Cultural Conversation V: We are all Jim

jimmy saville

Remember Jim’ll Fix it?

Well today Jimmy can be found in Roundhay but we can’t wait for his return to our goggle boxes to make our deepest wishes to come true!

So instead why not don a string vest, clamp a Havana between your teeth and join us on 11th March where we can all be Jim, and make our maddest dreams happen.

We are limited by nothing; everything is possible!

There must be something that you always wanted? The one thing you always wanted to do? Well say it, send in your letters, better still come in person with your idea and let’s see what we collectively can make happen. Let’s dream big, be giddy, daft, imaginative, let’s see the stuff we’ve always wanted to see happen!

So whether like John you’d like to see Millennium Square covered in turf for a sunny month, or Tom who’d like  a gigantic book amnesty, or Adelle wrapping one of Leeds ugliest buildings in shot pink silk. Or maybe your scheme is a little more modest, we care not!  Bring your ideas, your enthusiasm, your open mind and we’ll discover just how far we can make exciting dreams come to life!

This is an event for anyone and everyone who wants to see even more thrilling stuff happen in Leeds for the people of Leeds and beyond to get really excited about, so spread the word! We need people with passion, pragmatism, open minds, and big hearts!

We’ve got people coming from all walks of life, independent & big business, voluntary & community groups, creative & digital, arts & culture, food & drink, retail, government agencies, free spirits and everything/one in between. Forget labels, what we mean is everyone who wants to get more out of life and living in Leeds. Who do you know that should join us?

Why should you join us?

  • You have an idea for events, experiences, stuff that you need a little bit more help with, be it a venue, space, bums on seats, marketing, pr, website, mobile applications, cash or just for people to know what you are up to.
  • You may be someone who gets stuff happening, come and share your enthusiasm and expertise.
  • You want to be excited by the possibilities generated by the event and have resources to help make them happen (skills, venues, kit, expertise, people, connections, money)
  • You want to know more about the wide and diverse ideas, plans and projects bubbling up all over the city, and can facilitate connections and generate word of mouth publicity, to spread the excitement further.

What do we hope to get out of the day? A palpable sense of energy, a desire and commitment to see amazing stuff happen that stimulates and meets the appetite of the people of Leeds.

Location: Munro House, Duke Street, Leeds, LS9 8AD. Opposite Leeds Bus Station and on the corner before The Wardrobe, BBC and Leeds College of Music


Friday 11th March, 12pm – 4pm

*This is the fifth in the series of Cultural Conversations initiated by The Culture Vulture, each ‘Conversation’ determines the focus of the next event. We’ve had fun with social media, blogging, cultural & heritage socials, tales of our cities, this latest conversation emerged as a result of a session called ‘What’s stopping us?

Register for Cultural Conversations: We are all Jim on Eventbrite


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  1. Dear Jim(s)

    I’d really love to see a mass participation cake building of significant buildings in Leeds, such as the Corn Exchange, The Markets, Old Broadcasting Tower and more. Probably not lifesize, but big enough to require structural support. Sponsored by McVities as I think Jamaica GingerBread is brick like, but we’d have to test the load bearing qualities! What would we use as cement? We’d have to wear high vis vests and hard hats as we built the cakes.

    If that’s not something we can fix, what about:

    A magical realism Tourist Bus to do an alternative tour of Leeds, with story tellers, musicians, artists, ordinary folk, geocached treasure trail boxes at different stops along the alternative route. I’d like to provide headphones with alternative realities or memories as told by residents, shopkeepers, visitors.

    Or instead of ugliness:

    I’d love significant buildings under construction to have building wraps which are playful, potentially showcasing the art work/photography/creativity of the people of Leeds

    I’m being greedy now but:

    I saw some great street light poles outside a bakery in Paris, wrapped in candy coloured vinyl with coloured balls at the top, like a great big lollipop, totally unnecessary, but vibrant and eye catching all the same.

    I’d love festivals that operate in the outer suburbs to come into the city, and animate public spaces, parks and streets

    That’s just for starters!

    Can we fix it so at least one of these things happens before I get much older?

    Yours sincerely

    (aged 30+)

  2. Dear Jim,
    I would like Briggate to become a day-long street festival. Not commercial or sponsored, or even with one large stage 1/2 way down the street so most of the people walking along just get to see the back of some rigging. I don’t want something that people just watch and hopefully enjoy. I want full-on participation.

    Briggate is just about the oldest street in Leeds. It was the centre of all market trading, a bustling, thriving community where families lived and worked. With the butchers in the alleys, and the merchants in the centre, all aspects of life met and took place on this street.
    Now, well, it’s *alright*. But, ultimately, it’s just a thoroughfare for shoppers by day and delivery vans at night. The city centre can be a bit scary at night, head down and march through. Leeds obsesses over Light Night, partly because we ‘take the city back’. But, also, unlike everywhere else, Light Night is really the only thing the centre does.

    So, I would like a full festival; music, dancing, and making stuff, instead of always buying stuff. Get the kids making monsters and have processions through the streets. Wrap all the street furniture up. Create art pieces of what it used to be like, and what it could be like, and leave them there for a while. The village sumer fete was the true community event;young,old, and in its original forms, nearly classless. Everyone participated and enjoyed. There should be mass participation, with games and sack races. Elderly people should be allowed to relax in the sunshine drinking tea and eating buns that cost 20p each. Young, local bands playing. People should enjoy their city.

