BBC Radio 4 Front Row Special - Brexit: The Cultural Response.
Join us for a very special BBC Radio 4 live broadcast event at the RSA in partnership with Front Row.
As part of a series of Radio 4 programmes reflecting and examining the political and cultural landscape in Britain after the Brexit vote, Front Row will pick up from Today with a live broadcast in front of an audience at the RSA.
Hosted by John Wilson, the discussion will feature leading creative figures, including actor and director Samuel West, novelists Val McDermid and Dreda Say Mitchell, TV producer Phil Redmond and designer Wayne Hemingway, to consider the artistic impact of the decision to leave the EU and how our culture will change over the next 10 years.
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Good art, good theatre, good music - it doesn't have to change because some people can't get to see it, or don't want to see it. What has to happen is that we make sure young people are given the wherewithal to appreciate it so that they grow up into adults who are open, interested and alive to change rather than inward looking, xenophobic and angry for reasons they don't understand.
I didn't understand the arguments at all in tonight's Front Row discussion. Historically people have had their own local cultural traditions, music and events and those who were stimulated to look outside these environs have always also engaged in the wider artistic milieu. I grew up in Liverpool in the 1960's and 70's. As a teenager I was a regular visitor to galleries, exhibitions and the Everyman theatre, where Shakespeare and Greek drama were regularly shown, alongside modern plays. I went to the Industrial Concerts at the Liverpool Philharmonic. I grew up learning to appreciate the rich variety of art and music on offer there. The idea that the Arts need some kind of special response to Brexit to provide for the need for "British identity" seems somewhat ludicrous to me. We cannot nor should we ever want to turn back the clock or try and recreate a British artistic Arcadia. We have to drive forward, producing more of the same fantastically good quality plays, music and art which already exists, not tie ourselves up in knots wondering how to respond to Brexit.
Artistic endeavour is alive and thriving all over the country and it just needs more regional support and recognition, not only for the institutions who fund it but from the local people to whom it is being offered. Education is absolutely the cornerstone of understanding and appreciation.