Celebrating 2023 – our 75th year of Hawkwood!

We have many things to celebrate as our 75th year draws to a close.

This year we relaunched our annual community May Day Festival welcoming Mary Portas, Cindy Forde, and many other contributors, as well as producing an exhibition of our history and heritage which is displayed in our hall.

In total we worked with over 20,000 people, both on site at Hawkwood and online through our digital programme. At Hawkwood, our programme included courses on Transformative Leadership, well-being, creativity and regenerative futures. The Emergence Academy, led by two Hawkwood Fellows, Loes Damhof and Alex Lambie, welcomed three cohorts to disrupt the influence of urgency, and experience the power and potential of different ways of responding to uncertainty and complexity using Futures Literacy. And Complicité Theatre led a popular summer school to explore the structures of ensemble devising rooted in creating work with and from the body.

Our digital programme, which we launched during the pandemic, continues to flourish. As part of our 2023 programme, our Economics Lab and Energy Systems Science courses had global reach with international contributors and attendees.

A British Council funded project concluded in February with several community events and a residency. “Restorying Landscapes in a Changing Climate” was a co-created initiative between artists and communities based in the Philippines and in the United Kingdom around the restoration of natural and cultural heritage for a regenerative and climate resilient future. We learnt so much from the collaboration with our partners One Resilient Earth (Germany) and Living Story Landscapes (Philippines) and hope to build on this work in 2024.

One of my favourite weeks in the summer was our accidental mini summer music festival where we had three incredible concerts in one week – young artists form The Seida Ensemble followed by Craig Ogden and Black Voices. (If you missed these you can follow more on the Seida Ensemble here)

I know you’ll all agree that the Artist Residency Programme, generously supported by The Francis W Reckitt Arts Trust, brings so much vibrancy and creativity to Hawkwood and we’ve played host to over 190 artists this year each developing new work. So, if you come across installations in the woods, new music coming from the studios, or dance in front of the house you’ll be experiencing exceptional creative works in the making!

Though a challenging year financially for Hawkwood, we have been able to invest in our place thanks to the generosity of Enovert and The Cotswold AONB Farming in Protected Landscapes Fund.  We improved the vegetable collection point for the farm, and we are now in the middle of a capital project to restore the beautiful Hay Barn on site for educational and community use.

Thanks to a live architectural project by students at UWE, we are working on exciting development plans for the future and very much hope you’ll join us on this journey.  More on this in 2024!

Finally, our neighbour Peter Moseley has very thoughtfully put together a short film for us in celebration of our 75th year – a milestone in our history. Thank you Peter! Click on the image to view.

As I write, the housekeeping team are preparing for our final guests of the year to arrive, including Soumik Datta Arts, Friends of the Earth, Jaz O’Hara with her Asylum Speakers Project which aims to amplify the voices of those with lived experience of displacement and, in this last week before Christmas, the very wonderful East Asian Ticket Club.

Thank you for your part in making Hawkwood thrive, and I look forward to seeing you in 2024.

Alicia Carey, Chief Executive


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