Shortly after the registrations for Heritage Open Days 2017 have opened, national coordinators have announced a set of innovations that will mark a new era for this popular arts and heritage festival. In addition to celebrating Heritage and Nature, this year’s festival will mark the 50th anniversary of the advent of conservation areas, as well as the heritage of LGBT&Q culture.
These themes will allow local communities from all across England, United Kingdom, to tell new stories about their environment, but they will also provide exciting new opportunities for artists. Namely, as announced in the official press release, Heritage Open Days 2017 invite artists from different disciplines to organise a history-related event with a LGBT&Q focus. With support from the People’s Postcode Lottery, four artists or artistic collaborations will receive funds for organising an activity that explores LGBT&Q heritage in collaboration with local communities.
With the history of LGBT&Q culture having been insufficiently explored in the mainstream culture, this new focus will help highlight its roots and introduce diversity in Heritage Open Days. The artists with the most innovative ideas on how to cover this theme will also be able to present their art to thousands of festival visitors.
“Recognising that LGBT&Q heritage is largely underexplored in mainstream culture, we hope the commissions will offer queer artists and communities an opportunity to celebrate new stories. The commissioning panel will be genuinely open to a range of ideas, creative process and practices – from the well-known to the heritage surprise,” said Amanda Evans, newly-appointed Creative Producer for Heritage Open Days.
The events will be taking place on four locations, two of which have already been confirmed. One of them is Knutsford in Cheshire, which will reopen the history of the trial to Alan Turing through the courtroom in which this trial had taken place. On the second confirmed location, Oswestry in Shropshire, the events will discuss love letters from WWII, which celebrate the love of a soldier and his male lover.
The tender process for the events on all four locations is now open and additional information on how to apply can be found at www.heritageopendays.org.uk
Judging from the early announcements, this will be an exciting year for Heritage Open Days. The organisers have also offered some great ideas for the events, while the full programme will be announced later this year.
Photo source: https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/news-desk/news/arts-commissioning-opportunity