A cultural year of seeing inside the creative process.

This year has been one of the busiest I’ve ever had and the city has continued to make massive strides; just a nocturnal walk around the city centre will show at no other time of the year, the city’s most potent powers of enchantment and persuasion, all giving the visitor an unforgettable and magical time…..and I don’t mean Shrek and the DreamWorks lights lantern experience…..but that spectacular does help!
It grabs the attention of travellers as soon as they get off the train and channels them into some of the city’s more bigger and culturally versatile attractions.

Events like this at St George’s Hall and others in and around the city, propel the city forward and pave the way for bigger and better entertainments that will enliven the future 2018 big show, a show to say that after ten years of culture we are still going strong.

Despite working abroad on a “connecting classrooms” educational project that took me to Belgium, Holland, Eastern Europe and just before Christmas…Spain, I managed to view ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at the Everyman and then ‘Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf’ at the Unity.

Addicted to the Everyman’s panto every Christmas, the regular writers Sarah Nixon and Mark Chatterton never cease to please with their witty portrayal of an old favourite that will ‘Simply be the Beast.’ Certainly enjoyed this one. So dig out your laughing trousers, break out the glitter and wave your flashing wand as the legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll panto shakes, rattles and growls at the Everyman till Sat 21st Jan 01517094776.

Supporting one of Liverpool’s smaller theatres, the Unity produced a funny, inventive Christmas show filled with music, dance and song. Audience participation will definitely get you out of your seat, onto the stage and having a howl of a time……. so book asp http://www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk until Sat 7th.

Sifting through some old newspapers, I found an advert for ‘A Christmas Carol’ performance at the Dome and this was an added bonus just before the shopping madness and the big day.

But, with all this festivity flying about, there became a time, just after the sherry and mince pies, for quiet reflection upon all the years activities. My work in education is one side, involving reviews, evaluations, data, travelling, projects, funding, bids, and planning to name a few of the behind the scenes activities working with local schools.

For the cultural experiences, I thank all the organisations this year for support and time in allowing the team to pursue their interest in supporting and helping to make Liverpool one, if not, the best city in the UK.

A lot of my time is spent developing the education opportunities for some of the twenty+ International schools in Merseyside. This work has on many occasions linked up with the Mayor during the past year where we both share a passion to develop a forum where diverse communities can come together and share their stories and experiences and rich culture, whilst socialising and creating awareness of the beauty and wealth the diverse culture of Liverpool brings to the city, to promote integration, inclusiveness and community cohesion. These are the Supplementary Schools that strive to obtain a Quality Framework Mark with evidenced Code of Practice good governance and detailed management, teaching and partnership work. These schools and communities have a lot to offer.

On several occasions this year, I have been involved in the academic discussions in Liverpool about ‘culture’…….but they never involved the other culture….Yes Liverpool has the museums, art galleries, buildings, statues, parks and zones of academia but let’s not forget the importance of the people’s ‘culture’………the culture of the thousands here that bring that touch of magic to the carnivals of L8, the Arab Festival and Brazilia to name. These festivals are delivered on a shoe-string to a massive audience not unlike the Giants and Queen’s but some events command huge expense and are delivered to a miniscule audience without the full engagements of the communities. The role of the Culture Champion is to knock on the doors of the hard to reach and open up the world of ‘culture’ to them. Today, there is a greater proportion of society in a cosmopolitan world and their world needs to lead the cultural focus to get more involved and without the added expense.
The Chinese New Year can do it! And it’s done in a big way. I’m sure there are many more cultural communities in Liverpool that if given the chance, would relish in the engagement.
Thought for 2017.
Happy New Year.

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