Culture, Place and Policy Institute

Creating the Past: An Evaluation of Cultural Programming Inspired by Heritage

As part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, the National Lottery Heritage Fund invested £3 million in a wide-ranging programme of creative activity to bring the diverse heritage of Hull to the fore and to engage a wide range of people with that heritage.

Taking an innovative approach, the partnership set out to infuse heritage narratives broadly throughout the artistic programme; to use heritage as a source of inspiration for artists; and to employ the arts as a means to increase participation in heritage. One in two of the year’s artistic commissions was inspired by heritage and 93% of audiences felt that using arts-based approaches to present heritage made it more interesting.

The outcomes of this year-long, strategic and place-based approach to exploring and engaging people with heritage are explored in a report commissioned by the University of Hull. The findings raise the question of how the fusion of arts and heritage might influence future policy and practice, and what this could mean for the arts, for heritage and for our towns and cities.

Photos: Chris Pepper, Thomas Arran.

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