BBC and the UK’s Cultural Organisations launch biggest ever joint campaign

  • Celebrity friends of the campaign unveiled include: Dame Judi Dench, Johnny Vegas, Kate Moss, Frank Skinner, Alastair Campbell, Matt Baker, Michael Palin, Nick Grimshaw and Ade Adepitan
  • Johnny Vegas demonstrates his skills as a potter at the London launch event
  • The campaign opens with a day of activities across the UK from Cardiff to Cumbria and Liverpool to Belfast
  • Over 100 organisations have already signed up to become Champions
  • New website launches linking the public up with all the Get Creative initiatives happening across the UK on a daily basis http://www.bbc.co.uk/getcreative

GET CREATIVE – a year-long celebration of British arts, culture and creativity – was launched by the BBC today – in partnership with cultural movement What Next? as well as a huge range of arts, cultural and voluntary organisations across the UK.

Get Creative will see the BBC work closely with an unprecedented number of external organisations including the founding champions Culture at King’s, Voluntary Arts, 64 Million Artists, Fun Palaces, Cultural Learning Alliance, and Arts Council England, as well as other organisations such as Culture 24, The Royal Shakespeare Company, the BFI, The Roundhouse, Sadler’s Wells, The Young Vic, National Theatre Wales, Arts Council Wales and many more.

Get Creative aims to boost creativity in the UK, as well as celebrating the millions of people already doing something artistic and creative every day. It’s the first time amateur and professional arts organisations have come together on a national project of this scale.

Celebrity friends of Get Creative include: Ade Adepitan, Alastair Campbell, Andrew Marr, Anneka Rice, Claudia Winkleman, Fearne Cotton, Frank Skinner, Johnny Vegas, Dame Judi Dench, Kate Moss, Lucy Worsley, Matt Baker, Michael Palin, Nick Grimshaw.

Dame Judi Dench says: “Don’t ever think you can’t do something, why don’t you just try? You might surprise yourself.”

Kate Moss says: “I couldn’t find what I wanted in the shops, so I started by getting clothes from jumble sales and cutting them up and making my own style. I just think it’s so important to be creative for your own identity. It gives me a lot of happiness and satisfaction.”

Johnny Vegas says: “When I’m not trying to act, or am ranting at people on stage, I like to pot. For somebody that was struggling at school it literally saved me. It gave me a real belief in my ideas.”

Tony Hall, Director-General, BBC says: “The BBC works best when it works with others. We’re linking with more organisations than ever before to launch Get Creative and we’ve got some great British talent involved too. What I hope we can offer the campaign – and it’s something only the BBC can offer – is the ability to reach people everywhere. To inspire everyone to make art or do something creative.”

David Lan, on behalf of What Next? “What Next? is a movement which has aimed to open up a conversation with the millions of people all over the UK who love and value the arts and enjoy exploring culture in the many forms it takes. We want to work together to suggest the many – often unacknowledged – connections between the different ways creativity and art are learned and made and experienced, and to celebrate the crucial place they hold in our lives. We want to celebrate the voluntary arts as much as the professional ones. Get Creative, a partnership between What Next? and the BBC, is potentially a tremendous springboard for the arts, for culture and for creativity, and I hope people across the UK will feel inspired and get involved.”

Jonty Claypole, Director of Arts, BBC says: “I hope Get Creative will give millions of people the chance to discover a new passion – or to really master a talent they know they have. We’re producing all kinds of programming to inspire – starting this Sunday with The Big Painting Challenge on BBC One. Everyone can get involved. To get an idea, just go the new Get Creative site.”

Robin Simpson, Chief Executive, Voluntary Arts says: “The UK is an incredibly creative place: there are approximately 63,000 voluntary arts groups regularly involving 10 Million people across the country in creative cultural activity. For those who take part, this activity becomes an essential part of their quality of life. Expressing yourself creatively enhances your skills, understanding, confidence and wellbeing – and taking part in creative activity collectively in a group strengthens communities. But much of this local creative cultural activity is often overlooked or unnoticed. Get Creative will provide a unique opportunity to showcase and celebrate the creativity of people across the UK and to encourage more people to get creative.”

From a graffiti event in Cardiff and a demonstration of upcycling in Belfast to a huge ‘Paint by Numbers’ scene in Cumbria the campaign opens with a day of activities across the UK arranged by Voluntary Arts where the public can ‘get creative’ and find out more about local activities in their area, helping enrich and inspire local communities across the UK.
The campaign will culminate with a finale weekend in February 2016 showcasing the creativity of the nation and reflections on the year. More details to be announced.

