NEW FIELDS – Uplands Rural Cultural Symposium, 23rd July

Seminar:  Thursday 23rd July, at the Merz Barn, Elterwater, LA22 9JB

You are cordially invited to an afternoon seminar for uplands farming groups, rural NGOs, RDPE/LEADER, the National Parks, Arts Council, Local Authorities, rural community groups, artists, and rural arts groups, etc., to discuss proposals for a possible future Uplands Rural Cultural Symposium (NEW FIELDS – rural Biennale). Which we hope will be based with hill farming and uplands rural communities across Cumbria, Northumberland and N. Yorks, throughout the summer of 2018.

A ‘FairShare’ for rural communities; new Arts Lottery funding for the uplands?

“The challenges currently facing upland places and communities are a result of the varying approach to policy development… has resulted in often conflicting and unforeseen consequences.” (CRC Uplands Report 2011)

A recent Culture Media and Sport MPs Committee report into the work of the Arts Council (5 November 2014), has highlighted the urgent need for Arts Council managed Arts Lottery funding to be re-directed for the benefit of England’s non-metropolitan regions. Given that the Arts Council have already spent several £100 millions Arts Lottery funding in support of major urban arts and culture-led urban regeneration initiatives; Liverpool, Manchester, Folkestone, Margate, Hull, etc., it is argued that some of this new ‘regional’ Arts Lottery funding could now also be made available to support equally vital culture-led rural regeneration and creative rural economy initiatives for England’s uplands and hill farming communities. Including some exciting new rural arts and cultural projects for urban artists, interested in working with our creative and culturally vibrant uplands and hill farming communities.

Seminar programme and venue

The seminar will take place (12.00noon – 3.30pm) on Thursday 23rd July at the Merz Barn site at Elterwater, South Lakes <;. It is open and free to all interested arts and rural stakeholders (uplands community, tourism, rural NGOs, arts, etc.) to come along and find out mote about the proposals. Provided that there is sufficient support for the idea, a working group could maybe be formed later on to take the idea further. A follow-up international level symposium is also planned for Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th October in London, which will further profile some of the exciting new rural arts and uplands rural community-led cultural projects developing internationally; in China, Australia, USA, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, and Spain), and throughout the UK. (Programme available shortly)

Invited seminar speakers and presenters include: Peter Allen, (a 17th generation Cumbrian hill farmer, with an MBE for services to hill farming, and a Lake District National Park Council member), Dr Jan Hartholt, (Dutch Government Agriculture Ministry, and EU Rural Development Network), Frances Rowe, (Newcastle University, PhD rural arts researcher), Ian Hunter (Cultural policy/creative rural economy advisor, Rural Cultural Forum), Adrian Lochead (Director of Eden Arts and the very successful C-Arts programme in Cumbria). Others to be confirmed. It will be an informal ’round table’ format and with plenty of opportunity for input and questions from other seminar attendees.

Please contact us if you would like to book a place on the seminar.

Ian Hunter Coordinator
 (Rural Cultural Forum/Littoral Arts Trust)

e. <>  t. 015394 37309

w. <>

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