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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.

July's theme is Cultural Olympiad

The postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games does not stop us from celebrating the Cultural Olympiad! Did you know that medals were awarded for painting, sculpture, architecture, literature and music for the first four decades of the Olympics? Although there are no longer art competitions as part of the Olympics, the host nation delivers a four-year cultural programme in the lead-up to the Games. Check the HYOC2020 social media channels throughout July to find out all about the history of the Cultural Olympiad.

 Design an Olympic team kit (PDF 628KB) - help design an Olympic kit for YOCI (the HYOC2020 mascot) and the team for next year's games! To celebrate the Cultural Olympiad, HYOC2020 is giving you the chance to win an art bundle worth £25. Open to everyone under 18. You can draw your own YOCI, or use the template on the Creative Hertfordshire website. When you're ready to enter, simply email your work to hyoc2020@hertsmere.gov.uk.

Online activities in July

  • Festival of Ideas Reimagined: UH Arts - The festival, which was launched on 28 June, continues live online throughout July and will be revealing more bright ideas over the coming weeks. There are over 60 events you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home including talks, music, exhibitions, performances and more from its virtual stages! Visit the website to see the line-up and sign up for all the latest news and events.
  • #TAG: intergenerational dance programme - As part of HYOC2020, we're working with BEEE Creative, Watford Borough and Three Rivers District Councils to bring you a free online programme of dance and multi-media activities. In July we are launching a series of six free webinar training sessions for Hertfordshire dance practitioners. On 4 July there will be a virtual performance combining animation, contemporary dance and music, with a live DJ and VJ multiple channel Zoom screening. You can also join in animation and dance taster workshops afterwards with the artists.
  • Minnie Birch: live streamed gigs - Every Wednesday throughout July, Dacorum musician Minnie Birch will be live streaming gigs via Facebook. She has a passion for folk music and football. Find out more about Minnie
  • Virtual Theatre Evenings: Herts Inclusive Theatre (HIT) - Anyone can take part by doing a short performance of four to five minutes - this could be dancing, singing, acting, reading a poem or telling jokes. The next virtual theatre evening takes place on 27 July. Contact HIT to take part.
  • Anna's Funky Art Online Workshops - Join Dacorum artist Anna Schofield for online Zoom art and wellbeing workshops. In July, Anna is offering Mindfulness and Collage, Decoupage for Fun and Abstract Watercolour workshops. See website for details and booking. 
  • New Leaf College Wellbeing Courses - New Leaf College has released its new summer timetable and is offering free courses on Zoom for people in Hertfordshire, including sessions on Wellbeing and Creativity and Writing Creatively for Wellbeing.
  • HAFLS courses - Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS) runs a wide range of quality and approved courses for adults aged 19 and over, aimed at improving people’s lives. Courses include arts and crafts, fitness and wellbeing, digital skills, photography and lots more!.

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.

  • Electric Umbrella TV - Join EUTV daily for huge online helpings of fun, music and madness. Stay connected every weekday with programming that will keep everyone entertained and, above all, smiling. 
  •  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: 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.
  • 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.