Leadership & Innovation: Proactive and resourceful, consistently go over and above the expectations of Senior Lecturer role to advance International Agenda, Education, Research and Knowledge. Initiate and lead activities that celebrate creativity, culture and Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI), thus extending pillars of ambition, place and partnership. As standing as an emerging interdisciplinary creative research leader grows, help to extend MMU’s regional, national and international reputation.
Also: Departmental EDI Co-Lead, Faculty EDI member, intra-institutional Race Equality Activities Planning Group Co-Lead, Proposed Research Centre for Study of Race & Racism Advisory Board Member, and MMU Disability Forum Member.
2021-2022:Invited panel member: Deputy Vice Chancellor’s Academic Advisory Group (smaller groups of academics, professionals, students and other stakeholders to contribute to 2030 Strategic Framework).
2022: Invited panel member: PVC Education’s and University Teaching Academy (UTA) and National Teaching Fellowship panel 2022.
2022: MMU EDI Award nomination by Director of Poetry Library Becky Swain. Says Becky: ‘I want to nominate Kai Syng Tan for her individual and dedicated practice at Manchester Met to champion diversity and work to develop an inclusive campus. Kai has initiated and undertaken action through the Race Equality Activity Planning (REAP) Group that has promoted diversity, equality and inclusion for staff snd students across the university. This has included through her own research practice, but also dedication to anti – racist practice – including dedicated work leading colleagues in coordinating many of the A&H faculty activities centring on the 75th anniversary of the Pan African Congress and tirelessly advocating for resources to support key EDI work. Kai has advocated for cultural leadership programmes, and even setting up a book group that has regularly brought together colleagues to discuss a wide range of fiction, poetry and non fiction that focuses on BAME authors and experiences of racism’.
2021 onwards: Invited Panel Member & EDI Advisor: Recruitment of PVC Faculty and Head of Department; Graduate Awards, Holden Gallery. new Eliza Charlotte Morris Prize 2022. £1000 annual award (for ten years) for graduating students of A Drama and Contemporary Performance who demonstrate creative engagement and care with cohort. Created to honour and commemorate student Eliza Charlotte Morris.
2021: MMU EDI Award nomination by Faculty Head of Education Professor Phil Drake
LeadsSocial Art Inclusion Laboratory (SAIL) research group. Works with diverse group of ECRs to explore and advance creative research in socially-engaged art. SAIL is a microcosm of what EDI (equity diversity inclusion) should look like as practised, applied and researched. Members are trans, disabled, ethnically-diverse and our research also entangle with related issues, which relate to my own research too.
Research Mentor: For artist lecturer Chester Tenneson who leads on an exceptional Queer Reading group that supports, elevates and celebrates the work of LGBTQI+ students
Member of various other groups, including Mobilities Art and Performance, Disability Cultures.
PI for BBC Film Commission from The Space and Unlimited (£8900+£1000 +
Costed as Mentor for Ali Wilson’s Every Brain (£14,867, Arts Council England) and Ashok Mistry’s DYCP (£10,000, Arts Council England) with George Vasey & Mike Layward/Dash Arts.
Costed as Collaborator in £5000 from Arts Council England & Anglia Ruskin University for Running Artfully Network Launch.
Internal grants won:
As Principal Investigator:
2021: Manchester School of Art Research Centre (MSARC) contingency fund: £2900
2022: Covid Recovery Fund: £2500
2022: MSARC Fund: £300
2022: Asian Cultures Research: £500
2021: £3000: For Social Art Inclusion Laboratory (SAIL). PI: Prof. Amanda Ravetz
2020: Approximately £10,000: GCRF fund for Pan African Congress 75th Anniversary Celebrations as collaborator. PI: Prof. Ola Uduku.
Peer Reviewing: Review research grant applications and articles.
Active grant bidder: Despite external funding processes being highly-inaccessible, I have, since joining ManMet in 09/2019 been an extremely active bidder for external funds. Total : £318,202.41
Advance EDI and International Agendas, through Learning and Teaching, RKE and Citizenship, prioritising creative, non-siloed co-creative, cross-institutional alliance and ally-ship.
Example: Pan African Congress 75th anniversary celebrations PAC@75 (Black History Month 2020), a 4-day festival with 18 events co-curated with Professor of Architecture Ola Uduku (now University of Liverpool Head of Architecture) in collaboration with 11 cultural and academic partner institutions that reached 18.2 million people worldwide, and saved Manchester Met £168,000 in advertising (equivalent advertising value/EAV). Its legacies including the 55-member Race Equality Activity Planning Group REAP (since 2021) which I co-found and co-chair, which led cultural activities for Black History Month 2021
Founding of Departmental Common Room (Spring 2020) which led to other EDI co-leadership at Department, Faculty and University. Formal roles include: Advisory Board Member for Research Centre for Study of Race & Racism, EDI Co-lead (Department of Art and Performance) and E&D Group member (Faculty of Arts and Humanities). Activities include helping to organise Faculty’s first LGBTQIA+ History Month Festival 2021
Initiated Staff Neurodiversity group
Mentor neurodivergent staff and students
Contribute to improving access eg MSARC Research Handbook; online interfaces; new Arts and Humanities building.
