|Date||1 January 2017|
|Also known as||Hull 2017|
|Type||UK City of Culture|
|Theme||"A city coming out of the shadows"|
UK City of Culture is an event, once every four years, highlighting one location in the UK and promoting arts and culture as a means of celebration and regeneration. The aim of the initiative, which is administered by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, is to "build on the success of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture 2008, which had significant social and economic benefits for the area". The inaugural holder of the award was Derry~Londonderry in 2013–2017.
Bidding and selection process
After Derry~Londonderry in 2013, the next UK City of Culture was scheduled for 2017. Officials from Aberdeen stated they would bid for the title, as did officials from Dundee, while local officials from Colchester, Derby, Leicester, Plymouth, Stoke-on-Trent, Swansea, Hull, and York suggested that those cities would bid for the 2017 title. On 18 April 2013, the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce announced that Portsmouth and Southampton were making a joint bid for the 2017 title. There was also a bid from East Kent (Canterbury, Ashford, Folkestone, Dover and Thanet), and another from Hastings and Bexhill-on-Sea, supported by celebrity Graham Norton.
In June 2013 the shortlist of four bids from Dundee, Hull, Leicester and Swansea Bay was announced. The winner of the 2017 title was announced on 20 November 2013 and Hull was chosen. TV producer Phil Redmond, who chaired the City of Culture panel, said Hull was the unanimous choice because it put forward "the most compelling case based on its theme as 'a city coming out of the shadows'". On 31 July 2014, Martin Green was announced as chief executive of the team. Green was previously head of ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and organised the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ ceremony in Yorkshire.
Season 1: Made in Hull
The first three-month season was intended to focus on the contribution of the city to art, industry and ideas.
On 1 January 2017, the Hull event opened with a fireworks display over the Humber Estuary and a series of sound and light installations which reportedly attracted more than 25,000 visitors. By the end of the first week, the BBC was reporting that 342,000 people had participated in the opening events. The event included multimedia sound and light projections onto landmark buildings in the city's Victoria Square as well as a display of Hullywood Icons featuring local people recreating famous scenes from film.
Season 2: Roots and Routes
The season from April to June 2017 focused on Hull as a gateway, a place of movement to and through, a celebration of migration and flux.
Season 3: Freedom
The third season explored the role Hull played in the emancipation movement, building on the contribution of William Wilberforce and the existing suite of summer festivals in Hull, including the Freedom Festival. At the Freedom Festival, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan was awarded the Wilberforce Medallion and gave the Wilberforce Lecture at Hull City Hall, which celebrates the historic role of Hull and Wilberforce in combating the abuse of human rights.
Season 4: Tell the World
The closing season from October to December 2017 looked forwards and attempted to redefine the city for the future, building on the legacy of its year as UK City of Culture.
The events constituting all the seasons of City of Culture were staffed by volunteers working alongside paid staff.
From an initial 120 Pioneer Volunteers recruited in March 2016 through various Wave 1, 2, 3 and 4 recruitment drives, a total of 2,500 individual volunteers were signed up. Volunteers helped to deliver 365 days of cultural content for the Hull UK City of Culture 2017 programme with enthusiasm, professionalism, and a big smile, all while wearing their own 'scandalous, ludicrous and mischievous' coloured uniform, consisting of black trousers or shorts, blue polo shirt, jacket, baseball cap and purple backpack. The uniforms are made and provided by the local company Arco. These make all volunteers easily identifiable and approachable by members of the public looking for assistance and advice.
The BBC reported that a report by University of Hull in March 2018 found Hull's status as the UK City of Culture attracted more than five million people, £220 million of investment and 800 new jobs.
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