· 24 Hour Culture Survey to take place from noon 24th to noon 25th October
· People to be asked what arts and culture means in their everyday life
· Meera Syall lends her support
Residents across the region, from cities to rural areas, are encouraged to fill in the short questionnaire at www.24hourculture.co.uk.
The actress Meera Syall MBE has voiced her support for the survey. She commented: “If you care about the arts, please take the 24 Hour Culture Survey. This is a 24 hour dash to map out how much the arts matter to us all.
“The West Midlands is full of great culture, from Wolves to Warwick, bhangra to The Bard himself, and some of Britain's funniest, most creative and talented people.
“If you plan to read a book, play an instrument, take a dance class, watch a film, laugh at something on Youtube or take your kids to the theatre over the course of the day, just tell the survey. It'll help us all shout about the value of the arts.”
The 24 Hour Culture Survey has been commissioned by 22 of the West Midlands’ arts organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Compton Verney, mac birmingham, the Belgrade Theatre Coventry, DanceXchange, Ironbridge Gorge Museums and Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.
It is hoped that the findings will be used to inform arts policy in forthcoming years, both by the organisations themselves but also by local authorities and government.
Joanna Reid, Director, Belgrade Theatre Coventry explained: “We want to encourage people to realise what arts and culture means to them in their normal everyday life. They may not think that they take part in arts and culture but my hunch is that most people do some kind of cultural activity as part of their weekly routine – from being part of a book club to playing a musical instrument for pleasure, to take part in a dance class. It all counts.”
She continued, “We have an amazing diversity of cultural life here in the West Midlands. Our hope is that the 24 Hour Culture Survey will help people to value the part that arts and culture already plays in their life, rather like how the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Survey has made many people appreciate the bird life in their gardens. We hope that by valuing arts and culture, they will want to protect it and participate more in it.”
Findings from the 24 Hour Culture Survey will be analysed by experts at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Audience Insight team, and will be released before the end of 2014.