A picture of a table in the foreground with chairs facing a stage with a large screen with pink and white Cultural Tides logo
The first Cultural Tides conference has taken place

Cultural Tides conference makes waves

Cultural Tides, Hull’s first conference dedicated to the city’s cultural sector, has taken place, attracting around 170 attendees from Hull-based arts, cultural, voluntary, community, education and business sector organisations.

Hosted in Princes Quay events space yesterday (14 March), the audience heard from a range of cultural specialists, discussing the importance of culture, as well as Hull’s contribution to culture and creativity in the north.

Speakers included Professor John Holden, Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds, Merlijn Poolman, Night Mayor for Groningen, Netherlands, Matthias Rauch, Head of Cultural Innovation & Creative Economy in Mannheim, Germany, Claire McColgan CBE, Director of Culture – Liverpool 2008/Eurovision/UNESCO and Erika Clark, Creative Programme Manager at Belfast UNESCO music city.

A film, Voice of Hull, was produced for Cultural Tides.

Panels considered how cities capture and maintain the energy of large-scale initiatives, how to develop audiences and empower communities, and Hull’s ambition to be a UNESCO Creative City of Music.

The day also kickstarted the conversation on a new city-wide cultural strategy. Residents in Hull were asked what culture means to them with a film produced and premiered at the conference. The film can be viewed here.

A room filled with people mingling amongst tables and chairs
Around 170 members of the cultural community attended the event

The conference was opened by Leader of Hull City Council, Cllr Mike Ross and closed by portfolio holder for culture, Cllr Rob Pritchard and was majority funded by the UK Government-backed Levelling-Up scheme.

Following the event, the evening saw a celebration of maritime heritage with a large-scale public event. A flaming torch-lit procession featuring 500 community volunteers made its way from Hull Minster to Hull Marina, where audiences enjoyed a spectacular performance of The Tower of Light – transforming Hull into a magical theatre of pyrotechnics, performance and music.  

Hull Central Library