Making Great Art Happen all Year Long

Local People, Artists, Skills and Development

We are passionate about supporting artists to create new work, enabling people to learn new skills and providing quality artistic work that can be accessed by everyone. To implement this we run an extensive year round programme of projects and work closely with other key arts and cultural organisations to provide opportunities for artist development through new commissions, whilst also providing local people with the chance to participate in projects and learn new skills. Through our in-year projects we seek out and work with artists and participants who are brave enough to further explore and debate concepts of freedom, both from a historic viewpoint and also in terms of what freedom means today, tomorrow and beyond.



Through a number of projects in 2016 we commissioned artists at varying stages of their careers to create new exciting and thought provoking work and for some we supported them to develop new skills along the way. Here is a list of the commissions that we made in 2016.

  • We worked with Greenwich and Docklands International Festival and Hull City of Culture to co-commission a new piece of theatre called Silence from internationally renowned Polish company Teatr Biuro Podróży .
  • With Hull Dance we advertised for local dance practitioners to apply for two opportunities that provided them with the budget and artistic support they needed to create a new piece of work to be shown over Freedom Festival weekend. A third commission was awarded to Hull Dance Collective to work on a site specific performance with choreographer Helen Parlor. The two selected artists were Non Applicables for Going Out Out and Jon Beney and Freddie Garland for The Way We Were.
  • One of our larger in-year projects Beyond Words will commission 10 new artists’ books and a series of exhibitions throughout 2016 and 2017. For further details of the commissioned artists and the events that will take place over the project go to the Beyond Words page.  
  • As an offshoot of the Beyond Words project, Off the Shelf commissioned 4 x new art installations. The opportunity was advertised and the four selected artists created the work as part of a trail across the city that discussed issues of freedom relating to books. For further information on the project and the commissioned artists work go to the Off the Shelf page.

Many new artists’ commissions will be made in 2017 and opportunities for artists will be advertised on our website, on social media and through our mailing list (sign up here).


Several local companies and over 200 individuals took part in our projects in 2016.  Through their participation they built confidence, worked with internationally renowned artists and learned a range of skills depending on the project they participated in.

  • Drummers from throughout Hull worked with Hull Samba, Les Commandos Percu and Deabru Beltzak in the months leading up to the festival to present the large scale sensory explosion that is Danbor Talka (Clash of Drums).  
  • Leading up to the festival over 25 local participants worked with French artists inside Hull School of Art and Design to create the cardboard bricks for a tower of freedom specially designed by Olivier Grossetete for the people of Hull.
  • Almost 60 participants volunteered to be an integral part of Cirque Bijou’s The Umbrella Project and learned mass movement techniques along the way.
  • For our year long project Word on the Street, over 70 participants learned new skills in writing and performing spoken word and performed them at a series of events throughout the summer of 2016 as well as in our spoken word venue over Freedom Festival weekend. 
  • Through our project Community Correspondents 12 Hull residents received training, supported by BBC Radio Humberside and BBC Look North, to help them develop their own creative ‘voice’ and act as official ‘roaming reporters’ for Freedom Festival. 

Many more projects will be available to take part in throughout the year in 2017 so watch this page or sign up to our mailing list to hear about those opportunities when they arise.