Talks & Events

Art Means BusinessHow Culture Can Change the World

Friday 15 November, 9am – 4pm, Gala Theatre, Durham

Participation of Loeb Fellows made possible with a grant from the Loeb Fellowship Alumni Association. 

With over a billion viewings of Danny Boyle’s Olympic opening ceremony worldwide, 674,000 people working in the creative industries in England, and half of all international tourists planning to attend a concert or show during their visit, culture is already big business. But with ever more pressure on the public purse, it’s often seen as a dispensable luxury.

This one-day conference re-imagined the city of the 21st Century and revealed the way in which culture is already a driver for change beyond its traditional role as a magnet for tourism and ticket sales. 

Art Means Business aimed to provoke and challenge accepted thinking. It offered insights and case studies from the UK and beyond, showing how artists and the creative industries offer innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems, and meeting many of the challenges facing 21st century urban society.

The conference discussed themes of trade, economic impact, sustainability, transport and housing are not those normally associated with the arts.

The temporary transformation of an urban landscape leaves a lasting legacy in the minds of those who experience it, as anyone who has attended an Artichoke event, like Lumiere, will understand.


Helen Marriage


Speakers included visionaries and policymakers from the worlds of the arts and urban planning, government and big business. This fascinating day left participants with a wealth of new ideas and new ways of thinking about how our cities are designed and managed.



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