What is the Festival of Hope?

A celebration and exploration of hope and heritage led by young people working in collaboration with museums around the North West. The festival is produced by Blaze and took place through distanced and digital delivery in the Summer and Autumn of 2020.

The Festival of Hope is part of Curious MindsHope Streets project. Over five years (2018-2023), five museum partners (The Atkinson, Southport; Bolton Museum; Lancashire Museums; Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle; and West Cheshire Museums) will transform the ways in which they are working with young people. Hope Streets has been made possible thanks to a £977,000 grant from National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Kick the Dust programme.

What happened?

The festival consisted of five regional events: in Bolton, Carlisle, Lancashire (Clitheroe and Padiham), Sefton and West Cheshire (Winsford and Chester). Each event was designed, commissioned or created by young people working alongside a museum partner. All the events in the festival involved Hope and Heritage in some way, and included a variety of art forms, including music, film, performance and visual arts.

What changed due to Covid-19?

The Covid-19 pandemic means the Festival of Hope events could not go ahead as planned in Summer 2020.

Our groups of young producers worked hard with their partner museums to adapt their plans to create a series of online and distance delivery events taking place during the summer and autumn.

Where did it happen?

Events were delivered online or in physical ways that comply with social distancing regulations.

Locations include:

  • Bolton (Museum and town centre)
  • Carlisle (Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery and various sites around the city)
  • Lancashire (Clitheroe and Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham)
  • Sefton (The Atkinson and other sites tbc)
  • West Cheshire (Chester and Winsford)

The impact young people had

The festival allowed young people to interrogate, agitate and ‘re-present’ their local heritage. We wanted to use this opportunity to convince heritage organisations that engaging with young people is essential, and can lead to exciting, outstanding results. The young festival producers also positively impacted their communities, highlighting the hope that can be found on the streets where they live.

This project is funded by the Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players.

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