Cultural Reporter Caroline checks out Beers and Ideas #5Last Thursday night, I headed down to Bottlecraft in Hanley for the 5th Beers and Ideas night. This gathering was focused on the City of Culture 2021 bid, with several speakers discussing possible cultural endeavours within Stoke-on-Trent.
Arriving at about 7.15pm, the atmosphere was fantastic. Bottlecraft was heaving with people – all the seats had already gone – so we (quite literally) propped up the bar instead. I grabbed a cider from the bar taps and settled in, ready to listen and debate some new ideas.
First up was Chrish from Design by Weather with “Well Now You Know”, an app/website that will serve as a platform to showcase what’s going on in Stoke-on-Trent. All manner of events can be added to WNYK, whether it’s musical; performance-based or food and drink-related and anyone can add an event, as long as it is found to be genuine and approved by admin. Other cities have reaped the benefits of similar setups and as we bid for the City of Culture title, this kind of platform will be crucial in order to coordinate the city’s cultural activities. The plan is to launch in Summer 2017, but until then you can keep up with their progress on Facebook and Twitter @wellnyk…
Blacklight, a community darkroom, was the next idea presented by Sean. Photography is clearly one of Sean’s own passions but the Blacklight group seem just as passionate about getting others involved in the world of analogue photography. After discussing whether JPEGs and Flickr will really be around forever, the importance of documenting and being able to hold photographs in your hands really hit home for me. And as Sean said, for as little as £2- £1 on a roll of film from Poundland; the other pound on a camera from a Charity Shop – photography is something that everyone can participate in. Blacklight will certainly be another wonderful string to add to the city’s already creative bow – check out what’s going on Facebook at /blacklightstoke.
The final formal presentation was from Matt and Dan from Keele University, exploring the potential of using 'open badges' within a City of Culture infrastructure. If I understood correctly, 'open badges' are online representations of skills and achievements, and they outlined how these could be incorporated into the city’s title; for example, through a City of Learning badge. They also emphasised the way in which open badges can help to inspire a lifelong love for learning, and if that’s not a strong foundation from which to build our bid, I don’t know what is!
After the formal presentations, there was opportunity to chat and discuss other ideas, including what culture means to Stoke-on-Trent and whether our ceramics heritage is enough to carry our City of Culture bid. The energy and electricity and creativity that filled Bottlecraft last Thursday night, that is what culture is.
Appetite Cultural Reporter
The Appetite Cultural Reporter Team is a roving group of local writers, photographers and bloggers who are passionate about the arts in Stoke-on-Trent.Cultural Reporters discover and promote exciting stuff happening locally and regionally through reviews, blogs, vlogs, photography, back stage interviews and more. From theatre to circus to spoken word, they get to the heart of the action and bring it to you. Got an event coming up you’d like one of the team to review? Contact us at email@example.com