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You can lead a four to culture

Quartet of champions picked to lead all things arty

Published on March 5th 2012.


You can lead a four to culture

CORONATION Street's Julie Goodyear had a stab at being a cultural ambassador of Liverpool, causing controversy and the firm message she should stick to the Rovers at the cobbled end of the M62. 

Today four new cultural champions have been named, and all everyday Liverpool people with not a suggestion of celebrity, wagishness or Manchesterness between them. 

More than 90 Liverpool people, from teenagers to pensioners, bid for the titles of Liverpool Cultural Ambassador, but after what seems like an X-Factor style elimination process, the four winners to emerge are: John Wishart of Fairfield, Andre Olchowski of Croxteth Country Park, Andrea McGuire-Seery of Stoneycroft and Ray Fosberg of Allerton.  They are aged between 40 and 60-ish - a triumph, some might say, for age and experience over youth. 

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Nominations were from all parts of Liverpool and from all backgrounds. 

The idea is that once trained, the four will shake the cultural world by telling everyone that Liverpool is an inspiring place, bursting at the seams with world-class galleries, museums, performance venues and heritage sites. 

The Cultural Champions scheme celebrates and promotes Liverpool’s cultural life by supporting the champions to get involved and experience more of what the city has to offer, while creating their own commentaries on the city’s arts and culture through their own blog, on local radio and newspapers. 

Liverpool City Council launched the Cultural Champions scheme in 2010 as a legacy of European Capital of Culture Year in 2008. The scheme is now being handled by local enterprise Open Culture, which was founded by Phil Redmond but run as a commercial operation. 

Based at the World Museum, it runs the Light Night event in May and one of its most popular events was Tickle the Ivories that saw a string of pianos and players scattered across Liverpool One. 

John Wishart said: “I can’t wait to get started in my new role. There is so much in Liverpool to discover, enjoy and tell everybody about. I’m really looking forward to all the new adventures.” 

The four recruits will undergoing training before being let loose, with existing champions offering mentoring.”

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