Young People
River of Light, Liverpool Lantern Company, Lumiere Durham 2011. Produced by Artichoke. Photo by Matthew Andrews.

Projects with children and young people

Children and young people are at the heart of Lumiere. We work with artists throughout the year to develop imaginative and exciting ways to inspire schools, families and community groups to get involved with every festival.

Hundreds of children and young people have played a part in Lumiere Durham since the first festival in 2009, and this work has been supported by businesses, trusts and foundations from the North East of England and further afield, to make sure it’s always free for every child or young person to take part.

Precious: Sharing skills and stories

International and North East supporters came together in 2015 to help produce Precious, a remarkable installation that gave young people and audiences the chance to explore stories behind objects that have special meaning to us.  

I’m feeling really, really proud of what we’ve made as a school, and as a group. It made me feel like we’ve achieved something. I’ve never done anything like this before… it’s a good feeling

Young person who took part in Precious

Students from Durham Sixth Form Centre worked with New Zealand artists Storybox over several months to record interviews with County Durham residents, asking them about the items that are precious to them, and developing key camera and interview skills along the way. The final piece was projected onto storage containers at the festival.

I was working as the digitalist so I had to make sure all the SD cards were clean in time for the next interview. We had to work under pressure so they could get on with interviewing. It’s helped us all working to professional standards

Young person who took part in Precious

Watch the trailer for Precious and read an interview with the students in Arts Award Voice magazine.

More highlights from recent Lumiere festivals:

Litre of Light, Lumiere Durham 2013 & 2015

More than 1,000 school children learned how to make light bulbs out of plastic bottles, inspired by the work of the international MyShelter Foundation, which brings light to homes with no electricity. Artist Mick Stephenson then turned the children’s colourful bottle light bulbs into two art installations at the festivals in 2013 and 2015.

Keyframes, Lumiere Durham 2013

Artist collective Groupe LAPS invited young musicians from County Durham’s brass, wind and training bands to record the soundtrack for Keyframes, a cartoon-like artwork that celebrated the region’s mining and brass heritage. Many of the participants have gone on to study music at university. 

River of Light, Lumiere Durham 2011

Lumiere Durham 2011 opened with River of Light, a unique parade of hundreds of children and young people from every part of County Durham, carrying beautifully intricate lanterns made from tissue paper and wire. The participants worked with the Liverpool Lantern Company to create this spectacular parade, inspired by the River Wear. 

How our supporters make a difference

Support for our projects with children and young people goes directly towards our inspiring workshop programmes, led by artists and education professionals from the North East and across the UK. By sharing their experience and expertise, they give children and young people the chance to develop their untapped potential, confidence and life-long skills – not only in the arts, but also in communication, leadership and capacity for learning.

These workshops are designed to engage with schools and communities who might not usually attend arts events, and Artichoke is committed to opening up opportunities for as many children and young people as possible to take part in the magic of Lumiere.

The grants and donations we receive also contribute to the costs of the spectacular installations that children and young people have helped to create at every Lumiere: showing their work to an audience of thousands when the festival takes over the city for four wintry nights.

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