News and Updates

Booking open: What’s Next Southampton?

  • Free summer festival for children, young people and families
  • Saturday 24 June, 12 ‚Äď 6pm
  • Guildhall Square and Cultural Quarter Venues, SO14 7DU

What’s Next Southampton? is a free arts, fashion and music festival for children, young people and families. Free activities and performances will spread across the square and Cultural Quarter venues.

The line-up is brought to you by six Cultural Connectors, aged 17-26 years. They’ve explored what young people want in the city and created a colourful festival.

Enjoy indie music from Belle Dame Band as well as rap and R&B from Amy Da Silva, Leah Tolksdorf Music, and LawZzy.

Have a go at African Drumming or Bollywood Dancing. Step inside an inflatable ‚Äėbrain dome‚Äô. Join in with creative writing, theatre and music workshops. Build your contacts with creative careers talks and networking. Or test your balance with a skateboarding drop-in.

With vintage clothing to browse and a collaborative mural to colour, the square will be alive with creativity!

Book your free place

You’ll gain access to advance programme notifications and entry into a prize draw

The event is part of Connecting Culture, a ground-breaking project led by the University of Southampton and supported by Arts Council England, Southampton City Council and MAST Mayflower Theatre.

What’s next ask Cultural Connectors…

As ground-breaking project sees young people stage free summer festival in Southampton

The Cultural Connectors with Frankie McCormick, Lead Project Coordinator

The free event, named ‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs Next Southampton?‚ÄĚ will be held on Saturday 24th June. It is designed for children, families and young people, and is expected to attract thousands to the city centre.

To lead the initiative, six Cultural Connectors were recruited from a public call-out to young people from across Southampton. They are 17-year-old sixth form student Dan; Damian, 24, a programmer working at a city centre start-up; 22-year-old Nicole, a student at the University of Southampton; Christopher, who’s 26, and a manager at the Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) at Southampton City Council; Abdourahman, an 19-year-old poet and Jason, 18, a grafitti artist.

Each of them have developed their own contribution to the ‚ÄúTakeover‚ÄĚ event.  These will include Stories of Southampton, a collaborative mural where children in schools will be asked what Southampton means to them; Graffiti Workshops:  a quiet space to show young people the basics of sticker street art; Creative writing for wellbeing workshops focusing on wellbeing and mental health; ‚ÄúGive it a Go‚ÄĚ Music Workshops ; Coloured Paths that connect the centre of Guildhall Square to the locations of all the activities/events that will be taking place across the festival; Art Talks; ‚ÄúShape of SOTON‚ÄĚ is a showcase of art by young local artists and Southampton Fashion Show, a vintage and streetwear fashion show.

Alongside our Cultural Connectors’ activities, visitors will have the opportunity to get hands-on and explore contributions from our project partners, from cultural and community organisations to child-focused services, taking place in Guildhall Square and across with Cultural Quarter venues Central Library, Southampton City Art Gallery, City Eye, John Hansard Gallery and MAST Mayflower Studios.

The event is part of Connecting Culture, a ground-breaking project led by the University of Southampton supported by a £75k grant from Arts Council England. The project also involves a large consortium of cultural organisations and child-focused services.

FULL DETAILS COMING SOON

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OPPORTUNITY: Assistant Project Coordinator

University of Southampton Arts Ambassadors with Sir Nicholas Serota at the opening of Studio 144, 2018

Do you have experience working with young people to support their creative ambitions? Are you interested in nurturing Southampton’s future cultural leaders?

Freelance Contract: Assistant Project Coordinator

Timescale:¬†September 2022 ‚Äď August 2023
Budget: £3,150 Рbased on 18 days (or 144hrs) @ £175 p/d, inclusive of VAT and expenses
Deadline: Friday 19 August 2022, 5pm
Interviews: 25 Р26 August 2022 (virtual or in Southampton)

We are seeking a contractor to join the Connecting Culture Research Project team as a freelance Assistant Project Coordinator, responsible for supporting the Lead Project Coordinator and Project Leadership Team, in the smooth running and safe delivery of the Cultural Connectors young people’s programme of creative research traineeships and cultural leadership development.

This is a role where you can make a real difference to the lives of young people across Southampton. Working with our cohort of Cultural Connectors, a variety of project partners, artists and specialists, the Assistant Project Coordinator will provide workshop and facilitation support, administration and coordination over the 12-month programme, including, monitoring and evaluation data gathering, and supporting organisational tasks around events as required.

Continue reading OPPORTUNITY: Assistant Project Coordinator

OPPORTUNITY: Become a Cultural Connector

Are you aged 16 ‚Äď 25 years old, living in Southampton?

Would you like to help shape the future of Southampton’s cultural life for young people?

Become one of Southampton’s Cultural Connectors!

