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Creatives living and working in Sheffield asked to shape new culture vision for the city

The project hopes to boost funding for the arts and give everyone in the city access to cultural opportunities.

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A performance as part of Sheffield Showcase 2023 in September.

James Stanhope.

Sheffield residents who work in the creative industries, including makers, musicians, artists and designers, are being invited to help shape a groundbreaking new Culture Strategy for the city.

The Sheffield Culture Strategy 2024 will provide a roadmap for the development of the city’s cultural industries, as well as address some of the long-standing challenges faced by creatives living and working in the city.

It's being funded by Sheffield Council, the University of Sheffield and Arts Council England, and led by a team of culture professionals including place-making specialists Fourth Street and Opus Independents, who also publish Now Then.

“We're creating a platform to allow all creatives who live and work in Sheffield to shape a new cultural vision for our city,” said Joe Kriss of Opus.

“We know that Sheffield is a city of makers and doers – we’ve produced incredible artists whose names are known around the world. But there are still too many obstacles that get in the way of our culture sector reaching its full potential."

The co-creation of the strategy will run until May 2024. As part of the first phase, the team have launched a short survey aimed at creatives working in Sheffield. The responses to this survey will guide further engagement work next year.

Overlooked and underfunded

Sheffield has produced world-beating bands like the Arctic Monkeys, but is often not given its fair share of funding relative to its population and is overlooked by national institutions and a London-centric media.

The co-ordinators of the new strategy say we need to increase the number and quality of our funding bids, as well as making our culture sector more inclusive and diverse. They also cited the need to give everyone in Sheffield the opportunity to access cultural experiences.

The team have identified some objectives for the new strategy, which will be published in 2024. According to them, the new strategy needs to:

  • Shine a light on the city’s diverse cultural offer, encouraging everyone to take part
  • Celebrate our distinctiveness, and share our pride and creativity with the world
  • Attract visitors to Sheffield through a vibrant cultural life and a clear vision for the future
  • Value culture for its own sake as a central part of the city’s identity, as well as for its economic and wellbeing benefits
  • Attract more funding for culture, supporting growth and sustainability across our communities
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Co-ordinators hope that the new strategy will be published next year.

Marketing Sheffield.
  • Make culture organisations more resilient and better equipped to collaborate, with access to the knowledge and support they need
  • Ensure young people see a future in Sheffield’s culture world, with clear routes to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed
  • Enable us to work more collaboratively across the sector, with the right governance structures in place and with diverse cultural leaders to guide and mentor

“We’re keen to co-create this new Culture Strategy for Sheffield with the people who make it all happen, and who know the city like the back of their hand,” said Kriss.

“If you’re a creative of any stripe and you live in Sheffield, we want your help to create a new vision for culture in this city.”

Learn more

If you're a creative living and working in Sheffield, the survey takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

by Sam Gregory (he/him)

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