On Wednesday morning I was at the Young Vic in London for the What Next? meeting. Following my presentation to a What Next? meeting in March I had been invited back (“by popular demand!”) for a longer conversation about the amateur arts. This week we discussed the need to look at the whole cultural ‘ecosystem’ – including the amateur arts and the commercial arts – in order to make a stronger and more coherent argument for the value of culture. We considered the idea of developing local What Next? groups around the country to bring together a wide range of arts and cultural organisations – including amateur groups – to develop the conversation further. It was interesting and encouraging to see some of the most prominent arts institutions, including the Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells, the Roundhouse and the Young Vic, talking about the importance of the amateur arts and their need to connect better with the amateur sector. I have now been invited to speak about this at the What Next? conference in London on 29 April.
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