Creative people and companies graft away with air and ideas and invent completely new experiences everyday. New products, new plays, new songs, films, commercials, shoes, clothes, buildings, new paintings and new games. At their best these new things touch something familiar and fundamental within us, a place of pleasure that helps us fit the world and connect with the people in it.
Our festival, SohoCreate, is more than a celebration of creativity, it champions the people who grapple every day to give us all life changing experiences, constantly. It looks at why they do it, their inspirations and motivations, it helps us understand them and their process, and in doing so helps us understand ourselves.
Creative Soho itself began 350 years ago as a craft collective servicing the rich of Mayfair. It welcomed the Huguenot refugees from France and Europe, and quickly became a diverse and vibrant community of tin and silversmiths, tailors and jewelers. It's evolution has always been about welcoming new people and ideas, which means it has grown into the most creative square mile in the world. 46,000 creative workers from dozens of different nationalities, turning over a collective £7.5billion.
At SohoCreate 2016 we have filmmakers talking with architects and authors, playwrights in discussion with actors and musicians, people from every creative sector talking about why they do what they do and how it tilts the world.
You can hear actor OSCAR-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna), fashion designers Henry Holland and Patrick Grant; theatre directors Max Stafford-Clark, Paulette Randall, Jeremy Herrin and Indhu Rubasingham; and celebrated chefs Mark Hix and Nuno Mendes (Chiltern Firehouse). Over 100 speakers are descending on Soho to talk all things creative.
As if that's not enough, there's our Creative Business Symposium in partnership with Creative Review, looking at the importance of creativity to growth and profit. We have two mornings of talks and workshops for aspiring young creatives, offering insight into forging a career in the creative industries. All this alongside SohoCreate's careers fair, supported by Microsoft Lift London, bringing together the UK's emerging creative talent with industry leaders all targeted at job opportunities for the best creative talent with the best creative companies.
The whole wonderful affair is supported by Westminster City Council who themselves house 17% of the entire countries creative turnover.
We've put all this together simply because we all believe creativity is vital.
SohoCreate has already become the biggest conversation about creativity in the country all taking place in the most creative square mile in the world. We believe that creativity can drive us out of recession straight through austerity and into an inclusive and diverse world that welcomes new people with new ideas all working together to tilt the world.