Tuesday, April 23, 2013

China Arts Forum

A truly dynamic speaker
The main reason I'm in London is to co-present a forum for the UK's arts constituency. Basically, it's an afternoon of context and advice for museums, performing arts companies, tour promoters, cultural institutions and anyone else who's interested in working in the Chinese arts scene... and how the British Council can help. 
It went well. We squeezed about 80 people into a room in Spring Gardens, and aside from me there were presentations by my Director Joanna Burke, Xiang Xiaowei from the Chinese Embassy in London, Tony Trehy from Bury Art Museum, Nick Barnes from Blind Summit theatre company and some moderating by Graham Sheffield, our global Director of Arts.
Some difficult issues came up like: Can you do more to introduce us to sponsors in China?and Can you advise on the contracts we sign with Chinese partners? and surprisingly little on censorship.
It was good to connect with everyone and share a few drinks afterwards. But a relief also to forget work and meet up with Andrew Hulme and Paul Schutze for dinner at Andrew Edmunds in Soho. I remember Paul introducing me to this tiny little restaurant on Lexington Street back in the mid-90s - and it's still great. 
Good to catch up. Andrew's on the verge of directing his first feature film while suffering from lack of sleep with two young children around, and Paul's getting back into music while looking after his & Chris's new offspring - Gilbert, an Irish Terrier.

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