A MISSION to make culture more relevant and accessible in York has led to the launch of a new forum - and a rallying call for more creatives to get involved.

The Cultural Leaders Group, made up of 40 leaders from the city's cultural creative sector, is being replaced with the new York Culture Forum.

The forum is open to anyone in the sector, including individuals, organisations and community groups.

It will choose its own executive members, making York the first city with an elected cultural executive group in the UK.

Its creation follows the launch in 2020 of the city's five-year culture strategy.

A joint venture between Make It York, City of York Council and the Cultural Leaders Group, the strategy aims to make culture relevant and accessible to everyone in the city and create opportunities.

Through the forum, people can learn about and contribute to the culture strategy’s future direction, while sharing knowledge, networking and building partnerships.

The forum welcomes anyone working within arts and heritage, including collections, combined arts, dance, libraries, literature, museums, music, theatre and the visual arts.

There will be two taster sessions via Zoom on January 12, at 3pm and January 17, at 1.30pm, before the first Forum meets in late January.

Helen Apsey, head of culture and wellbeing at Make It York and co-chair of York Culture Forum, said the new venture was a major step towards a key goal to work more collaboratively.

"We're looking forward to seeing how the Culture Forum develops and to meeting many more people working within the cultural and creative sector, to share knowledge, develop new partnerships and to support network building.

"We'd encourage everyone who's curious about the forum to come to one of our taster sessions in January to find out more."

Councillor Darryl Smalley, executive member for culture, leisure and communities, said: "The Cultural Leader’s Group has served as a representative and excellent partnership of the city’s creative minds."

But he added: "Creating a more inclusive and open forum will ensure that we make culture even more relevant and accessible to everybody in York, regardless of age, background or postcode.

“York is home to so many extraordinary and creative people, all of whom make this city such a vibrant place for culture and creativity.

"I would urge those keen to shape our city’s creative future to consider joining the new Forum at this very exciting and important time for our great city.”

Reyahn King, CEO of York Museums Trust and former chair of the Cultural Leaders Group, said: “When developing the Culture Strategy, we set out to be collaborative and listen to the views of creative people in York. There was a clear demand for a wider, more inclusive forum for culture so creating it is a natural step in the delivery of the culture strategy for York."

Sign up at York Culture Forum at www.makeityork.com.