St George’s Hall lit in purple light featured in an arial photograph at night
St George’s Hall lit in purple light featured in an arial photograph at night
St George’s Hall sits with the Cultural Quarter of Liverpool, Image copyright Stratus Imagery.

“During times of crisis, it can be difficult to think of the future, to know how to progress and embrace creativity and think outside of the box. However this week I was reminded that now is the perfect time to stop, collaborate and listen.

Attending the ROCK, Open Knowledge Week seminar, (digital in the current climate) I was inspired by the projects undertaken around Europe in utilising our culture and heritage for the regeneration of both physical places and the mental transformations of residents. Listening to the city of Eindhoven discussing their “Living Lab” and how they have utilised people’s experiences at their cultural events to feed into the urban regeneration of their city was inspiring. …


“I believe that this is such an important and incredibly needed project and event, that Liverpool City Council has put together, and feel extremely honoured to be a part of it. I find, in this day and time, where everything seems like a blur and where there’s a great amount of uncertainty, in those moments, hope and faith is vital.

In those moments, we must remember who we are, what we have, what we have overcame and the sacrifices made to bring us here. It’s in these moments, we must reflect, take time to stop and think, take time to be grateful, take time to just be. Remembering that when we come together, we’re able to make great changes, changes that will ripple and have a positive, lasting effect on current and later generations. …


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Princes Boulevard Community Engagement: Alicia Smith (Centre)

I have worked in Liverpool 8 as a youth worker, dance teacher and a creative producer, working closely with the community, young and old, on many diverse projects in various venues across the patch.

In a past life I was the Director of South Liverpool Arts Festival — and its ethos was to bring together the community through music and art. It was a cultural celebration in every sense.

I grew up in the area, so I’ll always be grateful that I played a part in something which made L8 hit the headlines for all the right reasons. …


Claire McColgan, Director of Culture Liverpool shares her thoughts on an inspiring virtual gathering during a time of uncertainty

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Giant Spectacular: Liverpool’s Dream — Officially the biggest cultural event Liverpool and Wirral have ever seen.

So, it’s the day of Act One of The Good Business Festival and I’m listening to the radio and there is the constant cloud of full lockdown looming and the desperation of businesses not knowing where to turn or who to turn to.

I have been isolating with my family — my daughter is a new student and has joined the thousands of others who have contracted the virus while embarking on a new chapter in her education.

When I came to Liverpool for freshers week in 1989, I fell in love with this city which felt like the most exciting place in the world, and it has been my home ever since. The late 1980s was a time when the city was economically at its lowest ebb. The city centre was half shut down, buildings lay empty and derelict and unemployment was rife — but as a 19-year-old, my eyes were blown away by it. …


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The Real Thing perform at Liverpool International Music Festival

Liverpool has always been a groundbreaking city when it comes to music and culture and the city’s black musicians have long had a respected and popular narrative to be told — as our Head of UNESCO City of Music Kevin highlights.

Liverpool is a city that is rightly proud of its incredible diversity. We celebrate our status as a port and the mix of cultures that’s a direct result of this. Historically we were once seen as the gateway to the world and that’s why we have Europe’s oldest Chinese community, and why we have long established African and Caribbean communities. …


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“Pandemic… this isn’t something that has been in any cultural risk assessment I’ve ever done.

We ‘do’ culture and plan events here really well but COVID-19 hit like a slow motion car crash — cancelling not just an incredible summer programme but putting a city’s regeneration on the line.

Since 2008 this city has swaggered its way to global recognition. With its distinct accent and personality Liverpool has used culture as the rocket fuel for regeneration (copyright Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson!).

It has trusted its rebirth on something that many economists think is intangible. Not so in Liverpool. We get the economic impact of culture — but it’s more than that. It’s a feeling you get from walking the streets when the cruise liners unload their passengers. It’s a night on Hope Street when the Philharmonic and Everyman’s audience spill out into the bars and restaurants. But crucially for a council the sector and its subsidiaries, retail, visitor economy and leisure pays £270million into the city’s coffers through business rates which in turn pays for essential services. …


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Covid 19 has hit the whole of the music sector hard and particularly those directly involved in live music — musicians and venues, and all the parts of the industry that allow gigs and club nights large and small to happen. Let The Music Play draws attention to this and calls for support from Government for the sector.

In the following blog our City of Music Head, Kevin McManus reflects on some of his favourite venues of the past highlighting how venues and gigs are a key part of everyone’s cultural life. …


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“During lockdown, it’s been difficult for us to communicate with each other. Within the Sea Cadets, we can no longer attend out units on normal parade nights, and can no longer meet up with friends on courses held across the nation. As a senior cadet I’ve made many friends throughout my time in the organisation, in order to keep in touch I regularly chat with them over social media and also utilise the various platforms on which we can interact face to face.

The Sea Cadets gives young people a chance to voice their opinions through the medium of forums. Forums are held at a unit, district, area and national level which allow cadets to effect change within the organisation and build up their confidence by speaking in front of their peers. Recently in North West area we ran our first virtual cadet forum using Microsoft teams, this allowed cadets to join the forum without the restriction of distance, meaning that we could get a wider variety of opinions and could hear from cadets from across the area. I found it very empowering to be able to give my opinion on the current situation and to be heard by my peers, and I know many of those who attended also found it to be a worthwhile experience. …


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I know my job means that I should only really write about music and its importance to the city but the truth is my passion for Liverpool Football Club began even before I got into music. So please indulge me as we approach a special moment in our glorious history. (Also on a much more petty note I really enjoy annoying Evertonians and especially those in the Culture Liverpool Team) *side note from Culture Liverpool here — yes, thank you Kevin! ahem!)

At the beginning of March the only things that could possibly stop Liverpool claiming our first title in 30 years were 1) the end of the world or 2) and, even less likely, if football stopped. We’d had an amazing season, playing sensational football, and were only two wins away from claiming our first title in 30 years. And then the unthinkable happened — football stopped! …


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“Music — it speaks to our very soul. It has the ability to lift our spirits when we are feeling down, it can transport us around the world and through time and perhaps best of all, it’s free and available to everyone. From singing in the shower for an audience of one to an outdoor stage in front of hundreds of thousands — Gloria Estafan was correct, the rhythm is really “gonna get you.”

World Music Day is on Sunday 21 June and what better time to tune in and cop out, and embrace all the benefits that the sound of music has to offer (music puns, by the way, are fully intended throughout this blog!) Dating back to 1982, the Ministry of Culture in France developed the original concept of World Music Day following the idea that we should celebrate all forms of music and that on world music day, all music should be available to everybody for free — no matter what their background or heritage. …

About

Culture Liverpool

Telling stories. Delivering events. Championing creativity. Inspiring audiences. Thinking forward. — Culture: the rocket fuel for regeneration.

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