At some point, the party always has to end

a photo of scones on a cake stand with a party in action behind themNothing can go on for ever. Endings bring a sense of sadness, often, but also summon up feelings of completion and satisfaction.  This week, the Clore 8 final graduation ceremony, and ensuing day of fun and frolics, did all and more. (Clore is a cultural leadership fellowship programme I undertook alongside 20 plus others in 2011/12)

We had absent friends, some of our colleagues from around the world and some closer to home. We toasted them and made regular pauses to reflect upon their wonderfulness.

In fact, I spent much of the day (and evening and into the next morning quite frankly – we do know how to party) thinking about how rarely I tell people, present or absent, just what an impact they have had on me. So this post is to, for and about the people I’ve met in the last year.

I end the year in many ways as I began it, in total awe of a specific group of people who have an energy, commitment, drive and passion in bucket loads. People who adore arts and culture, and see it as a vital component of our daily lives, of everyone’s daily life, as a way of expressing humanity in the world. And a tool for empowerment. And a way of driving the economy in the UK. And many more reasons beside.

These people have helped me learn: about the cultural sector and how it can function better, but also about myself and how I can function better, both in my work and frankly as a human being too. They have made me believed that even in these current times, we can have hope for the future of the cultural sector in the UK.

I simply want to say thank you. Its been a blast.

Clore 8, we are great.

Photo from part of our epic evening, and remember if you have enjoyed this and want to read more, you can subscribe to Jo Verrent’s blog by email.

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