A journey to developing a cultural strategy for Liverpool…

By Alicia Smith

From Here, by Nathan Coley, St George’s Dock Pumping Station, Mann Island, Liverpool (2020). Photography by Mark McNulty.

Spring is finally here, the days are getting longer and there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon…

As 2021 gets well underway, I find it uplifting to reflect on where we have been and where we are heading on our cultural journey. And whilst it’s not quite yet business as usual for the organisations we support, this is an opportune time for us to reset our ambitions together.

Just 12 months ago, I was thrilled to be leading on a project called ‘Developing A Cultural Strategy for Liverpool’, a strategy aimed at setting out the vision for the cultural life of Liverpool up to 2030. We had made significant headway consulting with partners and were on the cusp of releasing the first draft for review when the pandemic struck and daily life as we knew it was put on pause.

This pause, albeit temporary, gave us the chance to review and do things differently.

Alicia Smith, Culture Liverpool

There is no denying, the project was at times challenging and it was hard to see the wood from the trees when everything in our world was so uncertain and changing day by day. So we took it back to basics and asked ourselves what are our priorities now? What is the Cultural Strategy here to achieve and who is it for?

The answer?

Our cultural Strategy is all about a journey of change, morphing and shaping to fit the environment in which we now find ourselves. It’s about truly listening to our partners, reflecting their voices and aspirations so as we emerge out of our third lockdown we do so working in collaboration to help the city recover at pace.

The priorities and principles at the forefront of our strategy will play a leading role in helping our people and city thrive once again, through community engagement, leadership, collaboration and co-production.

I hope what you see before you is a strategy that reflects our sector as a collective, a sector that is hugely valued and always will be for what it brings to our unique city.

As in life in general, there are many questions that remain and will hopefully be answered as our journey unfolds. One thing that is irrefutable is that Culture Liverpool and Liverpool City Council believe in the power of culture and together we will start a road map of recovery with a difference, paving the way for the amazing things that can be achieved by our sector over the next ten years.

All that remains is for me to ask people to read the Developing A Cultural Strategy For Liverpool document, appreciate just how much this sector has to offer and support us in our endeavours wherever possible.

Link to strategy: https://bit.ly/DCSBrochure

Alicia Smith, Arts & Participation Manager, Culture Liverpool

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

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