Proactively provide positive feedback to staff and their line managers who exemplify good practice.
Proactively provide critical feedback and practical recommendations to improve processes such as on a transphobia case, and to make external payment processes more transparent and equitable.
MA CREATIVE ARTS LEADERSHIP
Programme Leadership: Interdisciplinary, internationalised MA Creative Arts Leadership. Find out more here. Summary:
Interrogates ‘leadership’ as a practice, problem and possibilities for volatile times.
Curated through art school ethos with Business School, PERU, School of Digital Arts.
Targets professionals from and beyond the creative and cultural sectors in Asia and beyond.
Formalising discussions with the triple-crowned Business School. This formalisation will be a first for the Department.
Draws on extensive primary and secondary research across 2 years, including in consultation with the Faculty International Head, UTA’s Principal Lecturer Reader Dr Chrissi Nerantzi, and with 100+ industry experts such as Katelijn Verstraete, former Director Arts & Creative Industries East Asia, British Council, Dr Darren Henley OBE, CEO Arts Council England. Prof Chin Hwee Tan, CEO Asia Pacific of Trafigura (US$147 billion revenue) and David Moutrey, Manchester Director of Culture and CEO of Home.
MA will enable MMU to contribute to discourses led by UN and World Economic Forum, NESTA in creativity and new models of ‘leadership’ in a post-pandemic era.
ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT & INNOVATION
Invited Lead for Office for Students Pilot Programme: MMU is one of 22 institutions to deliver the Lifelong Learning Entitlement (2025), a cornerstone of the government’s Education White Paper. I have designed and will lead on 6-week ‘Creative Arts Leadership short course. Targeting nursery workers, care home and NHS staff, it will be delivered with MMU’s acclaimed RISE programme (Guardian University Award for best Course Design, Retention and Student Outcomes 2020).
Teaching Teachers: Often asked to deliver workshops for MMU staff through central University Teaching Academy around creativity and EDI.
Mentor: For peers’ Higher Education Academy Fellowship application
Innovation: Developing new university-wide approaches and programmes with Prof. Mark Peace (RISE)
All this is in tandem with invited external commissions, such as keynotes and CPD training on neurodiversity, creativity and mental health. Examples:
November 2021: Keynote speaker for ELIA academy’s 300,000 members of lecturers, researchers, technicians, students on extending higher art education
Routinely asked to teach in HEIs, such as at Universities of
Principal Supervisor from 2021: Erika Conchis. Thesis: “Can Design Anthropology and co-creative mapping approaches support residents in navigating urban air pollution?”, as part of £1.35m Leverhulme Unit for the Design of Cities of the Future (LUDEC).
First Supervisor for Anne-Marie Atkinson 2018- Challenging Outsider Art: How are learning disabled artists informing contemporary art? With Venture Arts
Second Supervisor for Olivia Rowland 2020- Articulation ≠ Liberation: Automatic Drawing, Anxiety and Agency
PhD Reviewing: Chair for review sessions for PhD students’ progress
PhD External Examination2023: Zejun Yao, Artisthlete, School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies, University of Leeds.
PhD training: Invited by Postgraduate Arts and Humanities Centre (PAHC, Faculty’s provision of academic and professional training for PhD students) to deliver workshops, including on Neurodiversity, Social Art and Networking.
LEARNING & TEACHING
Specialism: Student-centred interdisciplinary learning, teaching and research with a focus on applied and transferable creative intelligence.
BA Fine Art Level 6 (final year):
Contextualising Practice (dissertation papers in art historical and art theoretical perspectives)
Worked closely with tutees Provided additional one on one tutorials on course work, pastoral care and career advice for several who had mental health issues and/or anxiety due to pandemic. Wrote reference letters for students, helped prepare interview etc. Successful outcomes: Cyprus residency, PGCE course enrolment, nursing degree BA. Positive feedback from students, including from a transgender L6 student: ‘…thank you for being the best tutor, especially when the support was much needed. I always felt listened to and always left a tutorial inspired due to your words. Thank you!!’
BA Fine Art Level 5:
Experimenting and Exploring with Practice (30 credits)
Talking About Art (15 credits)
Conversations about Keeping. Partner: Manchester Art Gallery
Primers (standalone projects with students)
PGT: Curating MA/MFA.
PGT: Manchester School of Theatre (MST) MA Performance.
EXTERNAL EXAMINATION & MORE
External Examination: 2022-2026: BA Fine Art degree programme, Sheffield Hallam University.
University of Salford: Theatre and Performance Practice.
St Georges University London: arts-health, health humanities MSc
Kings College London: MA Education in Arts & Cultural Settings: 2 sessions.
Kings College London: MSc Affective Disorder
University of Salford: MA Documentary Production for TV, Film and Digital Media.