Cultural Conversations at Mansion House

Cultural Conversations are a series of debates funded by the Genesis Foundation and hosted by William Russell, Lord Mayor of the City of London at Mansion House.

These conversations bring together leading figures from the UK’s cultural scene, as part of the Lord Mayor’s focus on the power of arts and culture. They aim to provide thought-provoking insights and stimulate meaningful discussions on key issues of our time.

Lord Mayor William Russell said: “Arts and culture have always been very close to my heart, because they promote a rich and vibrant creative economy and showcase the City, London and the UK as attractive places to live, learn, and work in, as well as visit.

“The talks will be a unique meeting of minds between these influential figures, all of them highly respected artists in their chosen field, and our audiences.”

John Studzinski CBE, Founder and Chairman of the Genesis Foundation, said: “For a healthy society, open debate and the challenging of orthodoxies are essential. The Genesis Foundation is delighted to support the Lord Mayor’s series of discussions that will examine critical areas of the intersection between the arts and society, and the role of art in transforming communities and individuals.”

“As the Genesis Foundation approaches its 20th anniversary, its work with leading arts organisations has repeatedly shown this transformative power. We are delighted to present many of our partners in this series who will provide insights and experiences that will stimulate meaningful discussions which we hope will ignite debate beyond Mansion House.”

The first debate, held in February 2020 and chaired by John Studzinski CBE addressed ‘Art for Social Change’ and explored the potential for artists to bring people to rethink and reframe their values and behaviour.

Members of the panel taking part were:

  • Farooq Chaudhry OBE, Co-founder and Producer of Akram Khan Company
  • Chichi Nwanoku OBE, Founder, Artistic and Executive Director, Chineke! Orchestra, Europe’s first majority Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) orchestra
  • Jemma Read, Head of Bloomberg’s Philanthropy & Engagement Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC)
  • Indhu Rubasingham MBE, Artistic Director, Kiln Theatre, Kilburn

Explore our gallery of images of the event here and watch the debate again here

Left to right: John Studzinski CBE, Indhu Rubasingham MBE, Jemma Read, Chichi Nwanoku OBE and Farooq Chaudhry OBE

Future events are being programmed and will most likely be held online. Cultural Conversations will be live streamed via the Lord Mayor of London’s Twitter account (@citylordmayor) and via the Genesis Foundation’s Twitter account (@Genesis_Fndn).

Information on future events will be shared on this website and on the Genesis Foundation’s social media accounts. 


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