Brighton Festival 2020Public booking opens: Wed 19 Feb, 9am

#ThatChangedMyLife film project launches in Brighton & Hove

Residents to reveal how art and culture changed their life 

Whether it’s a theatre performance that moved you to tears, a music gig that left you speechless or a book that made you look at the world differently, throughout May members of the public are being asked to discuss how arts and culture matter to them in a new film project called That Changed My Life.

Devised by the What Next? South East group – which is comprised of a range of arts organisations large and small across the region – the project aims to highlight, advocate and celebrate the strong engagement with the arts, particularly by residents in Brighton and Hove, by allowing a wide range of people to tell their story and create an online archive of proof.

Participants are invited to film themselves discussing a song, movie, performance, comic, song, book or work of art that has meant something special to them. The change it made in their life may be small - it cheered them up or was a shared experience with someone important to them – or it may be lifelong.

The film can be recorded on anything; a video camera, a phone, a webcam. Submissions should be uploaded to YouTube with your name, the name of the artist or event and #thatchangedmylife in the title.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival says: ‘What Next is a fantastic opportunity for those involved in arts and culture to collaborate with each other in a spirit of generosity. We hope people will get involved with the That Changed My Life project and help us make the argument for having art in everyone’s lives’.

Those interested in taking part without the access to video-making equipment are invited to the Victorian Bathing Machine in New Road any weekend (12-5pm) in May during Brighton Festival, where a volunteer will shoot and upload their video. The New Road bathing machine will also serve as a video booth throughout the month.

Matt Adams, Co-founder Blast Theory says: ‘Artists are under pressure in the UK with cuts from the government, the Arts Council and local authorities. That Changed My Life is a chance for everybody to share why art and culture matter so much to so many people. Most of us have had a special encounter in our life with, for example, a book or play, where everything seemed different afterwards. For me, it was seeing An Inspector Calls at the age of 13: it opened my eyes to the fact that adults can lie! I hope everyone will take the chance to share that moment for them. It takes a couple of minutes to film yourself on a phone and upload it to YouTube and there already some fantastic videos online.’

The What Next? Movement exists to create a national conversation on new ways to champion arts and culture. The South East group aims to build a What Next? South East forum where interested people can come and talk about what’s going on locally in the arts (policy, infrastructure etc) on a regular basis, acting as both a networking opportunity, an information sharing hub and a place to create collective actions.