Blaze Arts and the Connectors Commissions

To coincide with Black History Month, a national celebration that aims to promote and celebrate Black contributions to British society, we are pleased to launch two new commissions, as part of the youth led Festival of Hope, that celebrate and demonstrate overlooked, hidden or untold stories of Black contributions to British society from across the North West.

Supported by Blaze, the Connectors, a centralised group of Festival of Hope Young Producers aged 12-25, representing the five hub sites from across the project, commissioned one emerging and one established practitioner to explore heritage and celebrate cultures that are often left out of museums. Through these pieces, Jade Williams and Karl Newsam explore untold and forgotten stories of Black figures of the past from Bolton, Carlisle, Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside, weaving between the amazing content created by our Festival of Hope partner museums’ young producer teams.

The Connectors are interested in what stories are currently being told about our heritage and those that aren’t. This could be about viewing the past through a different lens, or exploring the retelling of stories, unearthing and exposing truths, in order for people to rethink what they have previously been told. They want to use this platform to educate, keep the conversation going and demand change.

As a heritage project we are asking what stories from our past are preserved, and which are hidden away? What questions do we need to ask and what truths do we need to learn? What do museum collections tell us about who we are and where we are from, and what do they miss out?

Our heritage defines us. It is everywhere we look. We believe that understanding, valuing and sharing our heritage fosters togetherness. Especially in this ever increasing digital age, it’s essential for us to promote the story of our global past, its importance in today’s society and how it can shape our future.

Hope Streets and Black Lives Matter – read our statement here.

White Wash

Exploring hidden BAME figures in the arts Sharing their stories, experiences and contributions to British theatre.


Pablo Fanque's Fantastic Fair: For The Benefit of Our Forgotten Black Britons

An exploration of the forgotten Black British figures of British history that trace back into the 3rd century AD.




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