A central aim of Creative Cardiff is for our city to be a capital of creativity. We're sure the way to do this is by working collaboratively and playing to our collective strengths.

At our Cardiff: Creative Capital event in December, we heard how Sheffield came up with ‘10 things’ that provided a focus for the stories their city tells about itself.

They did this in consultation with the creatives in the city, fact checking assumptions as they went. Often the research challenged some commonly held assumptions and revealed some lesser known facts; visual arts wasn’t as strong as they had thought, but beer was genuinely their thing (that, and having a huge number of recording studios). It led to policy change when they discovered that only 25% of all this beer left Sheffield because there is no bottling plant and that’s something they’re now looking to address. It also led to initiatives like Our Favourite Places which was started by local creatives as a ‘love letter to the city’ and now, in wider partnership, provides a guide for visitors to experience Sheffield like a local.  

It made us think what Cardiff’s ‘10 things’ would be. Could we have a city conversation around this concept, led by creatives? Could we identify a couple of ideas to take forward to better help us tell Cardiff’s stories? 

At our workshop, Creating Cardiff, on 17 March we want to make a start on gathering these ideas.  Some question to get us started… 

  • When you’re out and about at meetings and conferences and you say that you’re from Cardiff - what are the stories that you’d like to tell when people ask you what it’s like?
  • What examples do we already have? Creative initiatives include We Are CardiffI Loves the ‘Diff and Get Lost in Cardiff.
  • Are there any myths that we should bust? Or things that we think are true but want to fact check once and for all? 
  • Are there any facts that neatly articulate a bigger city asset? e.g. ‘Cardiff has the highest percentage of students…’ – we often don’t promote Cardiff as a learning city with three universities and a conservatoire.
  • Are there things that we do that we don’t shout about enough? 
  • What about activity in the different electoral wards of Cardiff? Are there stories happening in some areas that we’re not picking up on?
  • How do we work in partnership with media to share these stories?
  • How do we mobilise the creative talent that we have here to do all this?

This first workshop is a small start and we know we’re not going to be able do everything at once.

But we’re over the moon that we’ll have a full room which includes arts organisations, creative freelancers, academics and colleagues from Cardiff Council who all want to contribute. Cardiff Council have recently produced their own report: Cardiff Liveable City which has some interesting fact and figures about the city too.

They’ll be plenty of opportunity to get involved as the Creating Cardiff workshops progress, we’ll be sharing all the information here.

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