To launch Get Creative, the BBC aims to get people talking about the role and social value of the arts in their lives; giving everyone an opportunity to get involved in a unique national conversation about arts and culture.

For a full list of all BBC debates see the press pack; highlights include:

  • On BBC Radio 4 – Front Row John Wilson present’s a public debate from Hull Truck Theatre exploring the relationship between the state and the arts. (23 February)
  • BBC Four’s Artists’ Question Time will debate who the arts are for in the UK and who gets to play a part in them (February, tbc).
  • Radio 4 You & Yours is asking listeners what they think of the provision of art and culture. The programme wants to hear from consumers, people who work in the creative industry and the people who fund services across the UK.
  • BBC arts editor Will Gompertz joins a discussion on BBC Radio 5 Live about the power of creativity on Radio 5 Live’s Afternoon Edition (Thursday 26 February)
  • BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking will offer a series of interviews on BBC Radio 3 with public figures on the role of art in their lives (23 -26 February)
  • BBC Radio 2 – On his afternoon show Jeremy Vine will be discussing Rembrandt’s self-portraits. Exploring how this popular painting subject offers a ‘window on the soul’ listeners will be encourage to be discuss and debate the topic.
  • On BBC Asian Network Nihal’s programme on 23- 26 February will feature in-depth interviews about how to get involved in Get Creative
  • BBC Radio Scotland’s Culture Studio is exploring how and why you should get creative in a week-long special from Monday 23 February
  • BBC Radio Wales – The Arts Show has a Get Creative special on Wednesday February 25, discussing the importance of creativity and what it means to people.
  • BBC Northern Ireland will be recording a debate about giving more money to the arts
  • BBC Local Radio Stations – What Next? is working with organisations across the country to hold a series of debates, highlights from these will be played across BBC local radio stations.

For a full list of all the events, times and venues, please visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/getcreative

  • What Next? Hull – Friday 27 February, 10.00 Hull Truck Theatre – What makes a City Of Culture? Covered by Radio Humberside
  • What Next? North West – Tuesday 24 February, 16:00 at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. Creativity Counts – a discussion about why Greater Manchester places such value on arts, culture and creativity. Covered by BBC Radio Manchester.
  • Sadler’s Wells – Monday 23 February, 09.30-11.00. Why Dance Matters; artists Carlos Acosta, Seeta Patel and Pam Zinkin, The Place’s Chief Executive Kenneth Tharp and Breakin’ Convention’s Artistic Director Jonzi D debate dance’s power to create change. Covered by BBC London
  • What Next? Cardiff – A week of live debates hosted by major cultural venues across the city and including a Twitter debate (@WNOtweet) on 27 February, 13:00 with Welsh National Opera Chief Executive & Artistic Director David Pountney as he asks ‘Will austerity kill our culture?’ using the hashtag #KillCulture

The BBC is supporting Get Creative with a bigger commitment to arts programming in prime time. Each month, there will be a Saturday night arts special on BBC Two accompanied by other content across the BBC with landmark seasons in 2015 planned on dance, film, theatre and poetry.

Programming highlights include:

  • Actress Maxine Peake, Sunday Times journalist Lynn Barber, Armando Iannucci, and Director of Tate Modern, Chris Dercon will each guest edit a new four-part series, Artsnight on BBC Two, and BBC Four is hosting Artists Question Time.
  • A major new season on cinema includes a celebration of Pinewood at 80 presented by Jonathan Ross; a series of interviews with Britain’s actors and directors and Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode’s film-making competition for Radio 5 Live
  • The Theatre Festival include an adaptation of The Dresser on BBC Two starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins; new drama strand Dialogues on BBC Four as well as a new scheme with the Arts Council England and the Battersea Arts Centre to explore new ways of making and broadcasting theatre on the BBC. Across the English regions we will be following 11 local theatres over the next six months as they tackle an array of challenges – on stage and off.
  • The poetry season will include a profile of the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy; a special on Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene; a drama adaptation of Simon Armitage’s long poem, Black Roses and Performance Poets In Their Own Words. BBC Radio 3’s Proms Poetry Competition 2015, in association with the Poetry Society, challenges aspiring poets to write a poem inspired by the Proms. BBC Radio 6 Music will also have Spoken Word Sessions around National Poetry Day.
  • Radio 1Xtra – with support from Radio 1 and working alongside ACE – are launching a brand new scheme to reflect and enrich the UK’s growing spoken word scene. Along with the new Young Writers Award with Radio 4 and the Reading Agency, this is a major commitment by the BBC to nurturing emerging writing talent.
  • This autumn, BBC Four will broadcast a major documentary on land art, where members of the public will help artist Katy Paterson create a new work.