Young people from SoCoMusic with Eileen Simpson and Ben White. British Art Show 8 Southampton

10 Cultural Connectors will join ‚ÄėConnecting Culture‚Äô, a ground-breaking project led by University of Southampton. You will explore how Southampton‚Äôs thriving Cultural Quarter can enrich the lives of children and young people as a future creative hub and work alongside  a large group of creative organisations and child-focused services.

Continue reading OPPORTUNITY: Become a Cultural Connector

OPPORTUNITY: Freelance Contract – Project Coordinator, Cultural Connectors

University of Southampton Arts Ambassadors with Sir Nicholas Serota at the opening of Studio 144, 2018

Invitation to Tender

Freelance Contract: Project Coordinator, Cultural Connectors 

Timescale:¬†April 2022 ‚Äď March 2023
Budget: Up to £8,400 based on 42 days over 12 months, average 3.5 days per month, inclusive of VAT and expenses
Deadline: Friday 25 March, 5pm
Interviews:¬†11 ‚Äď 13 April 2022 (virtual or in Southampton)

Brief

We are seeking a freelance contractor to join the Connecting Culture project team as Project Coordinator, responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the Cultural Connectors young people’s programme of creative research traineeships and cultural leadership development.

Working with a variety of project partners, artists and specialists, the contractor will be responsible for the delivery of a diverse range of objectives over the 12 month programme, including recruitment for participants aged 16-25 years and coordination and facilitation of activity.

The contract requires effective project coordination, administration, communication, monitoring, safeguarding and evaluation.  

Full the full freelance brief, including information on how to tender, download below.


Deadline: Tenders must be submitted by¬†Friday 25 March 2022, 5pm. Please email your response with subject ‚ÄėCultural Connectors Tender‚Äô to¬†connectingculture@soton.ac.uk.

Consultancy interviews will be held between¬†11 ‚Äď 13 April 2022¬†either in person at a central Southampton venue or via Microsoft Teams, subject to public health regulations at the time.

Creative workshop programme undertaken to find out what 600 of Southampton’s children and young people have to say about culture

A student at Mount Pleasant Junior School in Bevois, Southampton, with their Arts Award Discover 

The Connecting Culture research project, led by the Arts and Culture team at University of Southampton and supported by Arts Council England, has reached the end of its ambitious ‚ÄėCreative Consultation‚Äô programme of artist-led creative workshops held with children and young people in Southampton. With children at the heart, the research explores the question of how Southampton‚Äôs thriving Cultural Quarter can enrich their lives as a future creative hub.  

A total of 25 workshops took place at 15 schools and youth settings across the city, with around 600 of Southampton‚Äôs young people taking part. All participants earned themselves an Arts Award Discover certificate for their efforts and, at a special presentation at Mount Pleasant Junior School, certificates were awarded to around 70 of their year 6 students.

Continue reading Creative workshop programme undertaken to find out what 600 of Southampton’s children and young people have to say about culture

Reflections from Paige Michel-Strachan on her role as Digital Marketing and Project Assistant


By Paige Michel Strachan

Hey everyone! It’s me again. My temporary role as Digital Marketing and Project Assistant with the Arts at University of Southampton team has unfortunately come to an end (how time flies when you’re having fun!). A sad but simultaneously sweet occasion. I have thoroughly enjoyed doing communications for the Connecting Culture project and Southampton Cultural Educational Partnership (SCEP). Promoting access to arts and creativity for children and young people in Southampton has been an invaluable opportunity that has helped me grow personally and professionally.

The reason I loved doing this role is because it encompasses all the 5 C’s Рcommunications, content, creativity, community and culture!

Continue reading Reflections from Paige Michel-Strachan on her role as Digital Marketing and Project Assistant

Ambitious programme of creative workshops for 1000 young people begins

Workshop pack designed by artist Faye Phillips

The Connecting Culture research project, led by University of Southampton, has launched its ambitious ‚ÄėCreative Consultation‚Äô programme of artist-led creative workshops for children and young people in Southampton.

Following delays caused by Covid-19, the first workshops took place at Polygon and Bitterne Park Primary schools in the first week of May, and ultimately around 1000 children and young people from across the city are set to take part. 

Continue reading Ambitious programme of creative workshops for 1000 young people begins

Introducing Sarah Girling, Creative Consultation Coordinator

Meet Sarah Girling, Creative Consultation Coordinator for the Connecting Culture project. Sarah is a freelance Cultural Education Consultant, working with schools, arts organisations and artists, a job she thoroughly enjoys.

Continue reading Introducing Sarah Girling, Creative Consultation Coordinator

Interviewing the Connecting Culture Artist Facilitators #3: Nazneen Ahmed

In the final edition of our mini-series, in which we’re getting to know the artist facilitators who will be running our Creative Consultation workshops, we meet Nazneen Ahmed, creative writer and educator.

Our Digital Marketing and Project Assistant, Paige, caught up with Nazneen to gain more of an insight into her views on creativity and creative writing, and of course her plans for the Connecting Culture workshops.

Continue reading Interviewing the Connecting Culture Artist Facilitators #3: Nazneen Ahmed