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Does Culture Promote Inclusive Growth and Social Capital in Cities?

Festival of the Future City

Watershed  |  Free, booking required

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Bristol Ideas celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, we’ll be looking at the findings of a major research project conducted with Bennett Institute, Cambridge that looks at the impact of Bristol Ideas and its work over the last 30 years as well as new research conducted with Centre for Progressive Policy on inclusive growth and culture.

How do you measure the impact of cultural programmes in cities? Culture is said to have intrinsic as well as instrumental values. It delivers new work as well as benefits to society. This session looks at the findings of two major research projects undertaken by Andrew Kelly – Director of Bristol Ideas 1993-2023 – about culture and cities: social capital and culture for Bennett Institute, University of Cambridge and culture and inclusive growth for the Inclusive Growth Network, Centre for Progressive Policy. Andrew Kelly joins Alison Bevan (Royal West of England Academy), Owen Garling (Bennett Institute, Cambridge University) and Annabel Smith (Centre for Progressive Policy) to discuss the reports. Suzanne Rolt, Quartet Community Foundation, chairs.

The event also marks Bristol Ideas 30th anniversary. In that time, the organisation – owned and managed by Bristol City Council, Business West, University of Bristol and University of the West of England – has been responsible for opening and launching At Bristol (now We The Curious) and supporting the cultural renewal of Harbourside, and has worked on projects including Encounters festival, Bristol 2008 Capital of Culture Bid, Brunel 200, the 2010 Year of Aerospace: BAC100, Bristol 2014, Chatterton and Poetry, Film 2021 and 10 Great Reading Adventures. It has also run 18 years of the Festival of Ideas, five Festivals of the Future City, 12 Festivals of Economics, and has published 30 books and contributed to mini film festivals, theatre productions, exhibitions and activities in communities across the city. 

All attendees will be given a free copy of Bristol 650 book, a collection of newly commissioned essays about the future of Bristol.

Andrew Kelly

Andrew Kelly is Director, Bristol Ideas. He is a visiting professor at the University of the West of England and has written or edited 20 books on subjects ranging from film and cinema to aviation and Bristol’s rich cultural history.

Alison Bevan is Director of the RWA (Royal West of England Academy) – England’s only regional Royal Academy of Art and Bristol’s first Art Gallery, housed in a spectacular purpose-built Grade II* listed building described by Sir Nicholas Serota as one of the most beautiful galleries in the country.

Owen Garling is Knowledge Transfer Facilitator at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge.

Annabel Smith

Annabel Smith is Head of Place & Practice at the Centre for Progressive Policy and is responsible for leading its Inclusive Growth Network, working with cities and regions across the UK to drive local inclusive growth.

Suzanne Rolt

Suzanne Rolt is Chief Executive of Quartet Community Foundation and Chair of Bristol Ideas. She has held a number of executive and non-executive roles in the cultural and charity sectors at both a local and national level. Before joining Quartet, she was CEO of the concert venue St George’s Bristol, where she led a transformational capital project.

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