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Creative Clusters 2007, London: Reality Check

Creative Clusters 2007 looks at some of the tough questions facing the creative economy agenda. Speakers with diverse perspectives examine the conventions and assumptions of the cultural industries in debates and discussions throughout the conference.

You will be given the opportunity to raise important questions to challenge some of the creative industries’ champions, thought-leaders and sceptics as we question the role in of cultural policy in the economic development, regeneration and employment opportunities of communities around the world.

Creativity and the Economy: A golden age or a lot of lot air?

“We don’t manufacture anything any more. Most of the world won’t buy our records or watch our films. Only our gift of the gab is keeping Britain’s economy ticking over. But how long can the hot air last?”
asks Larry Elliott, Economics Editor of The Guardian, in his book Fantasy Island.

At Creative Clusters 2007, the sceptics take on creative industry champions in this discussion of the core assumptions underlying formulations such as ‘creative city’, ‘creative industries’, and ‘creative economy’. Does this language indicate that we are moving into a golden age of creativity, where creative activities and values are increasingly needed and valued by society and government? Or are we over-using and abusing the idea of creativity, making it hyped and hackneyed?

We ask: Can everyone be creative? Can all jobs be creative? Can cities be creative, or should we reserve the idea of creativity for individuals? Is a creativity a cause, or a consequence, of economic success? Passionate speakers with opposing views battle it out in what promises to be a real conference highlight. Come prepared for a lively and robust debate.

  • Larry Elliott (Economics Editor, The Guardian, co-writer of ‘Fantasy Island’)
  • Peter Hewitt (Chief Executive, Arts Council England)
  • James Heartfield (writer and consultant to NESTA)
  • Martin Smith (Ingenious Media plc)

Wednesday 14 Nov, 11.00am–12.30pm, Soho Theatre

Sink or Swim: the Equal Debate

Improving Opportunity in the Creative Industries

Have the millions of Euros spent on combating exclusion had any impact on the creative and media industries?

As the Equal programme draws to a close, three of the EU’s biggest ESF projects dedicated to improving opportunity cheap oakley sunglasses in the creative industries ask: was it worth it? Have the millions of Equal euros spent over the last seven years helped change the employment profile in the creative sector? How can we do better next time?

  • Mark Dunford, Executive Director, Hi8us Projects Ltd
  • Christopher Naylor, Knowledge Transfer Director, City University (Celebrating Enterprise)
  • Marcia Williams, UK Film Council

Tuesday 13 Nov, 2:00pm-3:30pm, Rich Mix

Show You the Ropes: Can you ‘train’ people to be part of the creative class?

How can skill development and training support entry into the creative industries?

This panel debate draws on the experience of Celebrating Enterprise, a multi-agency programme which has used the context of festivals to provide opportunity for individuals from migrant communities to test trade, attend courses cheap oakley and gain start-up advice, alongside a parallel project in Belgium which offers festival trade opportunities as ways into the labour market for asylum seekers.

  • Kate Oakley, Professor, City University
  • Shelagh Wright, Associate, Demos, UK
  • Nuala Riddell-Morales, Co-Director, Carnaval Del Pueblo Association, Carnaval del Pueblo

Tuesday 13 Nov, 4:00pm-5:30pm, Rich Mix

Black Creative Enterprise in London

“Cultural diversity is the driver of London’s creativity”.
How is this assertion by London’s policy-makers playing out amongst black creative entrepreneurs in Brixton, Lewisham and Paddington?

Brixton in South London boasts a vibrant history of creativity and diverse cultural enterprise. Renowned for its fashion, music, digital media and visual arts, the area is the unofficial capital of the Jamaican, British African and Caribbean community of London. The Create Brixton session will introduce the cluster of creative enterprises and regeneration initiatives, seen by regeneration agencies as central to Brixton’s future.

  • Steve Reed, Brixton Hill Councillor, Leader of Lambeth Council, Lambeth Council, UK
  • Marc Boothe, Director, B3 Media, UK
  • Rosemary Emodi, London Mayor’s office

Monday 12 Nov, 11:00am to 12:30pm, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre