How does it work?
New Wave is guided by three key themes:
- Learning from others - we encourage and support participants to find examples of past events that have successfully engaged young people, both in the cultural sector and beyond. New Wave aims to learn from and build upon the previous work that has been done in this area.
- Understanding our audience - New Wave focuses heavily on utilising audience data to inform and guide our approach. The project aims to build an in-depth understanding of the motivations, aspirations, and barriers when it comes to youth engagement in the cultural sector.
- Co-creation and collaboration - New Wave is about producing events working directly with young adults. Our participants are supported and encouraged to work with this target audience to plan, promote, and deliver their events.
How can I get involved?
Applications for New Wave usually open every year in November. Details on how to apply for New Wave 2025 will be published after the 2024 festival.
Why are we doing this?
Over the years the festival has evolved from just opening doors to encompassing a wide range of innovative and dynamic events. However, too often we’re still perceived as only being for traditional heritage audiences. New Wave seeks to change that. It aims to enable the delivery of high quality events that push the boundaries of what people expect of Heritage Open Days, widening our appeal to audience groups that we have previously struggled to reach.
How do participants benefit?
Each year participating organisers receive funding to put on their event, and get specialist guidance and support from guest speakers, for example, the Imperial War Museums, the Tate, the Audience Agency, Kids in Museums, Historic England, Decision House, Y Heritage Leicester YMCA, and Chloé Nelkin Consulting have all spoken previously. Building on these training sessions participants conduct their own local research and engage local young people collaboratively to create new events at their sites. From these learnings, new connections and partnerships are formed and a whole host of exciting events are put together.
It was amazing - so nice to do things in a small group setting (especially the in-person session) so that we could get to know one another. Super supportive and responsive team and I will be recommending the programme to others.
Past participants have created a range of innovative events including interactive workshops, escape rooms, museum lates, outdoor cinemas, and all sorts of quirky pop-ups. See who took part: