My name is Matthew Drew and I am a Journalism Studies graduate from the University of Sheffield. I have been involved in drama, dance and music in Nottingham from the age of three and so I feel passionate about this city and the recognition it deserves.
In six years time, I want all of Nottingham to be a stage and the men, women, girls and boys playing in it to their heart’s content. In 2023 I envisage a stage on every Nottingham corner – in the city centre but the places where I want most to pop up are the outer areas. In London, they say you’re never more than six feet away from a rat. Well in any NG postcode you should never be more than six feet, metres, minutes or moments from an open door with music oozing out of it. From an underground jive or an overground rave. From theatre, whether it’s the dictionary definition of one or not. Little or large, permanent or on a whirlwind visit, these should be everywhere – but most of all, they should not be hidden secrets. They should be sung from the rooftops in every corner of this great city so people know that we are creative, we are out there and we are having fun.
Culture is brilliant, we can all agree on that. The problem is that too often people are unable to see it even when it’s right in front of their eyes. So let’s employ young people to hand out and deliver leaflets in high streets and marketplaces across the city. Let’s definitely have an innovative, interactive and wide-reaching social media campaign, but let’s also go into schools and bring culture to kids who might scroll past it one day and be none the wiser.
And equally, I want to see us provide a more diverse palate of opportunities than has ever been seen before. We can celebrate Nottingham’s brilliant football tradition and history with events at the closest football grounds in professional English football, we can brew special city of culture beers – part of the cost of which could go to subsidising entry tickets – and we can once again tell stories of our greatest icon Robin Hood, just as they did around the fire in medieval Sherwood Forest but now on tours, at fairs, in classrooms or at the pub.
If all of this comes together then you will see the vision I have of my great city in six years time: diverse, expansive and open.
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