Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020

HYOC2020 logoCulture 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 Instagram, Twitter 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.

Our Fun Palace is back - with a difference!

We are partnering up with Hemel Hempstead Library and local artists and community organisations to bring you an online Fun Palace this year. Dacorum's Virtual Fun Palace will take place on Saturday 3 October. There will be online activities to join in with on the day as well as activity ideas and resources you can download and do in your own time. Look out for more details coming soon on the website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

September: Heritage and History and Meeting the Maker

You'll find activities and projects celebrating our local heritage and history, as well art exhibitions both online and offline where you can meet the creators and makers. 

Herts Visual Arts (HVA) Virtual Open Studios 2020 - The virtual 30-day, 30-theme celebration of 30 amazing #HertsOpenStudios years is now live with many new and exciting online opportunities to meet and get to know HVA's talented artists. There are also daily creative tasks and 30 daily themed art trails, bringing journeys you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

Dacorum Creatives Exhibition - As part of Herts Open Studios, Dacorum artists have joined together to bring you one big exhibition to showcase their work. The HVA Dacorum group are thrilled to invite you to their Open Studios exhibition, which will be open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout September at the Marlowes Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead. You can find the exhibition in an empty shop unit in the shopping centre, next to Clintons. Come and see a wide variety of incredible art and crafts, showcasing some of the best this area has to offer, and meet the artists and makers. Don’t forget to bring a mask when you visit.

Capturing Nature in Dacorum’s Architecture: Dacorum Heritage Trust - The theme for Heritage Open Days this year is ‘Hidden Nature’ and Dacorum Heritage Trust (DHT) thought this would be a great opportunity to invite the public of Dacorum to send in their photographs of the hidden nature in the built heritage of our borough. DHT will then later display these entries online, on social media and possibly in an exhibition later in the year (depending on Government guidance).

Nothing on Earth: Pursued by a Bear Theatre Company - We're working in partnership with Pursued by a Bear and other Hertfordshire partners on a project celebrating inspiring women and based on true stories of women, past and present, who have worked in the aviation industry. We're creating a series of six short theatre pieces on film, two of which have already been released that were filmed during lockdown. This autumn, we're working with tenants in our Supported Housing Schemes to collect stories and create a film especially for Dacorum. You can see a promotional trailer about the films and project on the big screen in Hemel Town Centre.

#TAG Oral History Collection - Working with University of Hertfordshire's Oral History team, we're looking for volunteers to tell us about their memories of 'play' and to be part of Hertfordshire's history. If you like sharing memories and have a story about your memories of play, then get in touch.

Dance Workshops: #TAG Seek and Hide Community Performance* - We're looking for 36 dancers (aged 12 and over) from Dacorum, Three Rivers and Watford to join the KAN Collective in our #TAG Seek and Hide performance celebrating HYOC2020. The free dance workshops will take place on Zoom in September and October, with the final creations becoming part of our #TAG Seek and Hide Autumn performance. The workshops are free and no dance experience is needed, just a willingness to get involved and have a go. Booking is essential. Click the link above* for details and booking information.

Circus Workshops: Phoenix Entertainments - Phoenix is offering workshops to those aged between five and 12, and also to those aged 18 and over as part of Herts Year of Culture. The workshops start on Saturday 26 September and run right through October (please check dates for the different age groups). The workshops are fun, active and can help improve your wellbeing. The project is supported by Arts Council England so the costs are subsidised and offered at a reduced rate.

Tring Book Festival Author Events - In the run-up to the Tring Book festival in November you can join some brilliant author events this month, including best-selling crime writer Ann Cleeves (creator of DCI Vera Stanhope) as well as author and actress Ruth Jones (Gavin and Stacey, Stella).

Open Door Community Hub - This popular community hub has a new exhibition by The Beechwood Artists and a range of workshops this September including art, acrylic painting and slow stitching for beginners.

Herts Inclusive Theatre (HIT) Online Sessions - Starting 15 September, HIT returns with weekly online yoga and drama for all ages. Its next Virtual Theatre Evening also takes place this month on 28 September, which is a chance to sing a song, read a poem, dance, or just watch and enjoy the fabulous acts.

Electric Umbrella Cyber Sessions - The indomitable yellow music posse is back with more exciting online sessions and events this autumn, including its weekly music cyber sessions, a new national big yellow choir and its first club night of the season on Thursday 10 September.

New Leaf Recovery and Wellbeing College - New Leaf College is excited to announce its new Zoom autumn courses and seminars, including Art Expression for Wellbeing and Recovery, Creative Writing, Mindfulness and much more.

HAFLS Courses: Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service - HAFLS brings you new online and offline courses this autumn. Subjects include Spanish and French for Beginners, Photography and Sewing, to name a few.

West Herts College: Part Time Courses - West Herts College is offering part-time creative courses this academic year 2020-2021, including some taking place at the new Dacorum Campus. Subjects include Photoshop, Digital Photography and Contemporary Flower Arranging.

What's coming up in October...

Virtual Run Your Town Dacorum - The ‘Your Town’ initiative, led by Dacorum Borough Council in partnership with Your Town, aims to encourage people to live healthy lives, get more engaged in their local community and make them proud of where they live. Whether you are looking to walk, jog or run, we invite you to join us for our upcoming virtual challenge. You can choose between our 5K or 10K challenge, which can be completed in your own time across the weekend of 17 to 18 October.

Dare To Dance: Dacorum Community Dance - Do you Dare to Dance? During October, Dacorum Community Dance is challenging you to do one dance a day, every day, to raise money for a good cause. You get to choose your music, your location and your moves!

To stay up to date with events and activities in Dacorum visit the Active Dacorum social media accounts @Active_Dacorum (Twitter) @ActiveDacorum (Facebook).

For activities and events countywide, please visit the 'What's On' and 'What's Online' pages at Creative Hertfordshire or find events online by using the hashtag #HYOC2020

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.

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.

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 and information online by using the hashtag #HYOC2020.

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.

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.

Warning signCoronavirus (COVID-19): We continue to provide services online and via telephone. However, we recognise that in some cases you will need an appointment with an officer, and will therefore be offering limited pre-booked appointments at the Forum for urgent enquiries. Please call 01442 228000 and ask for the service you require. For council service updates and other advice, please see our COVID-19 page×