Forget What You Think You Know... about culture

Following a turbulent two years for the cultural sector, Esther Barrott explores the benefits that local cultural services provide for us all, and the challenges that culture and the arts still face today.

Forget What You Think You Know

Episode 10: culture

When you think about the culture sector, you might think of a trip to the Library, a theatre show or an art exhibition. With so many other issues facing our communities, it's tempting to see these services as a luxury, entertainment or a pastime additional to the essential services we need to survive. But quality of life is about more than just surviving. As the pandemic showed, culture and the arts offer fundamental benefits to our communities beyond the enjoyment of participation - from tackling loneliness and supporting mental wellbeing, to bridging the education gap, creating new future-proof jobs and growing local economies. 

Councils are the biggest funders of public culture, spending over £1 billion a year on local cultural services and organisations, but a challenging decade of funding pressures, a pandemic and cost of living crisis has led to real questions about the future of the sector.

In this episode, Esther Barrott explores the role of culture in supporting people and places, and what is needed to ensure the sector can survive the multiple challenges thrown its way. Esther speaks with Baroness Lola Young, a Crossbench Peer and Chair of the LGA's Commission on Culture and Local Government, Bobby Seagull, Presenter, Journalist, Maths Teacher, and Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of UK City of Culture in Coventry 2021.

It's time to Forget What You Think You Know about culture. If you like this episode, please subscribe to our channel and listen to other episodes in the series. 

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