Major New Conference Supports Future Planning for Arts & Culture in Somerset

Harman Sagger, Head Economist for Arts, Heritage and Tourism at Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Dr John Wright from Centre for Cultural Value, and Dr Inge Hill from National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise and UK Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, are among keynote speakers announced today as part of a major new conference from Somerset Arts Business Cultural Alliance (SABCA).

Entitled ‘The Future of Arts & Culture in Somerset’, the conference will explore the implications and changes that are happening in Somerset and in the arts and culture industry and how research and new ways of thinking can help better planning for the future. Aimed at arts and culture organisations and stakeholders and local authority councillors and officers, this event will take place on Tuesday 11 October 2022 at the Creative Innovation Centre, Taunton.

The conference comes at a critical time for arts and culture as research increasingly points to the crucial role arts and culture play in economic and business development, wellbeing, tourism, heritage and encouraging creativity, innovation and resilience in local communities. At the same time there is growing concern about the new Somerset unitary authority set for April 2023, and how it values the arts and culture sector and plans it will have for the sector.

Andrew Knutt, Director of SABCA, commented:

‘The arts and culture industry and its audiences have changed since the pandemic. How we do things post-covid has a bearing on the future of the sector. Plus, national agencies and local governments are starting to support and develop initiatives so this conference will paint a clear picture of that future and inspire and help organisations to move forward with confidence.”

Richard Holt, Director of Creative Innovation Centre, said:

‘We are delighted to be working with SABCA on this exciting new event which will provide organisations and policy makers with the tools and inspiration they need to support arts and culture organisations, programmes and initiatives in Somerset. At a time of great uncertainty, the arts can play a unique role in helping us to create a vibrant Somerset, and with new frameworks introduced by national government agencies, this is a timely moment for arts and culture providers and local councils to explore the powerful role that the arts, culture and creativity can play in making Somerset a great place.’

Somerset County Council Lead Member for Communities – Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts will also join organisation The Fifth Sector and Pippa Jones, Development Director of Create Gloucestershire, in speaking on a range of topics and explore how the arts and culture sector will support Somerset’s future.
The day will begin at 10.00am and is due to end at 3.00pm and delegates have the choice to attend in-person or watch the online live streaming version of the event.

For more information and how to book:

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