Cultural Playing Field

West Midlands Cultural Offer Hub meeting by Robin Simpson
January 29, 2010, 3:32 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , , , ,

On Wednesday I was in Birmingham to take part in the first meeting of the West Midlands Cultural Offer Hub. The Hub pulls together local authorities, arts organisations and others from across the West Midlands to look at how the Government’s 5-hours-a-week cultural offer to young people might best be delivered in the region. Maria Howes, a freelance consultant who has been appointed as the regional co-ordinator for the cultural offer, is working on a delivery plan to build on the experience of the current ‘Find Your Talent’ pathfinder schemes and extend the cultural offer to young people throughout the West Midlands. Anne Bamford from Culture, Creativity and Education explained that the cultural offer needed to include a balance between ‘making and creating’ (which could happen anywhere) and ‘going to’ (experiencing cultural activity within a social/cultural space). She said that reading a novel in your bedroom would not count as part of the cultural offer but joining a reading group would. I was pleased to get a very strong agreement from the members of the Hub that, for the cultural offer to be really effective, it needs to involve local adult amateur arts groups – both to provide realistic, recognisable role models and to encourage progression to continuing cultural engagement into adulthood.

Robin Simpson.


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