Stage set for Birmingham Arts and Culture Summit

By on 05/10/2012 in Leader, News

Leading figures from Europe and the United States will gather in Birmingham later this month to discuss the importance of arts and culture to the economic growth of the city.

The Arts and Culture Summit on October 18-19 will look at ways both the private and public sector can best support the development of Birmingham as a world class cultural centre.

Confirmed speakers for the event, hosted at the University of Birmingham’s Bramall Music Building, include:

  • Ruth Mackenzie, Director of the Cultural Olympiad
  • Julie Burros, City of Chicago Director of Cultural Planning
  • Xavier Fourneyron, City of Lyon Deputy Director, Cultural Affairs
  • Reinier Weers, Rotterdam Festivals Senior Project Manager

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore, said: “This summit is an opportunity to discuss the how we can work with a wide range of partners to reinvigorate the cultural life of the city.

“Culture plays a vital part in so many areas of life in Birmingham, from our economic development through to social cohesion and wellbeing.

“As a consequence, every member of my cabinet has a role in arts promotion and in this new era we want to work closely with those who have knowledge and expertise in the cultural sector.”


  • The objective of the event is to identify actions which will best support the development of Birmingham as a world class cultural centre.
  • Our aim is for a vibrant, diverse and robust sector which:
  • Plays a more effective role in attracting inward investment
  • Grows jobs in culture and the creative industries
  • Supports growth of jobs in the wider economy
  • Develops innovation and creative skills, especially amongst young people
  • Makes Birmingham a first class place to live for all our residents
  • Improves wellbeing
  • Supports community cohesion and a sense of Birmingham identity
  • Over two days, we will create a clear plan for:
  • Working together with cultural organisations, public, private and third sectors on supporting the delivery of a shared cultural vision
  • Introducing news ways of funding cultural development
  • Reviewing our approach to promoting Birmingham's reputation through our cultural offer
  • Strengthening leadership of the sector in the city
  • Tackling barriers to the growth of creative businesses
  • Ensuring we have the creative skills we need for the future
  • Improving the responsiveness of the sector to local need and building on delivery out of the city centre to address areas of low engagement
  • Embedding cultural planning throughout the delivery of our Vision for Birmingham (eg Birmingham Baccalaureate, Smart City, Inclusive Economy).

The theme for Day 1 is 'Cultural Capital for Residents, Visitors and Businesses' and the theme for Day 2 is 'Skills, Sector Growth and Sustainability'.

Speakers include:

  • Sir Albert Bore
    Birmingham City Council
  • Councillor Ian Ward
    Deputy Leader
    Birmingham City Council
  • Ruth Mackenzie
    Director of the Cultural Olympiad
    London 2012
  • Darren Henley
    Managing Director
    Classic FM
  • John Holden
    Visiting Professor
    City University London
  • Graham Vick CBE
    Artistic Director
    Birmingham Opera Company
  • Julie Burros
    Director of Cultural Planning
    City of Chicago
  • Xavier Fourneyron
    Deputy Director, Cultural Affairs
    City of Lyon
  • Reinier Weers
    Senior Project Manager
    Rotterdam Festivals

Planned workshops

  • How can we create effective leadership for culture in the city?
  • How can we capitalise on our cultural offer in positioning Birmingham in the international market?
  • How can we improve our cultural offer to support our positioning?
  • How can we improve participation in culture, especially amongst those who are least likely to take part?
  • How can we improve the influence of local people on the neighbourhood cultural offer and reinforce their sense of local identity, cohesion and pride?
  • How can we improve recognition of the impact of culture on the quality of life in Birmingham?
  • How can we link cultural and creative SMEs more effectively to funding?
  • How can we best develop a functioning supply chain network in Birmingham?
  • How can we ensure that young people have the creativity and innovation skills to access the job market?
  • How can we effectively integrate culture into young people's education, especially for those least likely to take part?
  • How can organisations move beyond joint working to reduce costs and into models which release artistic and operational synergies?
  • How can funders work more imaginatively together to make their investment more effective?
  • How can we develop new financial models to support Birmingham's ambitions for culture?

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