Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Boris' Cultural Strategy for London

This was yesterday's news, but what with work and needing to see the lovely Lesley in Carousel in the evening (plus Spooks), I didn't get a chance to write about it, either here or on londonist.

So, here's Boris' plan for the future of London's culture.

Happily, there's talk about getting people out to the Boroughs, the continuation of the funky Fourth Plinth plan, and a nice idea about a musical instrument amnesty (backed by everyone from Time Out to Julian Lloyd Webber, it seems) to encourage instrument playing for the young. Never a bad thing.

Lindsey from londonist was quick to point out that it's borough-based support that's got Boris where he is today (next door, not queueing for lunch).

The Guardian and many others focus on the "less hip hop, more high culture" line, which I supposed makes better headlines for the papers.

I guess I'm just pleased it's being talked about.

The London Film Day sounds good. The Story of London event sounds like it's going to mean a lot of work, but I do like the musical instrument amnesty idea.

Talking about making culture "better", whether that's cheaper, more varied, more representative, more accessible, or whatever has to be a good thing.

After however long of no-one hearing anything from City Hall on much at all, at least now we have something concrete from them. And if it's all that Munira Mirza's words (apart from the use of "funkapolitan" to describe our "museums of glass and steel", wherever they are; and "cosmopolitan, multilingual and polychromatic") and not from Mr J himself (can't bring myself to ever use the BoJo moniker, eugh), who cares?

And I'll back Charlotte Higgins as she writes:
"I also agree with the authors of the report when they write the following: "It is often presumed that young people will only like art that they can immediately relate to. Working-class students may be steered towards popular culture like hip-hop, new media and film, on the basis that they will find older art forms like opera or ballet irrelevant. This approach patronises young people and limits their horizons. With proper support and encouragement, arts organisations can play a big role in opening young people's minds, and deepening their appreciation of culture from any time or place." It's about time someone put that thought in black and white."
Fewer events in Trafalgar Square makes my job a little easier too...

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