Arts Development


light night parade

The Illuminate project was a Yorkshire-wide festival aimed at celebrating cultural identities in the region. It culminated on Light Night with celebrations and happenings occurring simultaneously in Hull, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford and York.

Illuminate, the organising body of the festival, provided funding along with Hull City Arts and the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Millennium Commission.

Artlink’s involvement took the form of lantern making, large-scale puppet making and samba percussion workshops, which involved four communities in different areas of Hull. A carnival-style parade through the city on Light Night ended with a play and performance featuring puppets, lanterns and musical accompaniment.

Part of our programme included training experienced community artists and volunteers in the traditional skills of lantern making (including fire safety), puppet making and how to use storytelling effectively in a street theatre environment. The artists would then go on to facilitate the Illuminate workshops with the help of the volunteers, passing on their skills to the community.

lantern making workshop

The project involved 18 artists and volunteers from the Artlink roster, 70 participants and around 180 audience members (as calculated by the security warden company on the night). Fifty-one workshop sessions took place, including the training, which ran from July to October 2006. Children from the age of five took part, along with young people and families from Spring Bank, Greatfield, Orchard Park, and Anlaby.

We have received good feedback from participants, puppet makers and performers some of whom found the idea of performing in front of the general public really scary. However, having enjoyed this experience they felt more confident and would like to do something similar again in the future.

The artists involved worked really hard and felt that they had achieved something worthwhile in opening up new possibilities and giving people the chance to try something new. They were proud to be part of something positive happening in Hull both created by and involving Hull people.

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