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Speaking at Summit for Glasgow: City of Creative Production, Glasgow Life’s Chief Exec, Bridget McConnell quoted Bill Bryson:
“Glasgow has gone through a glittering and celebrated transformation…Suddenly the world began cautiously to come to Glasgow and there upon discovered to its delight that this was a city densely endowed with splendid museums, lively pubs, world-class orchestras”
Here, McConnell was speaking of Glasgow’s transformation; from a town of ill-repute to a city that could hold its own against the capitals of Europe. This, she argued, was owed a lot to the development of the arts and creative industries.
Now Glasgow faces challenges as an emerging creative city – some unique, like poor health and poverty, and some less so, such as fragile funding and a lack of communication between groups and individuals.
Networking was seen central to overcoming some of these challenges.
From the Q&A session, it was clear that for the practitioners an absence of useful networks was a big concern. There was a strong sense that disconnection and isolation was a barrier to regenerating Glasgow as a creative city, with suggestions including organised hubs, local council involvement, or more informal means.
The panel offered this pearl of wisdom: Don’t neglect the importance of a round of drinks. For many creative practitioners it’s hard to take time out for workshops or events, and individuals working outside of organisations can be hard to reach. The occasional gesture of an informal pint is invaluable to developing or maintaining any network.
For future growth, Glasgow’s creative industries will need support on multiple levels, and at the summit we saw organisations like Glasgow Life and the Glasgow School of Art committing to making Glasgow a ‘glittering’ city again.
Bringing the creative citizens, together, however, can be as simple as a round of drinks.
The importance of a round of drinks
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By BOP Consulting
Callum leads the BOP team, its portfolio and strategic partnerships. His cultural and creative industries expertise is founded on leading analytical research and policy formulation in the UK and internationally.
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