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Artistic Programme Announced

For Derwent Valley Mills
Previous Art Project Derwent Pulse at Darley Abbey

A boost to arts, culture & heritage for Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

We’re delighted to announce the appointment of Arts organisation Beam to programme a series of imaginative, exciting and inclusive artistic activities, due to run until December 2020.

The artistic programme forms a core part of our Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England funded Great Place Scheme which is also supported by Historic England. It is designed to engage residents and visitors with the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, exploring the landscape, the built environment, its past and its future. It aims to reveal and celebrate the hidden aspects of this special place and encourage an understanding of the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site in its entirety.

Beam has over thirty years of experience working with artists and communities to enhance places through creative arts programmes. This has included public art works for Derbyshire County Council and Bolsover District Council, as well as delivering projects on a national and international stage.

“We’re really proud to be leading on this new programme and we’re looking forward to working with artists and creative practitioners across the World Heritage Site and Derbyshire, as well as further afield,” said Frances Smith, Principal Consultant for Beam. “We’re keen to ensure the sustainability and legacy of our work, so that skills, relationships and resources continue to benefit the Site well into the future.”

Three major commissions, will shine a light on the north, central and southern sections of the World Heritage Site, one of which will be undertaken by award winning artist Jo Fairfax. An artist-in-residence series will develop a socially engaged film exploring “slow travel” along the valley working with local communities. A “Pop Up” art series will seek to reveal the less well known areas and stories of the World Heritage Site and “Creative Futures” will encourage young people to get involved in the programme as a whole, with opportunities to meet with artists, sit on selection panels and learn about what it means to be an artist. Artists from a wide range of disciplines will be able to respond through a series of Open Calls which are due to be published soon.

“This artistic programme will take the World Heritage Site to the next level, as a place where arts and culture plays a central part in future plans,” said Councillor Barry Lewis, Chair of the World Heritage Site Steering Group.  “It will also contribute to its development as a key tourist attraction for Derbyshire, playing a part in the ambition to be a global cultural and tourist destination.”

Award-Winning artist Jo Fairfax to deliver one of our commissions

The first events are integrated into the much-loved Discovery Days Festival starting on 27th October – look out for the “Pop Up” events at High Peak Junction and Florence Nightingale Memorial Hall!

More information about Beam

More information about Jo Fairfax

More information about our Great Place Scheme

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