Testament, Manjit's Kitchen and Leeds Rhinos netball feature in Leeds 2023 poster campaign

Claire Hutchinson, Head of Marketing at LEEDS 2023, writes here for the YEP.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd July 2021, 10:17 am
Claire Hutchinson, Head of Marketing at LEEDS 2023.

LEEDS 2023 is all about letting culture loose and celebrating every part of the cultural scene that makes Leeds so special.

We have some of the country’s leading cultural institutions, world-class sports clubs, and some of the best and most imaginative food you can find. But none of it would be possible without the people who make it all happen.

We’re passionate about building our Year of Culture with people in Leeds, reflecting and building on what we each feel is important to our cultural life, knowing that it may be different for everyone but it can also be uplifting and uniting.

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In our launch campaign, we’re starting to celebrate the city’s cultural richness, featuring sporting heroes to world-class dancers, spoken word artists to one of the city’s best chefs.

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One of those people is hip-hop MC, writer and theatre maker, Testament.

As well as being featured on our posters, he’s also the voice of our new brand film which you can watch on our website.

If you’ve seen our film you might notice that he doesn’t have a Leeds accent; he moved here to study and decided to stay. It’s not just people who are Leeds born and bred that are integral to culture here, it’s also those who have chosen to call our city home.

Leeds has always had sport at its heart and it’s something we love about our city. We’re proud to have some of the best sports clubs around as well as being a hotbed for new talent.

You’ll spot one of our rising sporting stars on our posters, Leeds Rhinos Netball player Brie Grierson, who has just been selected for the England Netball U21 squad.

There are so many pioneering chefs and restaurant owners creating a vibrant food culture in our city, and we’ve chosen to showcase Manjit from the wonderful Manjit’s Kitchen.

When I first moved to Leeds I got so many recommendations to visit Manjit in Kirkgate Market - her food is incredible! She’s also one of the champions of indie businesses in our city and shouts about why we should all support local.

And of course we couldn’t talk about culture without mentioning the arts; our theatres, galleries, music venues and dance companies are all vital parts of our city. One of the artistic innovators we’ve featured is Villmore James, a founder of Phoenix Dance, professional dancer and breakdancer and now a member of The Performance Ensemble, a group of older artists creating innovative shows and performances in Leeds.

These are just a few of the incredible people who are putting Leeds on the cultural map.

We know there are so many more, from people working in our venues to those running festivals and people involved in community projects in our region.

When you see our posters in town we hope it makes you think about everyone who is letting culture loose in Leeds, and that it inspires you to get involved and let your own culture loose this summer.