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Sheffield’s big conversation


Image: An illustrated example of one of the ideas received.
Source: Sheffield City of Culture team

Once a journalist, always a journalist. Talking to ‘ordinary people’, finding out what the real story is, watching an organic, exciting event come to life – I’ll never get tired of being in the thick of these sweet slices of life.

And last week, I was thrilled to witness this spirit was alive and well in Sheffield, at ‘What’s Your Big Idea? event, held by the Sheffield City of Culture 2013 team.

Sheffield, keep on speaking up!

Here’s more about the event, from the SCC team:

The team behind Sheffield’s UK City of Culture bid undertook the largest arts and culture consultation that the city has ever seen last week. The ‘Sheffield City of Culture: What’s Your Big Idea’ event, which took place on Friday 16th April at The Circle from 8.30am – 8.30pm, saw hundreds of people of all ages and walks of life turn up to share their ideas for arts and culture in Sheffield – well exceeding the target of 1000 big ideas!

Amy Carter, Head of Arts at Sheffield City Council, was thrilled by the enthusiasm and ingenuity of the Sheffield public: “People seemed to come in their droves, full of great thoughts and ideas for the city. Some people were waiting outside for the doors to open at 8.30am! Many simply wrote their ideas down, however others drew pictures, created collages and even sang their ideas to us.

“Some people were engaged in long conversations and constructive debates with members of the bid team, and guest facilitators from the cultural sector, including leading artists, festival directors, choreographers and musicians, were on hand to discuss the bid and help capture and explore people’s ideas.”

Visitors were encouraged to think broadly, use their imaginations and think beyond restriction to come up with exciting programme ideas for 2013. An impressive 41 blank canvasses were filled, 11 huge paper table cloths were covered in ideas and the suggestion box was over flowing.

The ideas received encompassed:

supporting and showcasing Sheffield’s new talent
taking the city’s existing great events to a new level
capitalising on the power of dance as a way of bringing people together
a range of ideas about how art can improve people’s health
using the cities topography as a stage to promote community arts and music
reflecting the city’s reputation for independent thinking in the 2013 programme

The very best of the ideas will be included in the final bid to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport which will be submitted on 21st May 2010.

Amy concludes: “It was fantastic to see such enthusiasm for the bid and a real desire from the Sheffield public and businesses to make the bid a success. We look forward to carrying the ideas forward, developing them and really creating something amazing in 2013!

“If you have an idea that you would like to share with us, then you can still do so by visiting http://www.sheffieldcityofculture.com.”