Art and the Rural: Is there a way for arts and culture to break out of the city?


Illustration by Himarni Brownsword

Away from the buzzing activity of bigger metropolitan centres, artists often find their greatest inspiration, and yet there is a deficit in arts cultivated in those peripheral locations. With Brexit supposedly giving the non-metropolitan a voice, will a new political and social landscape extend to the arts?

The UK City of Culture scheme is an initiative that bolsters the cultural status of a UK town for a period of a year. The most recent holder of the award was Hull in 2017, where the BBC reported that by early 2018 there were five million visitors, £220 million of investment and 800 new jobs. The next city to take up the mantle is Coventry in 2021. For 2022, the government is lining up the team that worked on the Hull project to take charge of a Four Nations arts festival that will take place in Birmingham with a budget of £120m.

I’m all for nation-wide cultural schemes, but am concerned about locations that won’t reap