The Festival of Hope is coming to Winsford from August 29

24 August 2020

The Festival of Hope has been created by a group of 14- and 15-year olds from Winsford. The self-titled group, Winsford Young Producers, has been supported by West Cheshire Museums, to produce a pioneering festival that places young people at the heart of design, making, programming and production.  The entire festival has been created by Winsford Young Producers and offers a programme that celebrates creativity, heritage and most importantly hope.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “This is a group of young people that had originally planned a live event to happen in Winsford during the summer. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 forced the group to go back to the drawing board. 

“Nothing in the world is the same as it was before the crisis and The Winsford Young Producers wanted to document this. 

“Congratulations to the group, they have displayed inspirational resilience and dynamic problem solving to make sure the Festival continues as both hope and heritage are now more important than ever.” 

The Young Producers were resolute in their decision to bring something new and exciting to their hometown, which showcases the voices of young people, but more importantly offers hope and unites the entire community of Winsford and brings people together. The Young Producers are launching a series of digital and socially distanced installations on August 29. This includes: 

We Are Winsford, by Michael Cochran:
This short film will explore Winsford’s heritage through the thing most important to Winsford, it’s community. The film explores the different experiences of people in Winsford during lockdown and shows that they have more in common than thought. Screened both online and in Cinewindow (located in Unit 1A of Winsford Cross Town Centre). 

Created in collaboration with The Winsford Young Producers and Michael Cochran. 

Gallery of Winsford, by Lottie Smith:
Created by a self-proclaimed Master of Cardboard, this piece is inspired by the vast number of artworks created in Winsford throughout lockdown, and the inordinate amount of cardboard from online deliveries. This cardboard gallery will showcase works by local people and will also draw upon individuals’ personal inspirations from their time spent at home in Winsford. This will ensure the cardboard gallery is an incredible sight to behold.  The work is in Unit 1A of Winsford Cross Town Centre. 

Created in collaboration with The Winsford Young Producers and Lottie Smith. 

A Place to Be Proud Of, Neil Keating:
Produced by renowned Liverpool street artist Neil Keating, Neil will bring the signature style and colour of his artwork to Winsford. Painted in the Winsford underpass, underneath the A54, this piece is inspired by the Young Producers sense of pride in their hometown and their desire to create a place people can be proud of. This installation explores the town’s less discussed heritage and draws on the things that make us hopeful about the town’s present and future. 

Created by Neil Keating in collaboration with Winsford Young Producers. 

All installations have been created to maintain social distancing, individuals viewing the installations are encouraged to follow the most recent Government Advice and Guidance.

The Festival of Hope is part of Hope Streets, a five-year project creating a strategic partnership between heritage and youth sectors in the North West led by Curious Minds and supported with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

Added Councillor Gittins: “West Cheshire Museum is one of five Partner museums working on the Hope Streets Project. The Museums are committed to incorporating youth voice within our museums by demonstrating that young people are truly agents of change. We believe amazing things happen when young people have the power to create their own culture.” 

For further information visit the Festival of Hope website or visit @cheshirefestivalofhope on Instagram.

Meet the Producers: 

“My name is Evie, I am 15, and I am part of the programming team. I joined the group in September because I completed an Arts Award with the museums team, who influenced me to join the festival.

It drew my attention in as everyone who I worked with was so kind and welcoming, and they all brought out my creative side, making me feel involved with the project.”

“My name is Macey, I’m 15 years old and I’m part of the programming team. I joined the group to be part of something creative and be able to work with people to make something exciting. It’s also something new to me and is good for the experience of making choices and voicing my opinion.” 

“Hi, I’m Tom and I’m a member of the Winsford Marketing Team. I’m 14 years old and have been part of the festival since January 2020. I wanted to join the festival as I thought it would be a good experience.” 

“My name is Laurel, I’m 15 years old. I am part of the marketing and visual design team. I first joined the team in April 2019, I wanted to join the festival because I wanted to be a part of something creative and different.”

Photograph left to right: Thomas Clare, Evie Hall and Laurel Smith

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