So, it can take a while to put together an edition of FluxOne20, and sometimes the agenda – if there is one at all – shifts as we go.
We started pottering about with ideas around fashion, foreign footballers, toads and koalas. Then we added a few bits to do with blockbuster movies, an aspiring star of the West End and a celebrated performer whose stage was Parliament.
And just as we realised we had ourselves a varied and compelling artistic assortment, someone at Hull City Council announced that they want to become the UK City of Culture.
That in turn raised questions – mischievous from some quarters – about what Hull has to do to achieve the standard. But our starting point, as demonstrated by our stories about the amazing creativity being presented by people who live and work here, is more to do with what we’ve already got.
Because if we want to become the UK City of Culture in 2017 we won’t do it by telling people what we plan to do in four years’ time. We need to demonstrate cultural commitment and achievement past and present and then build on it.
Communication is a huge part of that. Art itself is all about communicating ideas and beliefs and reflecting contrasting lifestyles, from different communities to different sections of the same community.
And of course we need to communicate our cultural strengths, not just because the City Council is bidding for a big prize but because we want people to know that this is a fantastic part of the world and because we want to make it even better.
That challenge can extend as far as we want it to – through Elaine Burke and the Larkin toads project we’ve already won some friends on the other side of the world. But it is also something to work on closer to home, and our other interviews show people growing up in Hull and even growing old in Hull that art and culture can be a big part of their lives.