Children's Capital of Culture launch festival - full details and events programme confirmed

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Rotherham CouncilRotherham Town Centre news

Children's Capital of Culture Launch

skate event

Rotherham will officially launch its journey to become the world’s first Children’s Capital of Culture next week, with a 10-day festival of events aimed at children and young people.

The Children’s Capital of Culture Launch Festival (21 February – 3 March) will give a taste of what 2025 could look like in Rotherham, spotlighting it as a cultural destination and home to a hive of creative talent.

The town centre will be transformed into a playground for the young during February half-term, with a skate and arts festival, demos by Team GB skaters and BMX pros, live music, large-scale art installations, and unmissable creative workshops and events.

The launch festival kick-starts a five-month pilot programme of activity for 0–25-year-olds in Rotherham. From now until June 2022, children and young people can attend events, join creative networks and take part in skills training programmes as part of the Children’s Capital of Culture programme, which has received £1.4m from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

The Children’s Capital of Culture project is led by Rotherham Council, delivered in partnership with children and young people, businesses, voluntary and community sector organisations and cultural institutions from across the borough.

The programme has received significant external funding from the UK Community Renewal Fund, Arts Council England, South Yorkshire MCA, and ERDF.

For more information about Rotherham becoming the world’s first Children’s Capital of Culture in 2025 and how you can be part of it, visit the website herefollow on Instagram (@ccoc_rotherham2025), Facebook (/ccocrotherham2025) and Twitter (@ccoc_roth2025) and share your experiences using the #Rotherham2025 hashtag.

What’s On Guide: Children’s Capital of Culture Launch Festival

Rotherham Skate and Arts Festival (22-24 February, Rotherham Town Centre) Rotherham’s first ever Skate and Arts Festival includes an action-packed few days of skateboarding, biking, art installations, floor murals, art workshops, music and more. It includes: 

  • Uplift (22-24 February, Rotherham Town Centre) The town centre will be transformed into ‘Uplift’, a colourful pop-up skate park. Team GB Olympic skaters Alex Hall and Jordan Thackeray, and BMX pro Jack Clark will be performing their best kickflips, ollies, and laser flips. Learn their tricks with free skate and BMX workshops running each day. All wheels and safety equipment provided. 
  • Stencil and spray painting workshops (22-24 February, Effingham Street) Free 45-minute stencil and spray painting workshops for graffiti lovers to learn the fundamentals of design, stencil making, spray painting techniques, can control and drop shadowing. Book your free place here.
  • Sticker making and screen printing (22–24 February, Old Town Hall) Visitors can have a go at screen printing at this pop-up with Carousel print studio, or design and create their own skate-inspired stickers with graphic artist Ed Syder.
  • Live music and street food (24 February, Town Centre) Local bands, including Skint Knees, Blood Stained Reputation and Undies will be playing live on stage. You can also pick up some delicious food from one of the on-site street food stall.

As well as the Skate & Arts Festival, there are also a number of additional events and activities, including:

  • Free Craft Workshops at Rotherham Indoor Market (21-25 February, 11am to 3pm) There's something different to try every day including origami flowers, arts & crafts and watercolour painting.
  • Truth to Power Café (7.30pm, 24 and 25 February, Rotherham Civic Theatre) Amplifying the voices of young people in Rotherham, Jeremy Goldstein’s acclaimed Truth To Power Café is coming to Rotherham Civic Theatre. This uplifting and empowering performance will feature eight local young people telling their personal stories and answering the question ‘Who has power over you, and what do you want to say to them?’. The live and digital performances are commissioned by The Space. Tickets are £12 (£9 concession) and available here.
  • Linger Longer Lane, (10am-4pm, 22-26 February, Old Town Hall) Literacy charity Grimm & Co have created Linger Longer Lane, a magical and enchanting place where families, children, young people, culture and creativity come together. Take part in workshops covering everything from crafts and storytelling to music, dance and poetry, or watch Khula Arts performing engaging music, story and dance performances from the street’s balconies. Find out more here.
  • Into The Realm of Possibility (Monday 21 February – Sunday 29 May) Clifton Park Museum will take you Into The Realm of Possibility, an interactive exhibition co-curated by young producers. It tells the story of Children's Capital of Culture, celebrates youth and childhood through objects from the museum's collection, and gives you the chance to share your ideas for the future. Showcasing bold work from young artists in residence, it brings together stories and childhood memories from different generations, and will act as a hub for Children’s Capital of Culture over the next four months, with a programme of talks, tutorials, workshops and classes.

The launch festival has been made possible with support of Flux Rotherham, Kaleider, Art of Protest, Grimm & Co, RMBC, London Artist Projects, The Space and Hive South Yorkshire.