A chance to shape Torbay's cultural future
TORBAY residents are being encouraged to help shape the cultural future of the bay as part of an innovative open space event next month.
The event has been organised by Regional Director for the Arts Council England South West Phil Gibby, to give people the opportunity to talk about their ideas and ambitions for Torbay in terms of arts and culture.
The 200 tickets for the event have already been snapped up but residents are being encouraged to put their name on the waiting list or visit the Creative Torbay website to find out more about the ideas and thoughts put forward at the event.
Arts Council England's Director for the South West, Phil Gibby said: "For me and countless others the English Riviera is in a extraordinary waterfront location with extraordinary stories to tell.
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"Places with cultural icons at every turn including Agatha Christie, Rudyard Kipling, Oliver Reed and Michael Winner to name a few.
"Yet here is a part of the South-west where engagement with arts and culture is low and the cultural infrastructure is the least developed and I think we should do something about that.
"Does Torbay have the artists and arts organisations capable of driving a whole new agenda? Or is the future more about Torbay identifying its own ambitions but inviting artists and arts organisations from elsewhere - Exeter or Plymouth to move things forward? I genuinely don't know and so I have set up this event to hear from local people who are interested in the cultural future of Torbay to put their ideas forward.
"I am delighted that so many people have responded to our invitation to talk about the future of culture in Torbay.
"We knew there were a lot of creative people in Torbay with plenty of ideas and energy but the response to this Open Space session has been simply overwhelming.
"We’re working with the council to make sure that the notes of this session will be available to everyone via the Creative Torbay website so even if people can’t come on the day they can contribute and join in with putting ideas into practice afterwards."
Torbay Council's Executive Lead for Arts and Culture and the Regional Board Member for the South West of England Arts Council, Cllr Dave Butt, said: "It has been a really exciting few years for arts and culture in the Bay with international and local artists showcasing their work in some of our fantastic locations.
"However, we are aware that there is still a lot of work to do if we are to really establish ourselves as the country's top cultural destination and I look forward to hearing residents' views and ideas at the event."
The event will take place on Wednesday October 17 at the Riviera International Conference Centre from 10am until 6pm.
Those wishing to find out more about the event or to submit their thoughts and ideas can go online.