Boris Johnson to reveal culture priorities

London Mayor Boris Johnson will outline plans today for culture in the capital in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games.

Mr Johnson will pledge to increase access to the arts for people living in London's outer boroughs, improve music and art education, cut red tape for arts organisations and boost support for grassroots talent.



Cultural Metropolis - The Mayor's Priorities for Culture 2009-2012, also reveals plans for The Story of London, a major celebration of the city's people, its past, present, and future, which will take place across the capital in June 2009.



It also states the 2012 Games should be used as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create "a cultural legacy", through projects such as the art commissions which will be exhibited in the Olympic Park.



Mr Johnson said: "I want to maintain the capital's status as one of the great world cities for culture and creativity. My job is not to back heritage over modernism, nor to allow the destruction of much-loved old buildings. It is to encourage all manner of artistic expression, in the knowledge that culture is not just an add-on to the necessity of modern politics.



"I want to see better access and provision for people in the outer boroughs, where it can be very patchy. And we must capitalise on the opportunities offered by the 2012 Games to create a cultural legacy for all Londoners."



Initiatives to improve access in the outer boroughs include plans for the London Film Day, which will put on special film screenings and events across the capital in 2009.



Funding has been given to the London Jazz Festival to enable it to stage music performances in outer suburbs such as Richmond, Stratford, Greenwich and Walthamstow for the first time this month.



The Mayor has launched a "musical instruments amnesty", asking Londoners to pledge their old instruments to young people as part of a drive to improve music education.



The scheme is backed by Julian Lloyd-Webber, cellist and the young brother of Andrew Lloyd-Webber.



Mr Johnson is also supporting Children's Art Day in 2009, which aims to increase young people's enjoyment of the visual arts.



Munira Mirza, director of culture policy, said: "We want young people to get every opportunity to experience culture, to understand it, and to know it is for them.



"We passionately believe that we must not patronise them but rather help them to understand and experience great art in all its variety: from western classical music to Latin American jazz; from paintings by old masters to new media installations by contemporary artists."



In 2002, the capital's cultural and creative sector added £21 billion to London's output.



By 2005, 12 per cent of London workers - 554,000 people - were employed in the creative industries.



Over 15 million overseas tourists come to London each year - five million more than go to Paris or New York - together with 10 million domestic visitors and 150 million day trippers. Seven out of 10 say that the culture on offer in London influenced their decision to visit.



Mr Johnson said: "There are tough times ahead, but I am committed to helping the cultural sector cope. For it to flourish and for people to be creative, we need to be brave with funding and bold in our vision.



"We will look at how to target business and training support to creative industries and we need to make sure red tape and funding pressures do not obstruct artistic progress, especially for smaller grassroots organisations."



Commenting on the Mayor's cultural plans, Nicholas Kenyon, managing director of the Barbican Centre, said: "Good for Boris. We welcome the Mayor's recognition that London's cultural life is uniquely thriving and diverse, and his aspiration to make the most of the City as a world-class cultural centre.



"The aim of bringing the arts at the highest level to all, especially supporting a newly co-ordinated approach to music education, will animate the City in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics and far beyond."



Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House, added: "Culture and a cultural legacy was an integral part of the 2012 London Olympic win, and it's wonderful to see real projects and investments already being made.



"The arts have the most amazing power to inspire, uplift and revitalise communities and make a real difference to people's lives. Boris's plans for our great city are very exciting and should be warmly embraced."

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people
News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mobile Developer (.NET / C# / Jason / Jquery / SOA)

£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...

Humanities Teacher - Greater Manchester

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...

Design Technology Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...

Foundation Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes