As The High Sheriff announced at his installation the theme of the year will be young people, arts, culture and the creative industries. He and his partner Marian have been talking to a range of arts and creative organisations and people who have all been interested in knowing more about the Shrievality and how they can be a part of the year.
Already interested partners include the IKON’s Youth Program, BCU Institute of Art and Design, Selfridges, Craftspace, Arts Council, Arts Connect, BMAG, Birmingham and Coventry Cathedrals alongside young offenders, education, skills and employment teams – you are most welcome to join us in every corner of the West Midlands as we celebrate and promote the arts, culture and creative industries that so many of our young people, from all backgrounds are so good at, and are so important for the soul of our communities.
I imagine most of know the value of arts and culture, but might be wondering what are the creative industries. These are everything from fashion, music, design, dance, theatre and architecture to film, TV and the new worlds of social and digital media. Its the world that I have lived and worked in for the past 35 years in the Midlands and in particular at Maverick where we have created a wealth of television and digital media that is watched by millions locally, nationally and internationally.
It’s an important sector locally as we have so many talented people who can write songs, dance, design, perform, produce games, TV and films that are enjoyed around the world. These products are not only important reputationally for the midlands and the country, they are also a major contributor to UKPLC – at the last count 8.5% of GDP.
Arts and Culture are important for the West Midlands as they are where many young people first experience creativity which can free their imaginations and be the inspiration for future careers, jobs and companies. As High Sheriff I look forward to promoting creativity across the board and invite you to join me. To get us underway we have Katie Tomlinson from BCU’s illustration department who has been capturing the day with her pencil, Graham Peet with his camera and we have a small film crew from Maverick with us.