Dear all, thank you everyone that supported the campaign to achieve UK City of Culture status for Swansea, 2021.
Disappointment aside, it has in itself been a transformational experience for many of us and one which has accelerated our understanding of ‘why culture?’ – what we can achieve when we work together and how the long term objectives and impacts of a cohesive and strategic cultural programme in the city can be best delivered.
These feelings are echoed across the bid partnerships and we recently met with Welsh Government and the new Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport to formulate an agreement on how we can, as a city, use this position, our experience and our ambitions to elevate the city and Wales, as a platform for culture, excellence and innovation, equality and ambition, within the UK.
We are determined to use this ‘post decision’ period to reflect on the process and feedback we’ve received, assess, learn and re calibrate our strategy to achieve this. Key to this is of course understanding the process we went through and why Coventry managed to pip us and the other cities at the final hurdle; what we can learn from their approach and bid, as well as understanding our own strengths and weaknesses as a host city. We are holding a series of debrief meetings and conversations to ensure we maintain the momentum and energy that was galvanised during the bid and to begin to build the bridge between the bid – the opportunity for an impactful cultural programme that builds capacity and leadership – and our long term strategy for culture in the city and its hinterlands. ‘Cultural capital’, diversity, leadership and legacy, is an essential part of any successful future plan to build capacity and strengthen our position, so we hope you will all be part of this and help build ever stronger relationships and opportunities in the city.
This open forum session will take place on the 9th of February in the Depot Studio (2nd Floor, Grand Theatre) from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
There is a capacity limit at the Grand Theatre and to ensure that you secure a place at this session, please RSVP as soon as possible and by Monday 5th February at the latest. Once you have secured your place, please feel free to share this with other relevant colleagues. We will also share this information on our Swansea 2021 social media sites
We look forward to seeing you there.
P.s. We are in the process of looking at ways we can publish the bid documents, in addition to the information we published in the Evening Post the week of the decision. We hope to be able to do this at some point in January as part of our learning and development. The purpose of our debrief will be to share the targets and impacts and understanding of the technical criteria that was imposed, in order for us to benefit from that rigour and focus, with a shared understanding of how we can move forward.
Head of Cultural Services, Swansea Council