01 Mar 2023
by Sarah Holloway

8 illustrations of colourful vintage teacups.

Ready for launch!

Ready. Set. Go! Registration for the festival is now open! Always an exciting, slightly nervous moment. Will the website work? Who will register an event first? What will it be?! Every winter we look back at everyone’s feedback and see what we can do to make the site easier to use. Now, after months of planning and testing, Alex and Charlotte have signed off the last technical tweaks to the forms and flicked the switch to make the system live. So the gates are open, come on in! We look forward to seeing the stories and will start sharing your events on the directory from June.

Celebrating ‘The Community Tree’

infographic highlighting various points including a large illustration of a tree
An illustrated summary of the Community Ownership webinar showing the strength of our festival community tree (© LiveIllustration.co.uk)


We can never do enough promotion for our amazing festival community, and that doesn’t just mean seasonal ‘what’s on’ stories of events. We also advocate for the network and their achievements at sector events. In January I took part in a panel discussion on ‘community ownership’ as part of Culture in Crisis’s webinar series linked to the Heritage Now conference mentioned in our last Take 5 post. There are more sessions to come in their series and the recordings are available online too.

Coming up the team will be at The Heritage Alliance’s Heritage Day, and we’ll be returning to talk, as well as host a stand, at the fabulous Museums + Heritage Show. Watch out for the pink bunting, we look forward to meeting some of you there!

New Wave

The new year brought us a huge pile of excellent applications for our youth engagement training programme. Liam did a LOT of sifting and agonising to whittle them down to the final 15, who are already out of the starter blocks and had their first meeting! A fab new cohort from different organisations across the country, we’re all excited to see where the New Wave programme takes them.

Time shifting!

Adding to the excitement this year the team is doing some extra juggling - we’re switching between our festival ops hats (present) and trying to jump into a time machine to lay the right foundations for the future. Alex is digging deep with tech teams for an entirely new IT system. Whilst Liam and I have been helping with some wider community consultation to feed in to the long term strategic plans of our host organisation – what will Heritage Open Days look like in 2032?!

Find out more

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