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UK City of Culture 2013 Sheffield Bid

In July 2010 the city of Sheffield will find out whether it is to be the UK City of Culture in 2013. Three other cities in the United Kingdom have been nominated alongside the city of Sheffield, including Derry, Birmingham and Norwich.

The City of Culture team in Sheffield has promoted 10 key areas of culture. BBC Sheffield has taken a look at four key areas which Sheffield is proud of, including music, new talent, stories and its heritage and business.

BBC Sheffield has asked Amy Carter, the Head of Arts for Sheffield City Council about what makes culture in Sheffield.

Although Amy's job is to promote the cultural delights that Sheffield has to offer, we find out why the city is a delight and why she chose to stay here after studying at Sheffield Hallam University.

Amy Carter, Head of Arts at Sheffield City Council

UK City of Culture bid: Sheffield
By Amy Carter, Head of Arts, Museums and Cultural Promotions at Sheffield City Council

I came to Sheffield in 1995 (15 years ago now!) as a student at Sheffield Hallam University after moving from the Lake District. It's funny because the things that initially attracted me to the city are as vibrant and relevant to me now as they were then - the hills, trees and green spaces, the sense of identity and culture, the lovely little coffee shops, boutiques, bars, galleries and theatres… But most of all, and above all else, the people and the sense of creativity in whatever we turn our hands to.

I volunteered for six months in the planning of a community arts festival and it was there that I made contacts across Sheffield's diverse music scene and also within the voluntary and community sectors. Many of the people that I met then are close friends of mine today - Sheffield has a way of embracing you and drawing you in like no other city I know.

There was no question that I would make my home here - I was very involved in the music scene and spent lots of time either making music or hanging out in my friends' studios which were either in disused cutlery works or in back bedrooms.

What a backdrop for the industrial electronica, soul, hip hop and broken beats we were making. I set up a business selling vinyl and merchandise with a friend and we worked in venues around the North selling music and generally having a great time. From there I went on to be a Rep for the area for Universal Music and worked on a regional level.

Over the years, I continued to develop in the city and have been very fortunate to have a career in culture and regeneration. I have spent a lot of time working in the community sector on creative industries development and cultural action planning in neighbourhoods including Burngreave and Southey/Parson Cross.

I have felt for many years now that Sheffield is where I come from - in terms of how my own identity was formed through music, community, sharing and learning. The fact that most of the projects I was involved in hardly ever had any cash was just an incentive to work closer together and muck in.

It's obvious that I do feel very emotional about Sheffield. I think the quality of life here is second to none. Nowadays I find myself in the theatres and galleries more than the bars and clubs (but that's just my age!).

I love seeing fab new places spring up like Yabba deli and Rude Shipyard on Abbeydale Road. Our music and particularly our home grown festivals are fantastic - from Abbeyfield community festival through to Off the Shelf and Doc/Fest, Tramlines, Sensoria, Galvanize and Sheffield Children's Festival.

We have a lot to celebrate and a lot to be proud of in this city. There's lots of us former students still here, hanging out in the UK's best kept secret, clambering about in the streams and over boulders in the Peak District at weekends and then going for dinner in Spice Market Café at night, catching a gig in SAWA and still making it home before midnight!

Sheffield's always been my choice as a city of culture.


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