Culture. The city’s bursting with it. Well, isn’t it? It’s a strange word that means different things to different people.
To some it’s the real ‘big picture’ stuff - Northern Ballet Theatre, Opera North, Phoenix Dance Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse et cetera. They are among the cultural jewels of the city, without a doubt.
But is that it? What about those other elements; those unique qualities, customs and practices that give spice, energy and dynamism to a place. Let’s identify those.
Look up the word ‘culture’ in a dictionary and, in the main, there’ll be two key definitions on the lines of the following: the arts and collective human intellectual achievement, or the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.
The first element goes without saying, but it’s the second that really is key – and needs exploring, digging away at – as the city of Leeds progresses its bid to become a European Capital of Culture in 2023.
Civic leaders will today set the wheels in motion for a new cultural master plan to boost the city’s bid.
We have much to celebrate – from the aforementioned jewels, to all that’s going on in our grassroots communities. But if we asked you today what ‘culture’ means to you and how it relates to you - we wonder how you’d respond. Tell us. It matters.