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Creative Schools

Creative Schools

Creative Residencies

Our Creative Residency programme works with schools across the region to unlock the creative potential of young people. 

The residencies will develop creative skills in young people, enable artists to develop their practice and deliver in-depth projects that support schools and teachers to continue this creative education in the future. 

We’ll be working with around a dozen schools each year in those areas of the region most in need of support. The first of these residencies is…


The Book of Thetford 

Long-time Festival collaborators, Andy Field and Beckie Darlington, lead a project in which young people from three schools in Thetford create a guidebook to their town.   

Part fictional imagining, part actual guidebook, The Book of Thetford allows young people to write stories about life on their streets, draw new maps of their neighbourhood, name those places they care about that are ignored by adults and design new monuments to honour their unrecognised heroes.  

For readers, both locals and visitors, the guidebook is an invitation to look beyond the familiar, the predictable, and experience a place through the eyes of some of its youngest inhabitants. 

The young people will work with illustrators and designers to bring the book to life and will be launched in a special celebratory event as part of Norfolk & Norwich Festival in 2024. 

River of Hope

We’re partnering with Thames Festival Trust to deliver River of Hope – a schools project that uses environmental themes and creative arts practice to help young people express their concerns about the climate crisis.  

Working with ten primary schools in King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth and five Norwich secondary schools, participants will be given the opportunity to create original artworks under the guidance of local, inspirational and professional artist Ali Atkins. Linking art, georgraphy and history curriculums, they’ll immerse themselves in nature; discuss their concerns about climate change and what positive changes they would like to make; and decide how they would communicate their concerns to others using art and sound. 

The resultant artworks will be produced as installations and exhibited as part of Norfolk & Norwich Festival. 

An international project from 2023 to 2025, River of Hope will also be delivered in Leeds, London, Tees Valley, Plymouth, and also in Rouen, France and Addis Ababa and Arba Minch in Ethiopia. 

In partnership with Thames Festival Trust. Supported by Arts Council England, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Arts Society Norwich, the British Council and Ville de Rouen. 


HotSpot is a three-year programme of artist-in-schools residencies in East Anglia, which enable children to creatively explore place, belonging and identity. In an ever-increasingly virtual world, the project sets out to encourage children to investigate the ‘real’ built and natural environment in their part of the world and to think about the communities to which these spaces, places and points of interest have meaning.

The artists will shape the form of the exploration through workshops, with each residency creating an outcome that celebrates the unique physical and cultural identities of the place with others. 

The programme will begin in Spring 2024, stay tuned for more updates.

Creative Schools supported by the Ellerdale Trust

Arts make life better

Norfolk & Norwich Festival brings tens of thousands of people together in celebration – it has been doing this for 250 years. Through our May Festival and our year-round arts education work, focusing on children and young people, we lead and support celebration, creativity and curiosity in communities across Norfolk and the region.

This year we begin an exciting new initiative, Festival Connect & Create that will bring creative opportunities to those schools and communities with least provision. Creativity transforms people’s lives. It builds cohesive communities, develops vital skills and supports health and wellbeing. We want more people to have access to creative opportunities.

Please consider donating to support and develop this work. With your help we can increase access to the life changing power of the arts.

Registered Charity No. 116442

Amount to Donate £ 0