Cumberland Lodge Debate 2020: Arts & the Union

Resource type: Video

Our 2020 Annual Debate examines the cultural bonds between the United Kingdom’s four nations, and the role that the arts can play in building social cohesion across the union.


This year’s four guest panellists represent each of the four nations and come from a range of senior positions in the arts. Our guest panellists for this event will be:

  • Lucy Callen – Composer and Assistant Conductor, Horsham Symphony Orchestra
  • Roisin McDonough – Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • Briana Pegado – Executive Director, Creative Edinburgh
  • Professor Sue Williams – Course Director of Fine Art: Studio Site & Context, Swansea College of Art

The debate was chaired by our Chair of Trustees, the Rt Hon the Baroness Prashar of Runnymede.

What did we discuss?

With ‘Brexit’ looming, regional devolved powers demonstrating their assertiveness amidst the pandemic, and renewed calls for Scottish independence and Irish unification, many people increasingly feel that the unity of the United Kingdom is at stake.

Convened in partnership with Goodenough College, London, our discussion focuses on:

  • How to express national identities within the rich cultural heritage of the UK
  • The role of the arts in building bridges within and across communities
  • How to harness the power of the arts to unite the four nations across boundaries.

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