City of Culture – Talk to us

By on 10/04/2010 in Blog, Culture

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Chairman of the Birmingham Cultural Partnership, takes a look at the city's ongoing bid to be named UK City of Culture in 2013.

I was interested to read yesterday - an overview of the bid to make Birmingham the first ever UK City of Culture in 2013.

Now, while supporting our general aim to secure the crown for Birmingham, the blog's author Chris Unitt suggests we could do some things differently as we promote and shape our bid.

Fair enough.

The team has one aim - to achieve UK City of Culture status in 2013 - so we're not going to waste time being precious and taking offence any time someone voices criticism.

This is an ongoing process and the very presence of clearly demonstrates the importance we attach to public consultation.

So in my capacity as chair of the Birmingham Cultural Partnership I want to hear more.

Thanks to people like Chris, Jon Bounds, Nick Booth and others, Birmingham has a deserved reputation as the most vibrant and innovative blogging/social media city in the UK - not to mention the thriving hyperlocal scene – and we want to harness that online creativity.

We all want success for our city, so I'd like to meet up with the blogging community to see how we can work together. Maybe I could come along to the next social media surgery ( ) or maybe we could organise a separate event.

However we do it, I think it would be great to discuss ideas and really work together.

Birmingham has been shortlisted for a reason and together we can make the final push and get the recognition our city deserves for a fantastic cultural offer from the grassroots up.

Please add a comment below if you're interested in working with the bid team and we'll take it from there.

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There Are 10 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Paul Hadley says:

    RE: Talk To Us.
    Nice idea. I’d like to ask if Martin would give me a video interview about the initiative at the social media surgery please? Then I can host it online, and you can embed it into the website.

  2. Pete Ashton says:

    “and others”??? A more fragile ego than mine might take offence at that slight. ;)

    More seriously, get down to the Created in Brum shop in the Bullring. Here’s your city’s culture, being sold to real citizens.

    Blogging as a distinct community is so 2009.

    (And Paul, the question that is begged is “why and to what end?”)

  3. Paul Hadley says:

    Thanks Pete,
    To answer your question:
    a) because I don’t think it’s been done yet
    b) it would be good, I feel, to have a video produced by someone completely independent, as opposed to one from within the partnership team
    c) to make it available at a bigger size (the ones on the website are tiny), served via Youtube so it can be viewed on all mobile platforms
    d) because I feel there is too much text, and not enough imagery on the website
    e) because it’s relatively easy to do, and free of cost to anyone, bar me
    f) because I feel that a short piece of video is more engaging than text

    However, those are my opinions- it’s something I’d quite like to do.
    Others may completely disagree, which is fine too.

  4. Martin, you could of course also join in the discussion that Chris started on his blog instead of just starting a new one about it here.

  5. Chris says:

    I actually wasn’t intending to be all that critical of Birmingham’s bid in particular (rather, all of the candidate cities in general). I’ve got criticisms if you want them but they’re based on fairly poor knowledge of what’s going on, which was really my main point.

    As for working with the bid team, I (and my company) have already been involved a fair amount – we worked with Fierce to develop the concept for (or whatever it’s being called today) and we attended (at no charge) a discussion about how the digital aspects of the bid could be better developed. We’ve promoted activity around the bid on CiB and the Birmingham Social Media Cafe and I think we’re likely to have something in the CiB shop too.

    That’s the thing though – I’m interested, involved to some extent and still haven’t got a clue about what’s happening. If I can’t work that out then how could anyone else?

    Thanks for continuing this discussion, by the way. It is appreciated.

  6. Jill Robinson says:

    I thought I was quite well connected to the arts scene in the city as a singer with Ex Cathedra and longstanding member of its Board (amongst a number of connections!) but I am not clear whether there is any time left to really make a difference to the shape and content of the final bid documents and, if there is time, how do we do it? This is not only about wonderful new facilities and their impact in the short and longterm but about the activities undertaken across our city. Engaging people in creative experiences that are sustainable at all levels and in all kinds of places in our city will make a real difference and leave a lsting legacy. The sporting community have been very successful at making their case for changing people’s lives. Birmingham should be the role model for other cities in terms of how the arts can have a similar impact.

  7. Ann says:

    As you celebrate this cultural city, are you talking to people such as Pogus Caesar, i think he is doing such a fantastic job of keeping Birmingham on the artistic map. His work in the area of photography is vast – travelling and documenting communities in places like india, America and Albania. In the past 3 years he’s had outstanding exhibitions such as From Jamaica Row – Rebirth of the Bull Ring, Muzik Kinda Sweet. That Beautiful Thing and to cap all of that he now showing South Africa – A Brighter Flame at Symphony Hall.

    Are we going to have all singing and dancing cultural events yet again in the bid. Open your eyes it’s right there in front of you.

  8. Nina says:

    This is great! Pogus Caesar’s in depth interview with Richard Lutz.

    We hear about Caesar’s early days in New York, his love of film cameras and what he experienced in South Africa. Really inspirational.

    View on YouTube