This February half-term, Rotherham will officially launch its journey to become the world’s first Children’s Capital of Culture in 2025 with a never-seen-before festival for children and young people.
The week-long launch (Monday 21 to Monday 28 February) 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.
Rotherham town centre will be transformed into a playground, with a skate and arts festival, demos by Olympic BMX champions, a giant spray-painting robot, live music, large-scale art installations, and unmissable creative workshops and events.
Rotherham Skate and Arts Festival
Tuesday 22nd to Thursday 24th February – Rotherham Town Centre
Join in with Rotherham’s first ever Skate and Arts Festival, an action-packed few days of skateboarding, biking, art installations, floor murals, art workshops, music and more.
A colourful pop-up skate park created by Art of Protest and King Ramps. Meet Olympic BMX bikers and skateboarders, including Jack Clark, Alex Hall and Jordan Thackeray, who will be performing their best kickflips, ollies, and laser flips, and learn their tricks with free skate and BMX workshops running each day. All wheels and safety equipment provided.
Robot Selfie in All Saints Square
Robot Selfie, an artistic robot from UK-based production studio Kaleider, will land in All Saints Square to create a huge mural of Rotherham’s young people. Upload your selfie on-site and watch it being spray painted onto the giant canvas.
Stencil and spray painting workshops on Effingham Street
Free 45-minute stencil and spray painting workshops for graffiti lovers and more. Learn the fundamentals of design, stencil making, spray painting techniques, can control and drop shadowing.
Sticker Making and Screen Printing at the Old Town Hall
Have a go at screen printing at this pop-up with Carousel print studio, or design and create your own skate-inspired stickers with graphic artist Ed Syder at these free drop-in sessions.
Live music and street food (Thursday 24th February only)
Listen to local bands, including Skint Knees, Blood Stained Reputation and Undies who’ll be playing live on stage. You can also pick up some delicious food from one of the on-site street food stalls.
Truth to Power Café
Thursday 24th and Friday 25th February 7.30pm – 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 from www.rotherhamtheatres.ticketsolve.com.
Linger Longer Lane
Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th February 10am-4pm – 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.
Neon Light Installation
Monday 28th February – Rotherham Civic Theatre
A new neon art installation by local artist Patrick Murphy will light up Rotherham Civic Theatre, inspired by Ian McMillan’s new poem and made in collaboration with a team of Young Producers, who have shared their favourite experiences in Rotherham and future hopes for the town.
Into The Realm of Possibility
Monday 21st February to Sunday 29th May – Clifton Park Museum
An interactive exhibition that tells the story of Children’s Capital of Culture, celebrates youth and childhood through objects from the museum’s collection, and gives young people the chance to share ideas for Rotherham’s future. Showcasing bold work from young artists in residence, it brings together stories and childhood memories from different generations.
For more information, head to www.rotherham2025.com/hello.