As the shortlisting begins for who will become 2017’s UK City of Culture, Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Culture Company 2013, updates us on how current holders Derry-Londonderry has been celebrating its title.
Today, we’ve headed to London to showcase some of the outstanding cultural programme we have coming up in Derry-Londonderry, the first UK City of Culture. It’s wonderful to be able to take this opportunity spread the word so far and wide.
Our Travelling Wall is on London’s Southbank today (3 May). It has been highlighting our cultural feast, which is now well under way back at home. It’s been an amazing and hectic time so far, but the momentum goes up a gear now as we move into the large-scale, outdoor events in the months ahead.
As the towns and cities position themselves for the bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2017, I am thinking of what winning that title meant has meant so far to the people of Derry-Londonderry. Competing in the first place, is a genuine opportunity to galvanise a city’s population behind a shared vision of a better future for their home place.
Winning the title gives you the certainty to make it happen, and in Derry that moment was a truly exciting and unforgettable experience. There’s been no let-up since then as we put together a programme which is big, bold and ambitious, and showcases the cultural wealth of Northern Ireland while working with national and international partners.
Lighting up the city
We have some wonderful London-based partners for our City of Culture programme, including the Tate, City of London Festival and Artichoke. In partnership with Tate, in Derry-Londonderry will stage the Turner Prize outside England for the first time ever this autumn, while Artichoke will help us bring the city truly alive when Lumiere lights up the city’s 400 year old walls (shown in adjacent picture) and landmark buildings in November.
The Travelling Wall has been touring England and Scotland, telling everyone about the music, drama, literature, song and dance which is going on in Derry-Londonderry right throughout the year, we’re breaking a few Guinness book of records along the way and hosting some world class sporting events too. But above all, we’re having great fun – its the city to visit in 2013.
We’re on London’s Southbank all day today, so if you’re in the area, why not pop along after work?