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Ealing Council arts boss Jan De Schynkel talks about the new cultural manifesto for Ealing

Last week (31 March 2023), Ealing Council revealed a new five-year cultural manifesto and action plan for the borough with the aim to increase and improve local arts, culture and creative industries.

EALING.NEWS attended the packed out event at Park Royal and spoke to Jan De Schynkel, arts and culture manager for Ealing Council to find out more about it and how people from across the borough can get involved.

Mr De Schynkel said it has been a real team effort to arrive at the cultural manifesto and action plan which involved a “task force” of people and groups from all across Ealing and our seven towns.

He said: “We really try to listen to as many people as possible and to as many voices as possible.  We engaged with as many people as possible to co-create. It’s impossible to have a complete co-creation but in the manifesto, you will see our eight step methodology. One of them was the five focus groups. Another one is the arts and culture survey, but you know, you will reach more than the usual suspects.

“We went out to three youth groups as well to hear the voice of children and young people. And obviously, we set up a culture task group of external stakeholders. There was a very diverse group including our usual key organisations like Gunnersbury or Pitshanger, but also independent producers or performers out there. We’ve really gone out of our way to just try to listen to as many people as we’d said and that’s what I’m proud of.”

What is Mr De Schynkel’s message for creatives across Ealing to get involved and be associated with residents to get involved? He said: “Well very soon we will be posting full details on our websites. If you want to sign up to the cultural manifesto, please get involved.

“We are going to have a whole list of people involved and they can put their logos on to say, we support this idea because they want to engage. They might say we do this activity and that links to what they do. And then they can use the logo from the cultural manifesto .

Mr De Schynkel also revealed details of a wider group also being set up. He told EALING.NEWS: “Those who get involved will also become part of the Ealing arts and culture network.  This is for anyone and everyone who works in the creative industries in Ealing and we will meet twice a year. It’s a network where people can network of course and we will invite guest speakers who will talk about their work.”

And what is Mr De Schynkel’s message to young people in Ealing, to its youth and teenagers? He said: “Come and talk to us because children and young people are the future. We are trying to have a cultural education partnership, which is a cross sector partnership for ages 0 to 25.

“We go in schools but also out of schools. We have our new Gen Festival, which is a festival curated by young people. So this is a chance for people to have their say and say look, this is what interests us. This is what we want to see.

“We’re all on a journey that we have a long way to go. There is a lot of opportunity but I think there are a lot of seeds that are sown. And I hope this manifesto coherently gives a direction for the council to say we need to step up our cultural sector.  To say that and for our communities and everyone to say action.”

More information on the Ealing arts and culture network can be found here or

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