UK and European cultural capitals team up to deliver ‘a year to remember’ in 2017
20th April 2015
A unique partnership has been forged between Hull, UK City of Culture 2017 and Aarhus in Denmark, European Capital of Culture 2017.
The clock is ticking and the countdown has begun for a year like no other. Rooted in place but global in ambition, this glorious city’s streets, buildings, rivers, parks, bridges and sky will play host to the imagination of the world’s finest artists …
…and Hull appeals to the imagination. That means over 1500 events in just 365 days that are anywhere and everywhere with ballet on the mudbanks, bards on a bombsite, divas in the dry dock, fly dancers on the tidal barrier, and a host of acts that blend Hull’s distinctive character, culture and creativity with world-class performance.
Yorkshire’s only maritime city, Hull is a place shaped by the tides and the seasons where east meets west, north meets south, island meets mainland. To some, the city is seen as isolated or on the edge, but in reality it has been at the centre of major trade routes, migration and enlightened thinking for centuries.
Hull has a compelling and distinctive story to tell. A northern city rooted in a rich history, whose distinctive character is defined by its connections to the wider world. Today, it is the UK’s front door, a city at the heart of northern Europe, with a major ferry link to Rotterdam and pole position on the E20 trans-Europe route from St Petersburg to Limerick.
Our contribution to the Freedom movement is a serious theme for the year, but the freedom of artists and realising accessible and innovative ways to deal with such issues will be at its heart…
We will recognise the unique contribution of Hull and Wilberforce in the freedom movement but also the sense of space, light and independence of thought, hailed by Larkin, Hockney and so many other artists that have worked here.
Our symposium on ‘Freedom in the Arts’ will raise debate on the freedom of artists, bringing international speakers to the UK and looking at what the UK can do for artistic freedom worldwide.
We will celebrate a city that is full of surprises, risk takers, off-beat humour and something we call ‘Hullness’. From white phone boxes, to the Museum of Club Culture, Larkin’s Toads and theatre in garden sheds, Hull always dares to be different.
Here, we will make a strength of our space and quirkiness, promoting the informal, the intimate and the unexpected, and ‘bursting bubbles’ to bring communities together and shine a light on a self-effacing city that finally celebrates its contribution to the world.
From theatre, music and poetry to energy, caravans and technology, Hull is a place that makes things happen. Whether it is Richard Wilson’s ‘Slipstream’ sculpture for Heathrow airport, contemporary new writing at Hull Truck Theatre, or a new dance commission with Ballet Lorent, Hull has given birth to, or nurtured, the talents of many writers, directors, musicians and artists.
We will tell our story in a unique way: encouraging the greatest of our home-grown talent and those who have studied here to return to the city; giving free rein to our own creative sector; and inviting regional, national and international cultural partners to test, challenge and define a creative city with a character like no other.
With pictorial meadows, lush gateways, and 1,000 new trees adorning the UK's energy city, Hull will be the first green City of Culture, acting as a paradigm for environmental sustainability.
We will use cultural programmes to create greater awareness of environmental issues and will deliver a permanent green legacy for Hull and for our twin city of Freetown, Sierra Leone.
We’ve set ourselves a creative remit that is truly remarkable, with the largest collection of cultural events the UK has ever seen. Our proposed programme includes 15 national and international commissions; 12 artists’ residencies; 25 festivals; eight major community participation projects;
a programme of conferences and major broadcasting events; plus programming activity across 365 days, with an estimated 1,500 special events. Every day, we will aim to change a life in Hull, the UK and the world.
Winning UK City of Culture will make a real difference to Hull and will provide a model for how culture can be used to tackle deeply rooted social and economic challenges. Hull has the characteristics to show others in the UK that culture can transform the fortunes of an entire city.
In less than three years, the eyes of the nation will be on Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and we want you to get involved now.
Whatever you do, wherever you live, join the countdown to Hull 2017.
It’s our time to tell the world.