A cultural first of many

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It’s been a busy couple of months for new Cabinet Member, Councillor Harry Doyle. With a brief covering culture and visitor economy, it’s a demanding and high profile portfolio. Read how he is getting to grips with all things culture and his reaction to attending his first event in his new role.

When I took over the portfolio for Culture and Visitor Economy from the brilliant Wendy Simon, I thought I knew a lot. I’d sat on the committee and read all the reports and been an enthusiastic audience member. But to be honest, nothing could prepare you for this. I thought I knew what impact the cultural sector had; I’d seen the economics but I hadn’t really lived it until the last two months and I have been truly blown away.

It’s not just the big things we see as an audience, it’s the life changing work these organisations do every day of the year, tackling some of the biggest issues we are facing as a city coming out of the covid-19 pandemic.

From the life affirming stories at the Royal Court to the youth theatre of 20 Stories High; the environmental work of Metal to the ground-breaking impact of Collective Encounters. The work our cultural organisations do winds its way through our communities and wraps its arms around them. Our city wouldn’t be the city it is today without the work and dedication of this vibrant and resilient sector.

Of course, the big events are just as important and in normal times, bring thousands if not millions of visitors to our city. It’s been a difficult 16 months for us all, but last night I headed to ‘the Rezzy’ on County Road alongside visitors and residents,  all of us standing in awe of the amazing show. The show was packed with aerialists, lighting, artists and the brilliant Culture Liverpool team have roped in the support of organisations like Writing on the Wall and Milap.

There is a lot of hope from this event. The idea was to build bridges within our communities, and what a story to tell given everything our communities have done to support one another through the pandemic.

We’re almost back to some form of normality, and Culture Liverpool has a packed itinerary for our city as it flexes its cultural muscles off to the world. We’re ready to re-build our city, just as we did following Capital of Culture in 2008!

So thank you to the communities who have participated and hosted our friends from Imagineer Productions who have brought the bridge to our city. Thank you to the people who’ve watched and supported us on our journey to re-opening our city.

Here’s to the next event… No other city can do it like we can!

Harry 

Liverpool Waterfront