Cultural Programme

The HAZ scheme will also include a cultural programme. Led by a consortium made-up of local representatives, this group will work collectively to preserve and enhance the culture and heritage of the high street. 

St James St HAZ

Cultural activities have already been introduced into Burnley town centre including the Literary Festival and annual Light Night attracting thousands of visitors to the town. A HAZ Cultural Consortia is being established with the ambition to build upon popular existing activities like these and to introduce new culture opportunities to the town.

The Consortia will work closely will the HAZ Steering Group and Historic England to facilitate a programme that celebrates the identity of the local high street and that also contributes to a wider, national culture agenda. 

Casey Orr Details of Saturday Town event, 117 saint james street 12.11.22 - Art exhibition and book launch

1- Animating the Street

This project aims for visible, surprising installations on Lower St James’s Street to attract more circulation to an area that suffers low footfall levels. Year 3 has included regular, pop-up studio days and a dedicated Burnley publication, as well as ongoing participation from students at Burnley College. The project has been particularly effective in involving a diverse, young demographic. The publication was launched in November 2022 along with a new selection of stunning photographic portraits, which have been exhibited for ten weeks at 117 St James Street. The pop-up exhibition space has also hosted a project and launch event for the LBGTQ+group Stand Out.
To read Casey Orr’s latest book Saturday girl about town Click here

2- Voices of the Counter Culture

This project explores the many voices that represent St James’s Street, past and present. It started with desk-based research and exploration of archives, seeking out the people and stories associated with the street over different eras, and then moved on to interviewing them and collecting oral histories where possible. Some 20 oral histories were accumulated during Year2. This material is now being interpreted in a variety of forms. During Year3 Q1 a limited-edition publication was compiled and edited. A second print run of this is forthcoming, as well as an exhibition of work from the project running from 24th June at The Salon, 160 St James Street along with Memory Community Engagement workshops in July. You can read Fiona’s book on issuu.

3- Festival

Culture Festival delivered in October 2021 a successful event and records show footfall figures raised in this period. In Year3, development work based around research created by students at UCLAN. In Year4 collaboration with Burnley Words Festival, with Burnley Youth Theatre for the Burnley Canal Festival, to strengthen links to the high street, and with the British Textile Biennial.

4- Burnley Histories

This project explores aspects of the history of the town with particular relevance to this area, inspired by, for example, the historic LGBT+ campaigns, pioneers of radical politics like Helen McFarlane and suffragist campaigners, and aspects of cultural history including the story of Burnley Empire. The programme has included book launches and ‘in conversation’ events, including for the first biography of pioneer MP Dan Irving, and a reunion event for the world famous Welfare State performance group, who started their journey in 1970s Burnley. Two events were moved after the unexpected closure of venues on St James St. In year 4, the project is developing the TV script The Clarion Van for performance: this features two well-known Burnley suffragists.

5- Meeting Point Commission

Preparatory work working towards an intended public realm commission in year 4. Early planning only so far – initial intended location has already been improved with new seating through the HAZ public realm work, so we are looking for an alternative location. Support for the exhibition space on the street.

6- Openings and Celebrations

This project enables the cultural programme to collaborate with other existing events in the Burnley calendar. In Year 3 Q2 we followed up previous, commissioned installation work with the new installation, Under One Sky, featuring a collaboration of three of our Burnley based artists. This new display was a focus of public attention at 117 St James Street for eleven weeks before it was exhibited at Towneley Hall.

7- Communication, administration, marketing and evaluation.

Management and Coordination of the Cultural programme.

8- Feature Wall Project

Not yet commissioned.

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