has 3,200+ students on the city campus in Nottingham, a wide variety of courses at BA and MA level – and several professional doctoral and PhD tracks in art studies. We work closely with our international partners in India, Hong Kong and Singapore, where we either validate or co-teach courses to over 4,000 students.

The School is renowned for its research, innovation and teaching in Fashion, Visual Arts, Visual Communication and Fashion Marketing, Management and Communication. We have world leading research in advanced textile, and being named the most creative artistic community in the country, is a testimony to our reputation.

School of Art & Design in the city is an active member of the cultural community of Nottingham (-shire). We have strong partnerships within the city with organisations like Broadway, Confetti, Nottingham Contemporary and artist initiatives like Backlit and Primary. The School actively contributes to the city by creating opportunities for both art and culture, and for the graduates to stay and start businesses and working life in the city and county adds to the creative environment Nottingham has. We are working with the City Council and the bus company to create a Creative Corridor connecting the history and major art/culture venues in the city with a new concept bus route.

The School of Art & Design has been teaching Art & Design since 1843, the School of Design was set up to support the textile and lace industry, and it has a national and international reputation in the sector for quality and innovation.

Nottingham has a good breadth of Art & Culture in the city, some at national level like The New Arts Exchange and Nottingham Contemporary, which deserve to be discovered by a wider audience. I’m well connected with Arts organisations across the world, and would love to fly the flag for Nottingham. That is why I strived to get the Cumulus international conference to Nottingham and NTU, which will bring over 300 delegates from all over the world. I think Nottingham should be the creative centre of the north, and would like to contribute to that however I can. Culture is key to social cohesion and could help development in education.

The Hive, Nottingham Trent University’s specialist enterprise centre, has supported the development of over 350 businesses, most of which are locally based and have a combined turnover of approximately £10m per annum.

Businesses recently supported by The Hive, include:

  • Go Dine – a restaurant booking tool which has attracted c. £400K in private and public invest (employing 12 people);
  • Prime Principal – a market-leading educational software firm now employing 29 people;
  • Strafe Creative – a graphic design and creative services agency employing 6 people;
  • Wiseman designs – an app development company employing 2 people.

Nottingham is the perfect place to host an event in my field because of the history, the environment, the cultural partnerships and relations, and the following opportunities:

  • Using historic venues : Castle and Council House,
  • Work with the cultural communities with organisations like NAE etc.
  • Unique hospitality opportunities and features like the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem pub for example,
  • Cultural heritage, lace and textile, buildings in creative quarter.

Current noteworthy innovations in my field of expertise with a Nottingham connection:

  • Advanced textile research of Prof. Tilak Dias is world leading in his field. We do work with local, national and international partners,
  • Creative corridor project as part of the Future Cities EU project: working with Council, bus company and Creative Quarter,
  • EM 15, Venice Biennale East Midlands’s pavilion, promoting mid-career artists in the highest international fine art arena, with New Arts Exchange, One Thoresby Street, Quad and Beacon.