As part of the city’s bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2023, a host of talented locals and former residents united at the Royal Society of Arts to show London what Leeds is made of.
Among those throwing their weight behind the bid were the Kaiser Chiefs’ bassist Simon Rix and city songbird Corinne Bailey Rae.
Mr Rix, who participated in an on-stage discussion hosted by Lord Melvyn Bragg, the Chancellor of the University of Leeds, told the packed audience on Tuesday evening: “The people of Leeds really backed us. We couldn’t have got to where we got without the people of Leeds - people travelling to come and see us. When there’s something to get behind in Leeds, people get behind it.”
Lord Bragg added: “Leeds and culture are the perfect fit. There are 19 museums and galleries, there’s ballet here, there’s the 50th anniversary of the West Indian Carnival coming up - there’s so much.”
Also at the event, a new film by Studio12 and Mojo Film was screened to drum up excitement and support for the 2023 bid, and there was a dance performance by Phoenix Dance Theatre apprentice Candela Murillo and Northern School of Contemporary Dance students Jenna-Anne Nathan and Asmara Cammock.
Sofya Gulyak, winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition, and Corinne Bailey Rae also performed to the audience, which included key movers and shakers in London who may help to influence Leeds’ chances of bid success.
Coun Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, told London’s event the city needs to do more to promote its exceptional culture.
She said: “It may come as a surprise to some of you that actually we don’t shout out enough about Leeds. Those that know about it, know how great it is, but we haven’t been good enough at telling other people about the great city that we have.”
Judges are looking for plenty of community involvement and activities being organised as part of the bid. The result on which city is successful will be announced during autumn 2018. To find out how you can get involved, visit leeds2023.co.uk