Freedom Festival Arts Trust

Our Vision, Mission and Values


Our vision is for public space to be where everyone gets to experience world-class art and take part in memorable cultural experiences that transform place, build cultural community and are relevant to the world we live in.

We want Hull to be recognised across the world as a centre for the creation of innovative art in public space, developed hand-in-hand with communities and fuelled generously by cross-sector expertise and support from a broad range of partners locally, nationally and internationally.


From epic spectaculars unfolding in public spaces to intimate moments where audiences and artists meet, we create, curate and deliver exceptional large-scale events and cultural programmes that bring thousands of people together each year to experience the joy of shared cultural encounters, enhance wellbeing and foster a greater connection to place.

Inspired by the reformist legacy of William Wilberforce and the wider abolitionist movement and launched in 2007 to mark the 200th anniversary of the first Anti Slavery Act in parliament, Freedom Festival Arts Trust builds local, national and international alliances to create cultural experiences that have something to say about universal values and the future we want to make together, working with artists, creative organisations, international producers, the private sector, academic partners and voluntary and community groups.

We commission new work, support the growth of creative ideas and nurture emerging and established artists from Hull and beyond to support innovation, growth and export with a focus on work that takes place in public and civic spaces.

Committed to innovation in art in public space we encourage and support artists to experiment with new approaches, practices and tools with a focus on environmental sustainability, technological innovation, diversity and social relevance and reform.

We develop innovative programmes of cultural engagement and participation that embed local people in internationally significant work. These provide memorable experiences and a chance to be part of something extraordinary which helps foster individual wellbeing, confidence and to create a stronger and more cohesive community.

Confident and resilient, we are central to the cultural ecology in Hull working closely with multiple partners across the city and are increasingly well-positioned and influential in the broader arts sector through our exceptional national and international partnerships.


Our work and way of working are underpinned by our values and beliefs:

  • Local. We are born in Hull inspired by the city’s identity, heritage and ambition and celebrating its internationalism, independent spirt and contribution to global social reform building on the legacy of William Wilberforce

  • Universal. Arts and culture are a powerful way to transmit fundamental human values and inspire all to embrace and celebrate our freedoms and diversity

  • Arts-led. Great art comes from holding the space for artists to develop new ideas. Freedom Festival is a platform for artistic, creative and ambitious work to meet a diverse audience, transforming and animating the public and civic spaces we share

  • Place-making. Arts and cultural activity have positive economic and social impacts for place, providing opportunities for local people and helping the city to become a more desirable and attractive place to live, work, study and visit.

  • Partnership. Collaboration is at the heart of everything. It supports new ways of thinking and working, helps us to understand each other better and supports equality

  • Everyone can find their passion in the arts, as a viewer, as a participant, as a supporter, a volunteer and as an arts maker; we value the creative potential in each citizen. Harnessing this diversity is the energy that powers all of our work.

Find out more about the work we do