'Cultural Cities' illustrated forum report - the importance of community involvement

CGI aerial view showing planned pedestrianisation of the south side of Aldwych London around St Mary-le-Strand, flanked by Somerset House, and Bush House / King's College London, part of £18 million investment from Westminster City Council

Following our successful 'Cultural Cities' forum in January with V&A East's Director, Gus Casely-Hayford, we are now releasing our illustrated report from the event. It features the evolution of cultural centres in London from Stratford through to The Strand / Aldwych, Lambeth and West Kensington - Olympia. This is part of a series that will run through 2021.

The forum drew important conclusions, including:

- The drive of V&A East to create a new and vibrant museum experience, where both the heritage and personal stories of those living nearby can be recorded with inter-active digital technology, embraces the centrality of community in the arts today.

- The East Bank at Stratford presents a ready-made cultural district for an under-served part of London but the measure of success will be how active the engagement is with the one million plus inhabitants of the four closest boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Waltham Forest – as well as nationally and globally.

- Arts and cultural institutions need to reflect on how they can help young people from all backgrounds use facilities to develop careers and skills (as shown by the Old Vic theatre workshops for Newark Youth Charity)