With 2017 just around the corner, Hull is preparing to get ready for one of its biggest moments in history.
Children across the city and surrounding areas are bound to be inspired by the 365 days of art, music, theatre and cultural events that will take place. To make the work of these emerging young creators accessible to all, Forward Thinker has decided to showcase their creativity online.
“Digitull is a digital platform where schools across Hull and the East Riding can come together to show the world their pupils’ talent,” enthuses Guy Wallace, the Managing Director of Forward Thinker.
“Hull Children’s University and I are working with Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and the No Limits Programme to develop a system that aims to bring all of the area’s school projects together,” he explains.
The platform will allow children and teachers to upload a vast array of creative work that celebrates Hull and its people: “It could be a child in Year 4 who has painted William Wilberforce, or a secondary school pupil reading their sea shanty.”
“It’s all about the children exploring what their Hull is,” Guy adds. “We’ll be able to see the city from all different angles: it is important to understand that every young person has a different view of the place they live. This is a great opportunity for them to express themselves and their view of the city”
These distinct viewpoints are reflected on the Digitull website, where over 40 charming juvenile characters can be seen. From the little boy in a Hull KR strip, to the mini Bee Lady and a budding aviator inspired by Amy Johnson, it’s easy to see why this project is going to be interesting.
“We had over half of the city’s schools sign up independently within six days of launching,” said Guy. “To get them on board, we’ve pushed the collaborative element of the project. We’ll also be hosting training sessions at C4DI for selected teachers and staff from each school that signs up, where we’ll teach them the basics of how to use the platform.”
“To really get the kids involved, we’re planning to set challenges throughout 2017 for classes to take part in. It could be anything, such as creative writing, poems, short fiction, musical numbers and artwork.”
The platform will allow children to upload their individual pieces, whilst teachers and admin staff will have their own private dashboard where they can check it before publishing.
“We’ve tried to make the process as simple as possible for everyone involved. Each page will have its own video narrated by children or teachers, depending on who will be using them.”
Even if you don’t have a child who attends a school in Hull and East Yorkshire, you will be able to enjoy this fantastic ever-growing exhibition throughout the year: “All work will be public facing. It will resemble Pinterest, where different collections are collated.”
“I really want to show the rest of the city what the next generation can do. It’d be great if we got 1,000 portraits and beamed them up on the side of The Deep, or displayed work in local restaurants,” smiles Guy. “It’s all about being proud of our city and creating a lasting legacy.”