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New Wave

Rolling in for a second year, New Wave is a training and development project taking a small cohort of Heritage Open Days (HODs) organisers and coordinators through a structured programme focused around working with young adults to develop new, innovative HODs events.

Why are we doing this?

We’ve changed dramatically in recent years 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. This year-long project 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.

What's the ethos of the project?

New Wave is guided by three key themes:

  • Learning from others - we encourage and support the 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.

What's been happening?

The programme started in February 2020 and, although delayed by the pandemic, our first group of participants continued to work on the project remotely into 2021. In the meantime, our second New Wave cohort started the project earlier this year and are currently midway through the process. Both cohorts will be delivering their events during this year's Heritage Open Days, in what will be a bumper New Wave year.

To support their work, the participants have recieved guidance and support from guest speakers representing a variety of organisations - including Emerge Festival, Imperial War Museums, Y Heritage Leicester YMCA, and Chloé Nelkin Consulting, The participants have also been conduction their own research into national and local youth trends, as well as running surveys and focus groups to better understand their target audience. Building on this, many are now working in collaboration with young people from their local area to develop and deliver innovative and exicting New Wave events.

Watch this space for further details.

Who is taking part?

Our 2021 participants:

  • Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Hampshire & Isle of Wight
  • The Forum Trust, Norfolk
  • Friends of Flaxmill Maltings, Shropshire
  • Wheal Martyn Clay Works, Cornwall
  • Locomotion, County Durham
  • The Reader, Liverpool
  • Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust, East Sussex
  • Girlguiding Norfolk Archive Resource Centre, Norfolk
  • Black Heritage Walks Network, West Midlands

Our 2020 participants:

  • The South Asia Collection, Norfolk
  • Wentworth Castle Gardens, South Yorkshire
  • Lyme Park, Cheshire
  • Brierley Hill Community Forum, West Midlands
  • East Suffolk Council, Suffolk
  • Sheffield Civic Trust, South Yorkshire
  • ‘a space' arts, Hampshire
  • Leeds Civic Trust, West Yorkshire
  • University of West London, Greater London