Conversation is all around us . . . in the street, the park, the supermarket, the pub. Yet it seems conversation is under threat - from the digital world, the political shout-fest, the tribal and social groupings that divide us. That’s strange when the opportunities for conversation are so many and the benefits of conversation are so clear: the pleasure of sharing ideas and experiences, the nurturing of empathy, friendship and love from the cradle, if not from the womb, onwards.
- Tom Pow, Creative Director
A Year of Conversation 2019 is about us all celebrating, initiating and exploring conversation in our lives. There will be some events involving many people at places you might expect – festivals for example. But there will be many conversation events that are smaller and more intimate too. What is a ‘conversation event’? It’s simply something that’s been planned – that you might have planned – in which conversation plays a significant part or which gives rise to conversation. So it may be a performance of some kind or it may be a group of people (you have) chosen for a special reason to share a meal. There will be information about events on the website, but there will also be space for you to reflect on your own experiences of conversation.
- Tom Pow, Creative Director
A Year of Conversation is produced by Cathy Agnew on behalf of The Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust (PPMBT). The Trust was established in August 2009 to save Moat Brae, a site of unique historical and literary interest by virtue of its associations with James Matthew Barrie, the world renowned author of ‘Peter Pan’. The Trust has created a National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling due to open in March 2019.
The aims of A Year of Conversation 2019 chime with those of PPMBT, which also seeks to build on its international connections. It too is concerned with conversation as a social good, with conversation as event and with conversation in a digital world. It embraces both the common experience and the more theoretical (illustrated by its piloting of the 'research question', When are you grown up?). Its voice is added to those that acknowledge that to open a book is to begin a conversation. It is therefore fitting that PPMBT should be the key partner and producer of A Year of Conversation 2019, responsible for the administration of funding and for publicity and website presence.
The Trust has 11 Trustees and 7 part-time staff. It is a member of the Heritage Trust Network Scotland. Joanna Lumley is the project's Patron.
The idea for A Year of Conversation 2019 would not have become reality without the support of some amazing organisations. A massive thank you to all of them. If we've missed you off the list below, or if you'd like to talk about how you could get involved in Celebrating, Exploring and Initiating conversation in Scotland please do get in touch: Tom Pow