LEEDS have designated 2023 as a year in which it will create ‘a transformational year of culture’.
A number of partner organisations have backed this initiative which will begin in January 2023
Under the banner of #LettingCultureLoose and involving arts, sport, culture and culinary initiatives which are being programmed for the year ahead.
Video 1 – welcoming those to the launch was singer and cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat – who at 6ft1/2 and 6 inch heels and a booming voice creates quite the impression!
Picture 2 Sanchez Payne introduced the following speakers…local boy and one time Leeds Utd player and BBC Leeds presenter Payne is practically Mr Leeds and a great host, pointing out the huge diversity that exists in and around the city with some 170 different languages being represented!
He introduced Leeds 2023 chair of Leeds Culture Trust presenter Gabby Logan – another local – who grew up in the city and had her first professional stints working in her home city.
Picture 2 Gabby Logan – She said it was about time her home city got the global attention it deserved as well as the football team there was much else to celebrate and spotlight culturally and 2023 was going to be the year to do it…
Picture 3 – Kully Thiarai is Leeds 2023 creative director and in charge of the whole chabang from a production production pov. She said the city had been declared a sleeping giant and that other people should wake up to the way the city is…
“Together we will create new and memorable stories that will shape and change our remarkable city forever,” she said. “An explosion of colour, noise and brilliance that will show the world in our city and our city to the world.”
Picture 4 is Roly Keating, chief executive of the British Library (BL), one of the city’s partners in Leeds 2023. The BL has a site at Boston Spa, near Weatherby and has a vision of turning the BL site at Temple Works in the city into a permanent BL space and redeveloping it into a site of international excellence.
Picture 4 – Tom Riordan is the city council’s chief executive and is working with others to coordinate the delivery of Leeds 2023 saying it will create more jobs, opportunities and showcase Leeds as a national and international destination…
Picture 5 – There was something of a rousing finale with adopted son Simon Armitage, the UK’s Poet Laureate no less, making the case for a National Poetry Centre in Leeds. Don’t worry the cover image self corrects…
Next year internationally renowned artist Yinka Shonibare CBE and a member of the Royal Academy will unveil a new work commissioned to honour the life of British Nigerian David Oluwale whose tragic death was precipitated by appalling police treatment and is now remembered as a symbol of the city’s brighter multi-cultural and diverse future!
The city has raised £1 million and among its creative partners are Leeds Rhinos (rugby league team), Leeds United FC, the National Youth Theatre and Women of the World (WOW).
Among the creatives working with Leeds 2023 are Gaylene Gould and Madani Younis, both known to acv readers.
Among the funders are: Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Arts Council England’s Culture Recovery Fund, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and backing has also come from Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, British Council, KPMG, HBD and Mott MacDonald.
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Please see http: //www.leeds2023.co.uk
Picture caption (from top left and bottom left): Gabby Logan; Simon Armitage: Kully Thiarai; Roly Keating; Tom Riordan and Sanchez Payne