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Free Thinking : The city

From Liverpool, playwright Esther Wilson

City of ideas

  • Esther Wilson
  • 27 Sep 06, 02:33 PM

Hope Street festival, and the Anglican CathedralAs Liverpool inches nearer to 'City of Culture' in 2008, how can we ensure that the variety of artistic ventures on offer are 'accessible' to those not usually equated with the arts?

Vinny & Luan -two of the people involved in Philosophy In Pubs are already actively addressing that question.

is an organisation geared towards bringing people together to share the city's 'cultural events'.

They post info on events at places such as The liverpool Everyman Playhouse -

the Liverpool Royal Philharmonic -

Liverpool Tate gallery and

The Unity theatre

To name but a few. The idea is not only to spread the word on what's out there but also to arrange regular visits
to events so that the rich, cultural life of the city is not exclusive to the 'usual suspects'.

It's also a great way of giving people who live alone, the chance to go to an event and have the opportunity to talk about it afterwards.

I mention all this for one reason only. I've got a digital camera and I wanted to show you my first feeble attempts at taking a photograph and...wait for it....embedding it into this blog.

As it's a photograph of the Anglican Cathedral on Hope Street - taken on the day of the Hope Street Festival I thought Vinny & Luan's new venture suited it perfectly.

Just hope it works.


  1. At 03:52 PM on 27 Sep 2006, Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso,CPUR wrote:

    My congradulations to Liverpool on being the City of Culture for 2008.

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  2. At 03:23 PM on 26 Oct 2006, mickhurst wrote:

    is anyone doing anythink about our sub-culture....? stuff thats been going on for years that makes my city great, we do not need big fat cats to make this city what it has been for generations ..... its all well and good but all the artists ,community laeders ,muscians, makers,dancers,poets,and all other free thinkers don t want much to do with this "culture of capital" to those people, the unseen and unheard warriors of there communitys on the front line helping kids fight drugs boredom and general apethy ... I salute you

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  3. At 07:14 PM on 26 Oct 2006, Vinny wrote:

    Mick I completely agree with your sentiments.

    I have been involved in grass root community arts and culture for many years. This includes Philosophy In Pubs which is exactly the sub-culture you refer to. PIPs has been running since 2000 and will be around long after 2008.

    culturepool again is a unfunded grass roots community group. We're aware of Liverpool's rich culture, but not everybody is. We are hopefully doing our little bit to redress this.

    By promoting the arts and culture in Liverpool, getting people involved, introducing artists and performers to the group, obtaining discounted tickets (when applicable) and then reflecting on the experience, we are hopefully supporting the culture and sub-culture of Liverpool.

    I understand the culture company and 08 is a focal point for frustration and I am not saying it's completely unjust, but we made a decision to leave that behind and just get out there and do something positive. I encourage others to do the same.

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  4. At 02:26 PM on 07 Nov 2006, Sophie Cooper wrote:

    Hello Esther

    Interestingly enough I would like to write my dissertation on the subject of Liverpool as an "Ideopolis" - a City of Ideas.

    I am a final year student of Arts, Music and Entertainment Management at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. I hope to enter the pool of Liverpool practioners for 2008 and be involved in the programme for 2007-2008.

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  5. At 11:34 AM on 08 Nov 2006, esther wilson wrote:

    I agree Vinny.
    I've spoken to loads of artists who are dissatisfied with the lack of opportunities the Capital of Culture seems to have fostered but....there's always been 'patrons' - people with the purse strings etc;
    controlling what is or isn't being created and yet....wonderous things have come into being anyway.
    The great thing about the sub-culture that mickhurst speaks of is there is no control over exists precisely because the 'culture' is exclusive in some way....hence a reactionary freedom can yeild very exciting results.

    Friction is imperative to creation isn't it? If something needs saying it will be said 'cause it's there waiting to come to the surface.
    There's loads of exciting people and ideas around at the moment. People are organising things without budgets and constraints.

    People always have. necessity really is the mother!

    Bring it on I say.

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  6. At 02:02 PM on 13 Nov 2006, martin murray wrote:

    Ever get the feeling that it could all go horribly wrong?

    Too much hype, spin, and talking up.

    Too much wasted money.

    Too many rich estate agents and property developers.

    Which city was the capital of european culture last year?

    If you don't know the answer, ask yourself, who's going to know it's Liverpool in 2008, and who's going to care.

    Do you still get excited about the Eurovision song contest?

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