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Capital of Culture bid can have transformative effect on the city


As long-standing contributors to the cultural life of our city, the University is proud to be an academic partner of the Leeds 2023 bid.

Both staff and students across the University are working collaboratively with partners in the city to ensure Leeds becomes the next European Capital of Culture

Michelle Lanham, a Senior Lecturer in Events Management in the School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management is part of the bid team, sitting on the Community Engagement sub-group.

Michelle, who is currently undertaking a PhD which focuses on participation in large scale events, is excited by being part of the bid process: “Being part of the bid provides an opportunity for total transformation of the city and not just for a single year, but for a whole generation of people.  Having decided to make Leeds my home, I know how great the city is and want other people to know that too.”

Speaking about her membership of the sub-group, she added: “Our role is to make sure that the people of the city are reflected in the bid so it feels like it’s for everyone in the city.   One of the greatest ambitions of the bid is to help graduates see opportunities within the city and to realise that after completing their studies, that Leeds can become their home.”

Hannah Mitcheson, a current BA (Hons) Events Management student at Leeds Beckett has already become part of the bid team, joining the Think 2023 group as a Young Ambassador, after a selection process.  Speaking about her involvement, she said: “The Think 2023 group aims to create opportunities for young people and to address issues that are a particular problem for our demographic so we can get our voice heard in the bid process.   Our current focus has also been around equality and diversity as well as the issues of mental health, which are becoming more and more prevalent amongst young people.   Being part of the group will be of real benefit alongside my studies and I’m really enjoying having the opportunity to see some of my ideas become reality.”

In 2016 BA (Hons) Events Management students were tasked with creating an event that could be included within the cultural programme of the Leeds 2023 bid to be the Capital of Culture.

Set as part of their Creative Event Design module by Leeds 2023 Steering group, Community Engagement, more than 180 first year students were asked to create and pitch an event that would highlight the unique, distinctive and little-known cultural gems of Leeds and bring ‘culture’ to a diverse audience.

The three-minute film below, I am a Spark, captures the diverse, cultural zeitgeist of the city. A vibrant spoken word monologue highlighting the cultural aspects of Leeds, the enthusiastic ‘can do attitude of its people, their capabilities and how together as a city we can achieve great things. Showcasing a mixture of more traditional arts/culture iconography interspersed with contemporary arts groups to promote Leeds as a 21st century city and the constant drive to shape the future of its (young) people.

Find out more at www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/leeds2023.

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