Doncaster Voices: How to encourage Doncaster folk to embrace culture?

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Welcome to Doncaster Voices, your weekly forum. If you want to get involved, submit 150 words with name, title & photo to chris.page@jpress.co.uk. Your views may appear here next week when topic is “How can we encourage local young people to choose a career?”

DMBC cabinet member, leisure and culture Coun Nigel Ball

When we talk about culture, we are talking about all the things that make Doncaster unique. We have lots of great cultural activity taking place across the borough we should be proud of. It’s important to celebrate everything. Over recent months residents and visitors were able to enjoy world class horse racing at St Leger Festival, fantastic outdoor music event at Conisbrough Music Fest and wonderful Colour of Light show in the town centre, all really well attended. We’ve got some great events to look forward to including illuminated parade in Bawtry on November 19, part of national countdown to 400th anniversary of Mayflower’s sailing, and exciting return of Tour de Yorkshire in May. Doncaster has a lot to offer. I would encourage everyone to go out and enjoy Doncaster’s cultural offer.

Doncaster Student, Lauren Walker

One way we could encourage residents to engage with Doncaster’s cultural offer is to make it a more enjoyable, entertaining and larger experience similar to that of a festival. A popular and festival-like event we celebrate well is the St Leger. If we could replicate this success into other areas of society, Doncaster’s cultural offer would be well desired. Doncaster has a rich market, tracing its origins back to Roman times, and was home of the locomotive since 1853 when great Northern Railway was established. These characteristics could be combined successfully to create a cultural festival in which traders and people come together to celebrate Doncaster’s past in a multiplicity of ways. This more enjoyable approach would encourage younger generations to engage with other cultural aspects our town has to offer.

Mel Hewitt, Communications Manager XP School

Acknowledging we all have different tastes, what enthrals and excites one person may have another heading for the exit, there are key factors engaging with ‘The Arts’. We’ are all creatures of habit so cultural engagement needs to become just that – more than once in a blue moon coach trip to see West End show on tour, lovely as that can be. Most importantly, we need to know what that offer is in our home town. Illuminate and celebrate our home-grown talent in all its glory and diversity. Painting, music, performance, poetry. Whatever it is, it matters. This connection and awareness is about more than advertising and needs to reach us from school to shopping centre to take centre stage in our lives. Enrichment and sense of identity that would grow would sustain us personally and strengthen communities.

Bill Morrison, East Doncaster Development Trustees ChaIr

Culture? Its diverse and plentiful in Doncaster. How do we get it working as one? I believe that ethnic minority leaders must play a bigger part in allaying fears that in some way Doncastrians are different to the rest of the world. It also applies to our civic leaders to do their bit. Perhaps we need a carnival-type event embracing all communities. What better time than now? Christmas is around the corner so let’s encourage communities to come together and celebrate by joining the party. There are other important dates in the multi-cultural calendar that could be celebrated in same way. Park events showing diversity in music, dance and art are a way forward. We all want the same thing, we only differ in our approach to achieving it. Progress and positivity can be defined by compromise. We all share something.