Cultural Playing Field


Vocation or Inspiration by Robin Simpson
January 30, 2009, 2:57 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , , , ,

On Thursday I was at Local Government House in London to attend the Westminster Media Forum seminar ‘Vocation or Inspiration? Young People, Cultural Provision and the Creative Industries’. I had been looking forward to hearing the Secretary of State so I was disappointed to discover that both the keynote speakers (Andy Burnham and Feargal Sharkey) had pulled out of the event. Nevertheless it was an interesting morning with a wide range of speakers looking at Creative Partnerships, Find Your Talent and similar initiatives. Andy Burnham’s place was taken by Mick Elliott, Director of Culture at DCMS. Talking about how Find Your Talent would increase young people’s interaction with arts organisations, Mick stressed that “change is not achieved by overnight visits from cultural institutions but by living together for the long term”. I followed up this comment by asking Mick what role he thought the 50,000 local amateur arts groups identified in the Government’s ‘Our Creative Talent’ study might have in such partnerships. Mick Elliott replied: “Our department’s agenda is very much to embrace the voluntary arts sector.” He said: “I would hope that the [Find Your Talent] pathfinders are engaged with the voluntary arts sector and including them in delivery at a local level … If not, they need to look again at those journeys young people go on to involvement in the arts in adult life.” I was encouraged by this public reassurance from DCMS that voluntary arts groups will be an integral part of the Find Your Talent cultural offer to young people.

Robin Simpson.


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