White Paper for Culture in action 9/9/2016

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley gave her first speech in post at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. She began by saying that the DCMS sectors punch above their weight economically, but the focus of the speech was on access and diversity. She pointed to schemes that seek to increase access to the arts, such as In Harmony Liverpool which now enables 700 children in the city to take part in orchestral music. However, there is significantly less arts engagement in the lower economic groups, among BME and disabled people, or those with ill-health. She said that in response the Government would pilot ideas suggested in the recent Culture White Paper ‘and expand and replicate the ones that work’. She made the following announcements:

  • The Cultural Citizens Programme begins with a pilot in three areas: Liverpool and Blackpool, Birmingham, and Barking and Dagenham. 600 schoolchildren from disadvantaged communities will be given unique access to cultural institutions. Some will also learn skills such as tour guiding or social media management. A New Direction are delivering the London strand.
  • The scheme may also be incorporated into the National Citizen Service, which 200,000 people have participated in since 2011.
  • DCMS has also just taken responsibility for the Office for Civil Society. This oversees a number of multi-million pound funds to promote social equality including Social Impact Bonds, The Affordable Lending Portal and the Centre for Social Action.
  • Bradley also referenced ACE’s work to increase the diversity of the arts workforce and inject more funding beyond London.

Gov.uk (Cultural Citizens), Gov.uk (Bradley speech) A New Direction, Arts Professional