This is a Culture Shift special, both for people who work in the arts and also for people that enjoy the rich and diverse offer that we have to keep us entertained, uplifted, inspired or just occupied - whether it be live performance of one sort or another, film, TV, art on our walls, a museum or gallery to visit, a good book or a knitting club, arts and culture enriches most of our lives - certainly people who receive CultureShift emails!
I have been collaborating as part of What Next ? Norfolk to help to raise the profile of arts and culture in Norfolk and we are at the beginning of a major opportunity to make the public at large think a bit more about what life would be like if we don't foster and support the creative sector, young people who want a creative career, long-standing organisations that we treasure, the talent that brings us literature, film, TV, games and internet channels in our homes and vibrant events outside it. It would be a grey life!
On Monday is the beginning of Get Creative - a year of celebration and advocacy for all these things - finding out what people do, thinking about what 'art' or 'the arts' is, who does it, who pays for it, how can we keep it healthy as well as pay for other priorities such as NHS and social care, how can arts and culture help to reduce the costs of these, and help the economy of our region - what is its true value to a healthy society.
All this and more will come up in the forthcoming debate which one of a series happening across the country next week, coordinated by What Next? and BBC. We hope you will come and join in (details below). You can also tune in to Front Row on Radio 4 at 9am on Monday morning to hear a similar debate taking place in Hull.
Basically, it's time we stood up for arts and culture and provoke people to imagine what their lives would be like without it - maybe we should be saying 'What if?' - what if it all disappears? So if you value the arts, or want to tell us about how the arts has helped your community, come along and make your view known. Details below
What is the value of arts and culture? A live debate hosted by What Next? Norfolk
on Monday 23rd February at 12.30pm at The Curve Auditorium in The Forum
We hope that you will join us for this debate as part of the launch of the BBC's Get Creative campaign.
A live recorded discussion that will be broadcast on BBC Norfolk’s Nick Conrad Show, the Get Creative launch is an opportunity for the arts and cultural sector of Norfolk to talk about the value of their work and meet some of their audiences.
It is our chance to tell people why we believe the arts are good for our health, strengthen our communities, benefit the prosperity and profile of the region and are worth supporting. It is also a chance to talk about what people think counts as 'the arts'.
There will be a panel of representatives from different areas of arts and culture in the City and County, and the debate will be chaired by Nick Conrad who will make sure that the discussion is lively and challenging. It will be recorded and aired on Nick Conrad's show to stimulate a public debate later in the week. The event will be followed by an open What Next? Norfolk chapter meeting in the Curvewww.whatnextnorfolk.org.uk
We hope that people will join the audience armed with their questions, points and challenges - please share this invitation freely.
The event is free but please reserve your place by registering on whatnextnorfolk.eventbrite.co.uk
Join the conversation now on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/WNNorfolk and on Twitter - #WN?Norfolk