Modern Culture is an agency set up by Martin Colthorpe to programme and commission events in literature, film, art and contemporary culture. Modern Culture works with partner organisations to develop ideas and narratives for festivals, event series and one off performances. It also seeks funding from public bodies and trusts to develop new projects. Modern Culture is particularly interested in cross-disciplinary events and conversations, exploring how artists’ work in film and visual art corresponds to the work of writers and thinkers.

Modern Culture is open to new ideas and research through the MC blog and through regular commissioned essays exclusive to the site. This writing and research explores cities, place, modernity, globalization and our experience of the contemporary.

Current partnerships include an event series with the London Festival of Architecture at Kings Place, events with the Beacons Festival in Yorkshire, with the House of St Barnabus and an ongoing series of events, Musicity, with DJ Nick Luscombe, exploring music and cities.

Modern Culture curated the lectures, talks and debate programme for The Rest Is Noise, a hugely ambitious year-long festival telling the story of 20 century through music, culture and politics. Ranging from Dada poetry, to Brutalist architecture to New York’s Downtown Arts Scene, the festival won a prestigious Sky Arts Award, and expanded audiences for contemporary music while taking them on an amazing cultural journey.

Martin Colthorpe worked on the Literature and Spoken Word programme at Southbank Centre for 10 years, during which time he launched and programmed the London Literature Festival (2007-2012), managed the literature team to deliver Poetry Parnassus, the UK’s biggest ever poetry festival, alongside artist in residence Simon Armitage, and curated the year round programme of literature and talks events. He worked on Southbank Centre’s burgeoning festival programme, creating events for WOW (Women of the World), Alchemy Festival of South Asian culture, Africa Utopia, Shift and the Ether Festival of Contemporary Music. He also curated events and series for Southbank Centre’s Summer site-wide festivals, including Festival of Britain and Festival of Neighbourhood.

He has worked with a range of high profile partners including The Economist, The Book People and Mastercard – see full list of partners here

Martin has extensive, senior level experience of project budgeting and management, editing, copywriting, festival and programming communications and of delivering work to tight deadlines. Programming events at all levels, from the Royal Festival Hall to boutique and site specific spaces, ensures the highest level of technical know-how and professional event delivery for artists and audiences.

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