From education to employment

Key debate will focus on how the arts can boost the economy

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Leading arts figures will on Monday discuss how culture can help the economy bounce back from the pandemic.

The City of London Corporation, the governing body of the Square Mile, and the Genesis Foundation, which champions the work of young actors, directors, playwrights and musicians, are co-hosting a series of free ‘Cultural Conversations’.

These bring together major figures from London’s arts and cultural scene.

The New Future: Art and Culture in the Making of a Vibrant Economyis the sixth discussion in the series and will take place on 20 September from 6pm – 7:30pm.

Places can be booked for the free event here.

It will be hosted virtually by Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell, at The Mansion House with an invited audience. The event will be chaired by Will Gompertz, the Barbican’s Director of Arts and Learning, formerly the BBC’s arts editor. The panel includes:

  • Tarek Iskander, Artistic Director & CEO, Battersea Arts Centre
  • John Studzinski CBE, Founder and Chairman, Genesis Foundation
  • Kully Thiarai, Creative Director & CEO, LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture
  • Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Singer, Songwriter, Cellist

The discussion will examine a wide range of issues, including:

  • Building a more positive, inclusive, dynamic future for the arts – not just in London, but across the country.
  • How regional partnerships and collaborations between culture and commerce contribute to jobs, skills, innovation and creativity.

Lord Mayor William Russell said:

“The arts have a leading role to play in reenergising the UK economy as we emerge from the COVID pandemic.

“Collaboration between culture and commerce will be a critical part of that bounce-back.

“This partnership will bring job opportunities for young people and fuel the creative energy that makes London such an exciting place.

“We have assembled a great panel for this sixth cultural conversation and we can expect a lively, compelling and thought-provoking discussion with the online audience.”

John Studzinski CBE, Founder and Chairman of the Genesis Foundation said:

“I am delighted we continue to partner with the Lord Mayor on the sixth Cultural Conversation with its important focus on culture, capital and economic regeneration.

“This discussion will draw together many of the diverse themes we have discussed in previous sessions and link to the fundamental issue of economic recovery.

“The arts can help us to build back better by providing jobs, livelihoods and an outlet for creativity for our artists. At the Genesis Foundation, we have been rolling out our Kickstart Fund to support creative projects run by freelancers. Both in London and the rest of the UK, culture chases capital, and capital chases culture.”

The City of London Corporation is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests over £130m every year.

In partnership with the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra, and Museum of London, the City of London Corporation is leading the development of Culture Mile, the City of London’s new cultural district, between Farringdon and Moorgate, building a world-class hub of creativity, innovation and learning.

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