I spent two days last week in Cardiff at the CLOA (Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association) conference and as might be expected there was quite an emphasis on London 2012, with the increasingly ubiquitous video montage. It struck me just how important the creative industries are to the way we will experience this Olympics: our film-makers, musicians, and designers have been crucial to the build up, before we even start on the sports broadcasters, journalists, and photographers who will be reporting the games. So one of the messages I hope comes out loud and clear this summer is that our creative industries are among the best in the world, and our young people should be inspired and encouraged to develop their creative skills and see them as a basis for successful and fulfilling careers. Our job locally is to continue finding ways to give young people the opportunity to try out and explore their creativity in all its forms (even ones which might be beyond us – as I’m writing this I can see my eleven year old son designing the environment within his new computer game), and give them that encouragement.
Which takes me onto the second point that really struck home this week: libraries are in the midst of a huge, technologically driven shift, as we move towards a world where books exist electronically, and browsing can be done anywhere with internet access. But communities are still very much wedded to the idea of a communal cultural hub and there is real potential to bring in creative new ways of using those spaces. As the Arts Council England opens its consultation with library experts on the library of the future, now is the time to start our own local conversations, and share our experiences so that we can all make the most of the opportunity.
As we launch the AD:uk Skills and Knowledge Bank please make the most of that route to share your expertise, and don’t forget also that you can use the e-zine to ask your colleagues for information or support, and send in examples of good practice for inclusion on the web-site.
Chair of AD:uk
Tel: 01353 669022 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org