As we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is exciting to think about what sort of city that light will be illuminating.
There is a feeling in the air, murmurs amongst people and a quiet optimism about what version of Hull will re-emerge from what has been one of the strangest years that many of us have ever witnessed. Personally, I think one of the biggest assets that the city has is its culture, and the insatiable appetite for creativity, even when the circumstances seem bleak.
One of the areas that I am most excited about is the grass roots creative activity that is ready to blossom across the city this summer. A thriving city is made up of artists, musicians, dancers, writers, enthusiasts and anyone who wants to just have a go at something and explore. Hull has had a long history of DIY art spaces and venues, many of which were housed in re purposed shops, warehouses and factories, and I have a feeling that this tendency is only going to get stronger as we run towards the end of this year. I am very excited to support the development of anyone who has a creative project that they want to pursue and find a way of connecting with other likeminded people within the Absolutely Cultured team who can offer support and guidance where needed.
To me, last year felt like a year defined by resilience, but 2021 feels more like the year of rebirth. The inability to access creative centres, art galleries and theatres over the last year has been a huge challenge. Twinned with a 12 months that have seen home crafting booms, the birth of new DIY home heroes and inventive ways of sharing dining room dance-alongs, it’s safe to say that this summer could not come soon enough.
Bring on July and bring on Creative Hull. As someone returning to the city after living and working away for the last 10 or so years, a city-wide celebration of creativity is the perfect opportunity for me to find out about the full scale of what Hull has to offer. I have visions of people popping from venue to venue, nipping into new spaces and trotting on over to masterclasses and workshops for good measure. The city-wide listings through Creative Hull are going to be a great way for everyone to get an up-to-date snapshot of what’s on their doorstep, presenting projects that have been rooted in Hull for decades as well as newly sprouting initiatives, looking to find a place in the ecosystem.
I feel very lucky to be discovering the city again, at a similar point to how many of us will be through a post lockdown lens. I hope that one of the legacies of Creative Hull is that its very name turns into an adjective we use to describe the city itself.