Cultures and Cities: What case can be made for the value of the arts in the 21st century?

Why choose this course?

The striking Selfridges building in the Bullring shopping centre. The Bullring is Europe’s largest city centre shopping development, with the equivalent of over 26 football pitches worth of shops, boutiques and restaurants.

This course is for you if you would like to explore the role and value of the arts and culture in today’s cities through using Birmingham, the second largest city in the UK as a case study.

Approximately half of the world’s population live in cities or towns. In Europe, more than 80% of its citizens live in urban areas.  Cities and their surrounding areas are seen as key drivers of economic development and wealth creation. Following the severe economic downturn across the world, these same cities and urban areas are facing major challenges to their future progress. Capital developments have been put on hold or cancelled and public and private sector investment has been severely scaled back. Jobs have been lost not only in manufacturing but in the professional, financial and service sectors and arts and culture are in danger of becoming an optional extra. 

This course will examine some of the arguments for continued investment in the arts and cultural and creative industries.  

  • Cities and Marketing -  the role of culture and the arts
  • Cities and Economic development  - Creative and cultural industries
  • Cities,  cultures and identity
  • The arts in Education
  • The arts and young people    
  • The arts and Health & wellbeing
  • The role of central and local government in cultural life
  • Cities and their Heritage
  • The role of artists/creative practitioners in cities 


The sessions will be a mix of site visits, group work, presentations and discussions
Participants will gain an understanding of arts-based learning practices, gain insights into city marketing, starting a creative business and will develop English speaking and presentation skills. 

The sessions will be led by experts and practitioners in the performing and visual arts, heritage, city marketing and the creative economy.