Other initiatives that Get Creative will inform and inspire include: BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words, BBC Radio 5 Live’s Well Done U competition; BBC Radio 4’s Opening Lines, BBC Radio 4’s Young Writers Award and BBC Radio 6’s Art is Everywhere, BBC Introducing and WritersRoom.

Participating organisations will also form a key part of bringing the Get Creative campaign into as many people’s lives as possible, including:

  • 64 Million Artists is a campaign to unlock the creativity of everyone in Britain. Using a simple, fun and free process: Do, Think and Share – people are being encouraged to sign up for a regular Friday challenge at http://www.64millionartists.com
  • The Space is working with the BBC to launch new digital opportunities for people to create and share their art online and to develop ground-breaking, digital culture firsts. Visit http://www.thespace.org for more.
  • The Cultural Learning Alliance will be asking young people and the professionals who work with them to share their creativity and their ideas with the BBC Get Creative Campaign. http://www.culturallearningalliance.org.uk/
  • Fun Palaces is a campaign to support local people to create grassroots community events; it takes place over the first weekend of October each year. There were 130 UK-wide events last October, registration for Fun Palaces 2015 opens TODAY, 19th Feb. http://www.funpalaces.co.uk
  • Voluntary Arts Week is an annual celebration of cultural creativity across the UK & Republic of Ireland. Voluntary Arts Week 2015 will take place from 15 – 24 May and there are lots of ways to get involved and showcase your creative activity – see: http://voluntaryartsweek.org/
  • Battersea Arts Centre: Everyday Creativity: A discussion and workshop series to explore the potential of everyone’s creativity (free to all) and a 10 week creativity course in Spring 2015 which will also be available for others to run from the Autumn. More information: http://www.bac.org.uk/EverydayCreativity
  • Museums at Night is the UK’s annual after-hours festival of arts, culture and heritage, when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites open their doors for special evening events. The festival runs from 13-16 May and 30-31 October 2015 (www.museumsatnight.org.uk)
  • Across 2015, Call to Create – a global collective of cultural organisations, established by the Roundhouse – are celebrating young creativity in a season of multi-discipline performances, events and moments co-created by young people and established artists from around the world.
  • The Campaign for Drawing aims to get the whole nation drawing. Its annual Big Draw festival runs from 1-31 October and has something for all ages. Over 1500 events in museums, galleries, libraries, schools, parks and community centres will offer mainly free events for those that love to draw, and those who think they can’t. Find your nearest event from 1 July at http://www.thebigdraw.org
  • Family Arts Festival (9 October – 1 November): A UK-wide arts performing and visual arts festival with thousands of events for over 16s and under 16s to enjoy together. http://www.familyarts.co.uk/family-arts-festival/
  • Into Film – UK wide opportunities for teachers and 5-19 year olds. Make short films and discover a catalogue of over 4000 DVD titles including a ‘Get Creative’ selection, free to schools who register: http://www.intofilm.org/getcreative

People will be able to find out about Get Creative events in their region via the Get Creative website which launches today. Get Creative online will be a gateway to all the incredible initiatives happening across the UK on a daily basis. The site will host ideas and opportunities to get the nation inspired to do something creative. There will be online master classes drawn from the BBC’s programmes from how to write a song and how to sew a cushion to how to draw a face, as well as links to events across the country run by the Get Creative Champions.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/getcreative #bbcgetcreative


For BBC Press Enquiries contact:
Lauren Gildersleve/Emma Fox on lauren.gildersleve@bbc.co.uk or emma.fox@bbc.co.uk

For BBC Picture Enquiries contact:

For What Next? press enquiries contact:
Erica Bolton on erica@boltonquinn.com


Get Creative, led by the BBC and What Next?, came about as a result of the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value and is collaboration with Voluntary Arts, Culture at King’s, 64Million Artists, Fun Palaces, Cultural Learning Alliance and Arts Council England.

About What Next?
What Next? is a movement bringing together arts and cultural organisations from across the UK, to articulate and strengthen the role of culture in our society. The aim is to engage the public in new and different conversations about how and why the arts are important, and become a catalyst for fresh thinking and new policy ideas.


The Get Creative Champions
For the full list and weblinks to the Get Creative Champions please visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/getcreative