2017 In Review

News 2017

The Culture House Ltd enjoyed a busy and exciting year in 2017 delivering a full and varied range of contracts and projects in the Humber region.

Director Charlotte Bowen, spent January – March 2017 with the Hull 2017 team, supporting the production of the inaugural WOW HULL (Women of the World Festival, Hull).

The Women of the World Festival was originally created by Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre (London) in 2010. It now takes place in 33 countries on 5 continents. In 2017 Hull became the latest city to host a WOW festival – which is a celebration of women and girls hosting challenging debate alongside arts events encompassing theatre, spoken word, live music, dance and film.

Charlotte contributed to the development and production of the festival which featured a strong, authentically Hull programme and included renowned talent such as Lucy Beaumont, Maureen Lipman and classical quartet, Bond.

Swiftly following, The Culture House secured a further contract with Heritage Learning in Hull to deliver an extensive programme of events, across a diverse range of indoor and outdoor spaces within the city, including Hull’s Old Town, Hull City Hall, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull Maritime Museum and Hull Museums Quarter.

Joined by associate producer Lis Poulsom from North Ferriby, Charlotte and Lis delivered:

  • International Hanse Day – a free public festival with a medieval theme, celebrating Hull’s connection to the Hanseatic trade league, which attracted more than 20,000 visitors to the Old Town area
  • The prestigious, inaugural Wilberforce World Freedom Summit (Eradicating Contemporary Slavery) and Dinner (in Mandela Gardens at Hull City Hall) – a two day event of international political significance which saw a wide range of speakers present on contemporary slavery, including the former president of Ghana, John Kufuor who also received the first Wilberforce medal from Lord John Prescott during the conference dinner.

Wilberforce World Freedom Summit

Wilberforce World Freedom Summit

  • The Arts Council England-funded Freedom to Explore (Engaging Under 5s in Museums and Heritage Spaces) national conference at Hull City Hall which saw gallery, museum and heritage sector delegates from around the country attend an inspiring day of keynotes, presentations and workshops.
  • An extensive programme of events (including talks, workshops and live events) at Hull Museums and Gallery sites, including Ferens Art Gallery, Hull Maritime Museum, Streetlife Museum and Wilberforce House.

    Among many others, events included ‘Wilberforce Speaks’ – a living history event featuring live re-enactment, highlighting Wilberforce’s journey towards the abolition of slavery.

    The Culture House commissioned by Heritage Learning also delivered a range of Heritage Lottery funded events complementing 2017 exhibitions including ‘Common Foe’ and ‘Turner and the Whale’, as well as a range of quality, artist-led public workshops and a ‘Big Draw’ event as part of the Turner Prize programme.

The Big Draw 2017

The Big Draw 2017

  • The Magic of Christmas – a seasonal event which again saw more than 20,000 people visit Hull’s Old Town area and Street-life Museum to enjoy quality music and street-theatre performances, pet real reindeer, visit a Victorian Street with Dickens’ living history characters and shop at a wide range of stalls organised by Trinity Market.

Last but not least, Charlotte was also engaged as Artist Liaison Manager for the all new ‘Big Malarkey’ Festival in Hull – Hull’s Children’s literature festival.

This lovely, week-long event took place outdoors in East Park in Hull, and featured an outstanding programme of author events, workshops, story-telling and theatre shows with visiting writers including Julian Clary, Jeremy Strong and Lauren Child (Charlie and Lola) and performance poet Akala. Charlotte supported the programming of tea-time street theatre and looked after all of the visiting authors and performers, ensuring they were essentially in the right tent at the right time (with one near-miss when an illustrator was taken to a nearby hairdressers by a taxi-driver who insisted that that’s where the postcode led to!). A fun week set to be repeated in 2018!

Outside of Hull and supported on the south bank by Rebecca Darnell, The Culture House delivered Cleethorpes Jazz Festival 2017, having now taken over its management from Grimsby Jazz. A quality programme of the best in UK jazz was hosted in the resort with a new fringe programme being introduced alongside the main programme at Cleethorpes Beachcomber, widening the festival’s appeal.

The additional, free events took place in resort venues Tale of Two, Society, Moon on the Water and Kingsway Kiosk, with one man commenting “I didn’t think I liked jazz ’til I heard this.” (That would be the Jay Phelps Quartet presenting their funky set ‘The Get Down’ in Tale of Two 🙂 ).

The Culture House’s summer outdoor arts programme was another success with more than 5,000 people visiting People’s Park, Grimsby in July and August to enjoy fantastic live performance from national and regional artists plus quality live music across all genres in the band-stand on Sunday afternoons.

Charlotte Bowen, Culture House director said:

“We are delighted and honoured to have successfully delivered such an extensive range of events in Hull during its transformational year in the spotlight as UK City of Culture 2017.
“Our delivery capacity has grown and developed with the addition of another Humber-based associate producer and expansion of the team on the south bank, with our portfolio now including a wide range of arts and heritage events as well as high profile conferences.

“We continue to strive to offer excellent and inspiring experiences for residents of and visitors to North East Lincolnshire through arts and culture while delivering more activity regionally and nationally.

“This is an exciting time in our development and we really look forward to what 2018 and beyond brings.”