Benincasa, Caterina (2016) Liverpool Resurgent: How Liverpool used their Arts Festival status in the 1951 Festival of Britain to improve its image. In: European Association of Urban History, Helsinki 2016 Reinterpreting Cities, 13th International Conference for Urban History, 24th - 27th August, Helsinki. (Unpublished)

This paper investigates the ways in which the City of Liverpool Corporation, utilised their Arts Festival status during their 1951 Festival of Britain celebrations to remind its residents, (and show London) that theirs was a city to take pride in. It focuses on the planning and execution of a Festival which aimed to show that the city was ‘resurgent’. It argues that they were careful to execute a policy of inclusivity, enabling Liverpudlians from different economic backgrounds and ages to experience fine art, newly restored, or newly built architecture, theatrical and musical performance. The Festival provided a catalyst for the city to clean up its bomb sites, restore buildings and institutions such as the Walker Art Gallery, The Bluecoat and St Georges Hall. It provided an opportunity to showcase its recent social housing and play host to national and international stars of popular and high-brow culture, without compromising its northern identity. Scholarship of the 1951 Festival of Britain has tended to focus more readily on London, rather than cites outside the metropolis, this paper shifts the focus to an English city who readily grasped the opportunity the Festival afforded it.

M29 Benincasa-Sharman Liverpool Resurgent FINAL.pdf - Accepted Version

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