This year, England’s Heritage Open Days (HODs) is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a raft of new initiatives and partners, while a ‘25 for 25’ project will see 25 landmark properties take part in England’s largest festival of history and culture for the very first time, while hundreds of events across the country will focus on this year’s theme of ‘People Power’.
‘Last year, we welcomed over three million visitors to a fantastic 5,500 events. We know, however, that many people still aren’t aware of Heritage Open Days, and the huge range of events on offer across the festival,’ says Annabelle Thorpe, Heritage Open Days National Manager. ‘This year we’re using the 25th anniversary to find ways to connect with different communities and individuals, and to encourage them to take part, volunteer or visit.’
For the first time, HODs is partnering with the British Muslim Council, whose hugely successful ‘Visit my Mosque’ shares similar aims. Building on last year’s ‘Extraordinary Women’ theme, HODs is also working with the Women’s Engineering Society and The Wellcome Collection on a series of Wikithons, helping organisers to share their stories on a wider platform. Additionally, in May, the national office will stage six ‘HODx’ days across the country, encouraging people to take part and create new events. All these strands come together under the festival-wide theme of ‘People Power’.
‘People Power’ is also at the heart of a new art commission from Creative Director of the Craftivisit Collective, and author of How to be a Craftivist, Sarah Corbett. This year’s ‘Unsung Stories’ project, made possible by the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Dare to Dream asks people to stitch their thoughts and dreams for a positive future onto ‘thought clouds’, with downloadable materials and workshop guides available on the HODs website.
Event registration opens on Monday March 18th, with information on HODx days, and new downloadable packs for first-time organisers, and on staging a ‘People Power’ event.
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