    I used to live in a small town, and there was an art festival every autumn. The very first night was a street party. There was a samba band that banged their way through the streets and everyone used to dance behind, people would be hanging out of the windows cheering, Police man would be jiving away. The small castle grounds would open and there were jazz bands and hog-roasts. And all the artist’s galleries would be open til late into the night. 3 year olds would be dancing with 80 year olds. It wasn’t artificial, forced or poncy. It was enthusiastic, heart-felt, community-led and therefore totally great. A town of 15,000 would pile into the streets and *own* their home. The same town is famous for another night that requires some organisation and a lot of involvement to carry out. The people do it because they are proud of where they live, and they love and understand the idea of community. I reckon the whole of Leeds needs more chances to do the same. Let’s have a proper summer fete on Briggate.

    1. I agree with this totally…lets have a trip down Briggate and make a night of it. Hopefully Summer because then there just might be the chance of not being too cold or rained upon to sit and chat whilst eating cheap bun! I know of a good Samba band by the way.

      My email looks a bit funny but it is work related. I am painting furniture. New business, still without running website but I am working on it.

      Thanks and goodbye.
      Sal x

  3. Dear Jim

    Please please please please please fix it for me to meet Spandau Ball… Sorry got lost there.

    Dear Jim,

    Please fix it for me so that the lovely people of Leeds can put things together which they love to do without having to ask permission (too much anyway). All to often people are defeated before they start by thinking they “Can’t do that”.

    Quandary is that they can, they just aren’t told so.
    If the council is the gatekeeper for events, then where’s the department for freedom of expression?
    Where’s the public ideas section?
    Who heads to really cool stuff committee?
    Who’s holds the scissors for the red tape?

    So Jim, please stop wandering around Roundhay Park and give the fun back to Leeds by being in charge of getting out of people’s way.

    Richard (aged 37 and a half)

  4. Dear Jim,

    I’d like Bradford and Leeds to become better friends, to find out more about their complementariness and to be able boast about their own city in ways that don’t involve odious comparisons to the other.

    How about funky road signs in Leeds that point to all the lovely stuff going on in Bradford and vice versa?

  5. Dear Jim,

    Please could you fix-it for me to grow another pair of arms because running a business solo has its challenges and I want to continue with this little project, make some money and promote my home city to people who have never heard of it or visited.

    Thank you

    Darren – Aged 9.5.

  6. Dear Jim’ll.

    I’d like to make an igloo or ice castle out of lego-shaped ice blocks. It would give some purpose to this wretched cold weather.

    I need someone to make suitable large lego-brick moulds out of plastic to make this possible. Oh, and more snow to fill them with.


  7. Dear Jim,
    I would like to run a shared space in Armley, just for a month, just to see what would happen. I would like @megadicko to try out his dream of running a vegetarian cafe while I organised some events and asked some brilliant artists to come sell their work.
    You didn’t reply to me when I was 9 years old, Jim, so you owe me one wish with interest..

  8. Dear Jim

    Please would you fix it for me to work with a group of talented actors, musicians, set designers and script writers to put on an extravaganza, preferably on Brigate to explore the role of consumerism in our city and its relationship with inequalities in wealth, work and health, and to explore alternative ideas that might give us some other ways to pursue happiness.

    Primarily this would just be a great entertainment – but with a powerful message.

    We could call it Shopocalypse – we don’t need a another Nero

    But we might get sued by the man. We might need a good lawyer too!

    Mike Chitty
    Aged 48 and a bit.

  9. Dear Jim

    Please can you fix it for me to:

    Get 1000 young people to each do a 1m x 1m self portrait on a canvas so we can stitch them all together and install them in the centre of the city to remind everyone of the future we are giving them.

    We could call it the ‘Young Kilometre,’ or ‘That Massive Picture Thing.’

    Love Simon
    aged 36 1/2

  10. Hi, I received an email about your event on the 11th March and clicked on your site for a look. Very nice.

    Can I tell you about a new, free website where culture vultures can promote ‘unusual events in unusual places’? When it’s launched to the public people will be able to browse for events near where they live or work.

    Alex Boyd

  11. i want to come to this but still havent heard anything about a venue/location?
    am i missing something? shoudl i have subsribed to another feed?
    jim (not saville!)

  12. The top 10 things i learnt at #wearealljim

    1 – people in leeds are more creative now than they ever have been.
    2 – we need to accept that new ideas will come outside the system, any maybe in some cases we ARE the system
    3 – we can think about selling things as coproducing social or cultural outcomes
    4 – everything is about adventures & experiences not plans
    5 – we desperately need to cross polinate out of our own sectors
    6 – this is basically a leeds laboritory
    7 – we are asking for help as much as providing it
    8 – we need to prove our worth to customers more than funders
    9 – we can use technology to link people to place, and harness much more idle enthusiasm and drive
    10 – we are pushing at an open door.


  13. Just popping by to hi.

    We run a week long event, growing every year and I will be in touch with guys here that have posted to see if they wish to come get involved with Leeds Fest’ Fringe in 2012.

    There is no doubt we are at a mere starting point and the websites Leeds Fringe and trade mark are in hand.

    Our dates are set every year, for 2012 it’s Thursday 16th-Weds 22nd August, always before and ending before the festival hits town.

    Over one thousand performers have taken a role in our two week long events. It’s all grassroots groups and hands on, not for profitteering.

    Just happy to break even. Your views, input and ideas are most welcome.

    Lovely meeting some of you at The Arts Partnership, Trinity hosted networking event last week.

    Look forward to seeing more, great work Emma.


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