‘Does Brighton Even Exist?’ – Debate #2, 12th March 2018


Monday 12th March 2018, 6.00 – 7.30pm

Venue:  The University of Brighton, Room M2, Grand Parade, Brighton

Book tickets via Eventbright.

Does Brighton Even Exist?

How the city uses its creative and cultural sector in its messaging.

Brighton & Hove perceives of itself as a hotbed of creative thinkers and do-ers. It is home to one of the most dynamic and innovative creative clusters in the country and host to over sixty festivals a year, including the largest annual arts festival in England.
Artists and creative companies choose to base themselves here because Brighton & Hove is associated with a liberal, collaborative spirit which fosters creativity. Furthermore, the recent NESTA Creative Nation report cited the city as the place with the most embedded creativity in “non-creative” sectors – meaning that the wider economy and city benefits from its creative positioning.

However are these and other perceptions of Brighton matched by the reality of how the city is viewed externally? In an increasingly competitive market for talent and inward investment does Brighton have a strong, relevant, credible and coherent identity? Is it even on the radar? and as mooted* at a recent event “Does Brighton Even Exist?”

This provocation brings a panel and an audience from across all sectors of the city to shake up conventional wisdom about the place of culture and creativity in the city’s identity and outward-facing messages. How can we work together across the city to capture the imagination of visitors, residents and investors, through the reality and future potential of our strengths in culture and innovation?

Andrew Erskine, whose work focuses on innovation and the creative economy, will chair the discussion. Eimear Henry will talk about the decision making behind the joint bid between Belfast and Derry City to become the UK’s European Capital of Culture in 2023. Gillian Easson will share the Creative Dundee story showing how in a few years Creative Dundee became an integral part of the city’s creative infrastructure and an important platform in the profiling of the city. Helen Kennedy Head of the School of Media at the University of Brighton will talk about the Brighton perspective.  Richard Freeman CEO of always possible will talk about perceptions of Brighton’s as a place to be creative, live, work and play.