The opportunity of working in a City of Culture

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As we welcomed in 2020 many of us had the excitement of the real countdown beginning. One year to go. UK City of Culture 2021. So many opportunities, so much promise for the City, Region, residents, creatives and business alike. 3 months ago the world changed, and is still going through its metamorphosis. What will January look like? No one really knows yet. Does this mean 2021 is already a wash out before it’s begun?

In December the CoC2021 team disclosed to a room of Creative Sector professionals the shape of the year: A MOVEMENT not a series of MOMENTS. Month to month a theme on which the programme hangs and develops.

At a recent F13 meeting, Chenine Bhathena said that the team were working on announcing how the year will shift as a result of this current crisis. It’s a tough announcement to make given the number of variables and uncertainties still in play, and we think it is quite justifiable to hold on as long as possible before jumping in just to fill the void. What we also think is that the year still holds so much hope and promise That it really can be a movement across the city and support and heal. Art and culture has a transformative effect on people and places. It can bring joy, shared experience, transformation and unity. Inadvertently, while immensely challenging times for the team, we think there is a real appetite and need for the ethos of the program revealed in December and as a city we have the opportunity to utilise this and really transform and grow and emerge from this crisis better.

While delivered under much different circumstances the year in Hull gives us a idea of the potential impact. As we’ve seen throughout the world the acts of kindness and community through this crisis, and the very recent solidarity in protest against the atrocious murder in America and inequalities of race, the movement has begun and through Arts and Culture let’s keep it going.

As well as building on communities within the residents of the city, there is also opportunity for uniting sectors in shared creative and cultural activity. That Arts and Culture can be sustained through it’s value being lived and breathed and understood for its impact when used to solve problems, tackle injustice, unite communities and bring JOY.

It is not just for the team to deliver 2021, but for us all to consider what the year looks like and how we might bring about embedded activity to achieve all our goals for the good of everyone. Lets look for the opportunities.

To inspire, maybe start with where Hull left off….

https://www.hull.ac.uk/work-with-us/research/institutes/culture-place-and-policy-institute/report/cultural-transformations-the-impacts-of-hull-uk-city-of-culture-2017-summary.pdf

and lets not forget, as a city, Coventry already has a pretty brilliant arts strategy in place, so maybe head there after http://covculture.com