Mayor's Series - Art and Media in London & the Cities

Mayor's Series - Art and Media in London & the Cities

Autumn Festival of Ideas 2014


Please note: This event took place in Nov 2014

It's been claimed that there's a funding bias towards London that leaves large parts of England without fair access to the arts. They are where most people live and work, learn and play. But have we got it badly wrong in the UK? Is London an over-dominant capital city with a runaway economy?

With a relatively successful economy, Bristol contributes more to the Government through taxation than it gets back in grants or funding for public services. If Bristol was financially self-sufficient, could it become an independent, self-governing city-state - setting its own taxes and spending money on local priorities rather than national ones?

Cities like Bristol also rely on London. What potential is there of greater devolution to cities - even regional parliaments - following the Scottish independence vote and the plans announced by both the coalition government and the Labour Party? Can cities be made free of central government? What would an ideal relationship with London mean? What can we learn from Manchester and Liverpool and the Great Northern Powerhouse? This series will explore how this relationship works and how things could be made better. It looks at recent government initiatives, what works and what does not; examines arts and media as a case study; and assesses the potential for local economies.

Helen Legg became the director of Spike Island in 2010. Previously she was Curator at the renowned Ikon, Birmingham, where she worked for 5 years on exhibitions and offsite projects as well as the development of Ikon Eastside, a second gallery based in a former factory building in Digbeth, an industrial area of the city. This year she is a judge for the Turner Prize and the CAS Annual Award, and in 2013 was a selector for the Paul Hamlyn Artist's Awards. She is chair of Visual Arts South West, an advisor for the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, and she serves on the acquisition committee for Frac Midi-Pyrénées 2012-15.

Art and Media in London & the Cities

Rebalancing Our Cultural Capital claimed the funding bias towards London left huge proportions of England's population without fair access to the arts. Is this true? Is it inevitable? With Phil Gibby, Director, Arts Council England, South West; Pat Connor, BBC's Head of Development & Events for England and Helen Legg, Spike Island.

Speaker biographies:

Phil Gibby is Area Director, South West at Arts Council England. He was previously the Director of Development & Communications at Welsh National Opera, a Regional Director at Arts & Business and Development Manager at Bristol Old Vic.

Pat Connor is Head of Development & Events for BBC England, where she oversees the BBC's strategy to better connect with audiences. Recent projects by Pat's team include The Great North Passion and The Preston Passion for BBC One, Frankenstein's Wedding... Live in Leeds and Bollywood Carmen Live both for BBC Three, Rankin: Alive In The Face of Death with Liverpool Museums for BBC TWO, CBBC Live and The BBC Philharmonic Presents Season across all BBC Radio Networks. Previously, Pat worked as Series Producer of The Culture Show on BBC TWO and as Head of specialist and then mainstream music programmes at BBC Radio One. Pat began her career as a music journalist and presenter on Radio Bristol before moving to BBC Radio Four to make drama and poetry programmes.

This event is free: book tickets via Eventbrite and bring your confirmation on the day.

There are four events in this series, all are free but booking is required. The other events are London and the Cities (Thu 9 Oct, 19:30), Freeing Cities (Wed 15 Oct, 19:30) and Interview with Sir Peter Bazalgette (Thu 13 Nov, 20:00).

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