The Festival of Hope is coming to Chester from August 29

24 August 2020

The Festival of Hope has been created by a group of 16 to 18-year olds based in and around Chester. The self-titled group, Chester Young Producers, has been supported by West Cheshire Museums, to produce a pioneering festival that places young people at the heart of design, making, programming and production.  The entire festival has been created by Chester Young Producers and offers a programme that celebrates creativity, heritage and most importantly hope. 

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “The Chester Young Producers originally planned a live event to happen in Chester during the summer. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 forced the group to re-think their plans. 

“The group were determined to continue, and they have found a new online solution for sharing their Festival as both hope and heritage are now more important than ever.”
The Chester Festival of Hope has been designed by young people, for young people. This fully digital festival takes place over the weekend of 29 and 30 August. It is set to be an eclectic weekend, designed to provoke curiosity, create community and explore both individual and contemporary heritage. The festival will be available on the Festival of Hope website.
The ambitious programme includes commissions from two artists as well as a series of talks and workshops and a virtual open mic night, exploring wider issues such as the environment and representation, as well as focusing in at times on life during lockdown.  
Colour Within the Lines, by Kremena Dimitrova: 
Illustrator Kremena Dimitrova has worked with the festival’s Young Producers to create a cartoon based on their interviews with friends either side of the Welsh-English border and their experiences during lockdown. ‘Colour Within the Lines’ explores the effects of the lockdown on young people and their families, friends, education and work.
The Lay of the Lockdown, by Neil Keating: 
Artist Neil Keating has produced an illustrated map to highlight the weirdest things people have bought during lockdown: from chickens to wetsuits and 25 houseplants. The map explores what people have wanted, needed or delighted over in the last few months. The public can add to the map and watch it grow by submitting their own purchases over the festival weekend.  

Full Programme

Saturday 29 August
  • 1pm    Talk by Isobel Dye: What does it mean to be a White Ally in the Black Lives Matter Movement?
  • 2pm    Workshop with Kremena Dimitrova: Starting Your Comic Strip
  • 3pm    Talk by Professor Emma Rees: Take up space! Empowerment, not apologies.
  • 4pm    Workshop with Matt Hill: Power to the People! Exploring protest songs.
  • 8pm    Virtual Open Mic Night with a set by DJ NikNak
Sunday 30 August
  • 1pm    Workshop with Laura Sayers: How to Make a Mini Paper You
  • 2pm    Talk by Sara Barnard: Hope, Authenticity and Storytelling
  • 3pm  Into Film Archive Film & Time Capsule Workshop
  • 4pm    Talk by Esther Bird: How I Became a Young Activist
The programme is subject to change. For the most up to date information visit:

The Festival of Hope is part of Hope Streets, a five-year project creating a strategic partnership between heritage and youth sectors in the North West led by Curious Minds and supported with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

Added Councillor Gittins: “West Cheshire Museum is one of five Partner museums working on the Hope Streets Project. The Museums are committed to incorporating youth voice within our museums by demonstrating that young people are truly agents of change. We believe amazing things happen when young people have the power to create their own culture.”

For further information visit: or @cheshirefestivalofhope on Instagram

Meet the Producers:

“Hi, I’m Georgia, aged 18, from the Chester Young Producers Team. I first joined the Grosvenor Museums Youth Panel in March 2017 and joined the Festival of Hope Project in January 2020. 

I was first interested in the project as it was an opportunity to turn ideas into a reality and make a positive impact. The first thing that drew me to the project was how vibrant and innovative the Festival of Hope is. Also, the platform it gives young people through the fact that it is youth-led.” 

“Hi, I’m Caitlin, I’m 18 years old and I’m from the Chester Young Producers Team. I started working on this project in January 2020, but I have been a member of the Chester Grosvenor Museum’s Youth Panel since 2017.

I joined this project mainly due to my passion for history and my interest in heritage, but I was also enthusiastic about being given the opportunity to enact positive change and give young people a voice in the future so that they can continue to gain influence for years to come.” 

“Hi, I’m Harry and I’m 17 years old. My interests include politics and cycling. Currently, studying for my A-levels, I’m hoping the skills that festivals are teaching me – planning, deadlines, collaborating with different people from different areas of expertise, can be used in my future career in the public sector.”

Image - Illustration by artist Kremena Dimitrova L-R  Georgia Spender, Caitlin Thomas and Harry Proctor


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