In your view, what role does the creation and appreciation of art - in its widest sense - play in building and sustaining a civilised society?

The ability and desire to create art are each reflective of a confident society and the individuals within it. Sustaining a civilised society requires the individuals within it to be confident. A society which creates, celebrates and shares art and creativity is able – if it so chooses – to build on this to develop ever more innovative but peaceful futures.

What do you perceive to be the greatest current threat(s) to a civilised common life?

Bigotry.

What do you mean by the term 'culture' and how and why do you think it matters?

I am not sure of the value of creating an exclusive definition of the term ‘culture’. It is open to interpretation by different people, cultures and contexts. The richness of culture as a concept and word is in this diversity of views, not in the narrowing of definition.

Kate Willard – North Area Chair, Arts Council England