Leeds City of Culture 2023 - Play Your Part

For Leeds to bid to become European Capital of Culture 2023 it must have an up to date Culture Strategy explaining how the city will change over the next thirteen years and how culture will be part of this change.

Often written by policy makers most people in Leeds won't ever have read a Culture Strategy, but young people (and those who work with them) are the people who make the city's culture from pop-up events, parkor and skateboarding to community groups, DJs, film makers, poets, dancers, cheerleaders, visual artists, singers, musicians… the list goes on.

If you and your young people don't already make the culture of Leeds, it's likely that one day you will.

The new Culture Strategy for Leeds is going to be written by as many people in Leeds as we can find to take part. We're looking for people to create a different definition of culture that still includes, but isn't just about, the arts covering food, music, dance, parks, galas and more. We're looking for people who have big ideas for what they might to see in their local area or the things they might want to make happen but aren't really sure how. We're looking for people who want a say in how the European Capital of Culture bid might develop and what it might include.

We will record everything at www.leedsculturestrategy.org and use this to make decisions about what we keep in the strategy and what we don’t, so that everyone can see how it developed.

To start with we want to talk to you about these things:

• We are starting to create a body of evidence documented at www.leedsculturestrategy.org that will show a different side to culture and help us to lobby policy makers and decision makers to change the rules so that culture in all its forms can take place wherever you want it to. Could you or the young people you work with take part in a focus group, or send us your views?

• We're looking for people who would be interested in writing about their views and adding them to the website to make sure their thoughts are included. We want as many different views as possible however you want to give them – filmed? Written? Delivered as a poem or song lyrics? Whatever you’re most happy doing.

• Maybe you want to stay with us as we develop the new strategy? This could be documenting its progress either by writing or filming it, meeting with people you know and giving them a voice - a sort of journalist role following the strategy as it comes together.

Age wise we are looking for people 11+ to document and write the strategy with us. We are also interested in talking to small focus groups of younger children as part of the conversations.

If this sounds like you please get in touch with Kat Handy at katherine.handy@leeds.gov.uk

Image courtesey of I Like Press.