Two commission opportunities for Black artists/ practitioners as part of North West youth led Festival of Hope!

The Festival of Hope is a celebration of hope and heritage led by young people working in collaboration with museums around the North West. The festival is produced by Blaze and will take place in two stages: distanced and digital delivery in July and August 2020 followed by live events later in the year.

The Festival of Hope is part of Curious Minds’ Hope Streets Project. Over five years (2018-2023), five museum partners (The Atkinson, Southport; Bolton Museum; Lancashire Museums; Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle; and West Cheshire Museums) will transform the ways in which they are working with young people. Hope Streets has been made possible thanks to a grant from National Lottery Heritage Fund and is part of their Kick the Dust Programme.

The Connectors are a centralised group of Festival of Hope Young Producers aged 12-25, representing the five hub sites from across the project. They meet fortnightly on Zoom to make decisions about the festival as whole and have shaped these commission. Putting youth leadership at the heart of the way the project is delivered.

From the Connectors:

We are looking to commission two Black artists, practitioners, creatives or collectives to respond to our brief. One commission is for an emerging artist (within first ten years of your career) and one for an advanced practitioner (10+ years’ experience).

We are interested in what stories are currently being told about our heritage and those that aren’t. This could be about viewing the past through a different lens, or exploring the retelling of stories, unearthing and exposing truths, in order for people to rethink what they have previously been told.

We want to use our platform to educate, keep the conversation going and demand change.

We hope that the commissions will explore heritage and celebrate cultures that are often left out of museums. The commission will encourage growth and changes of opinion.

As a heritage project we are asking what stories from our past are preserved, and which are hidden away? What questions do we need to ask and what truths do we need to learn? What do museum collections tell us about who we are and where we are from, and what do they miss out?

This is a centralised regional commission opportunity that connects all the five festival sites. As the five sites are geographically quite far apart we want these commissions to connect the whole region and explore how we link the work produced back to the five sites.

We are interested in working with cross genre practitioners. This could include spoken work, performance, video and quieter artforms including writing. All art forms will be considered.

For full information and to apply please download the brief below.

Applications can be written, filmed, or an audio recording. They should be sent to

Any questions can be sent to the above email address, you can also arrange a phone call with Festival Producer, Hannah Whitlow, via the same email.