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Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020

HYOC2020 logo

Culture is taking centre stage during 2020, as part of a year-long campaign to showcase Hertfordshire’s creative opportunities.

To find out more, visit the HYOC2020 website, where you can sign up to the mailing list for news and updates. You can also follow @HYOC2020 on InstagramTwitter and @HertsYOC2020 on Facebook to keep up to date with the campaign as it develops. #HYOC2020

Activities and events

Coronavirus (COVID-19): If you are planning to attend any #HYOC2020 events, please first check with the event organiser and consider the Government guidelines before attending. There is more guidance on the Hertfordshire County Council website.

  •  BEEE Creative #TAG Dance Film (PDF 2MB) - Take part in a free mixed art film project, suitable for all ages. There will be online workshops with professional artists and film makers to create a short dance film remotely, exploring the themes of play and connecting households across Hertfordshire. There is the opportunity for 24 households from Dacorum, Watford and Three Rivers to get involved. You can register your interest online or email hannah@beee-creative.co.uk.
  • Create To Connect: 64 Million Artists - Throughout May daily creative challenges will be posted online and can be sent directly to your inbox. You can share your creations via social media using #CreateToConnect #HYOC2020. There are also free downloadable activity packs for community groups, families and schools to use to help engage the local community. 
  • Let's Dance At Home: Learn Uptown Funk - Learn Uptown Funk dance moves at home via YouTube with local dance artists Louise and Laura from Dacorum Community Dance. You can also share your Uptown Funk dance via social media using the hashtags #LetsDanceUptownFunk #HYOC2020.
  • Open Door: Rediscover Drawing - The Winkwell Artists will be back with their free Zoom drawing workshops starting on Wednesday 10 June at 7pm. Drop them a line at winkwellartists@gmail.com if you'd like to join them.
  • Anna's Funky Art Online Workshops - join Dacorum artist Anna Schofield for online Zoom art and wellbeing workshops, starting on 3rd June with Mindfulness and Collage. 
  • The Show Must Go Online: Herts Inclusive Theatre - A fabulous opportunity to take part in a six-week online musical theatre project with singing and acting. For those aged eight and over. Email admin@hit-theatre.org.uk for details.
  • Wild At Home: Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust - Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust is inviting you to be #WildAtHome. The website lists loads of ideas, activities and resources to keep you connected to wildlife whilst staying safe at home. Sign up to receive information and downloadable resources. 
  • New Leaf College Wellbeing Courses - New Leaf College has released its new summer timetable (May to July) and is offering free courses on Zoom for people in Hertfordshire, including sessions on Wellbeing and Creativity and Writing Creatively for Wellbeing.
  • Instalive: Contemporary and Fitness Online Dance Class - Local dance teacher Ellie Rimmer is offering a free live online class for those aged 17 and over, every Tuesday at 8pm. Follow her Instagram account to for details and to take part. 
  • Readers Connected: Virtual Reading Group - Hertfordshire Libraries is hosting a virtual reading group for adults via Facebook, selecting titles from its BorrowBox e-library.
  • Herts Open 2020 Digital Exhibition - As part of Herts Year of Culture, UH Arts and St Albans Museum are hosting a group exhibition online, showcasing works from practising artists across the county, including Dacorum artist Yva Jung. The exhibition runs until 21 June.
  • Try Smiling Family Shows - Electric Umbrella (new shows date, 3 October): Aimed at a younger audience (under 10s) and their friends and families, these relaxed and inclusive shows will be full on interactive fun, music, singing and dancing and are not to be missed! Venue: Grovehill Community Centre, Hemel Hempstead. Tickets are just £5 each. If you previously bought tickets for the March dates, your tickets will automatically be transferred. 

More online activities

Isolation doesn’t mean we can’t still engage in creative or cultural activities. There are lots of free online activities that you can do whilst staying safe at home. We’ve compiled a list of some local resources below, and you can find further activities on the Creative Hertfordshire website.

  • Open Door: Online Classes and Activities - providing a variety of free creative sessions and classes such as art, drawing, yoga and exercise to music for all the family. Check the Open Door Facebook page for the latest information. EUTV - a full and fun programme of activities from Electric Umbrella via Zoom and Facebook. Daily music, singing, chats and stories. You can also join their Big Yellow Virtual Choir each Wednesday 7-8pm. Sign up to join in! 
  • Radio Dacorum brings you music, live shows, chats and general merriment 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Trestle Theatre Company: creativity through Covid-19 - Trestle is helping to keep creative juices flowing by offering online resources, challenges and ideas to help you stay creative, including mask exercises for teachers and drama challenges for all.
  • Herts Inclusive Theatre (HIT) - regular creative and fun activities and videos are being posted on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Suitable for those with additional needs and their families.
  • Local artist Nikki Bell from Berkhamsted Arts and Crafts is offering free online watercolour tutorials.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) funding opportunities

A number of organisations and funding bodies have announced financial support for community organisations, groups and individuals in responding to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. For more information, please visit our external funding page.

Other news

Environmental project helps swift population in Herts Year of Culture: The Property and Place Team at Dacorum Borough Council has been working in partnership with Osborne Property Services and Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust on a joint project to help reverse the declining swift population. Swift nesting boxes have been fitted to council properties in St Albans Hill, Hemel Hempstead, in conjunction with planned improvements to enhance the thermal values of the properties and reduce carbon footprint. Find out more about Herts and MIddlesex Wildlife's work to support the Swifts in Hertfordshire.

How you can get involved in HYOC2020

You can download an activity form to let us know any plans that you have, and you'll be sent a Herts Year of Culture toolkit with the logo, information and resources to promote your event. Visit the HYOC2020 website for details.

HYOC2020 is supported by all 11 Hertfordshire local authorities. The Programme Board has additional representation from the University of Hertfordshire, Visit Herts and Trestle Theatre Company.

More events and activities across the county

For more events and activities in Dacorum and around the county, please visit the main HYOC2020 'What's On' events listing or find events online by using the hashtag #HertsCreativeCalendar.

More information

For further information about the county campaign, please email HYOC2020 Project Co-ordinator, Liz Gore, at hyoc2020@hertsmere.gov.uk.

For information about HYOC2020 in Dacorum, please email community.partnerships@dacorum.gov.uk.