crowd at the awakening


In our year-long act of epic storytelling for the city each chapter has awakened our senses, unleashed our playful side and now, has us daring to dream. We thank everyone who has attended, supported and participated in our Year of Culture.

Here are just a few of our highlights so far.

The year so far...

An unforgettable year in our own backyard. Throughout the year, we’re hosting an array of bold, imaginative projects. Each project offering many ways to participate — attend an event, co-create art, stargaze, or wander the woods. Here's what's happened so far...

Video highlights

People in background in group wearing volunteer uniform

Quiet Greatness

"Culture is a community, it's coming together, it's being connected. We're all in the same boat, but there's different storms..." Letting Culture Loose: A Film About Quiet Greatness explores the cultural richness of Leeds and the people who make it so special. Made by Sodium Films, the documentary is a celebration of the city and looks back on LEEDS 2023's opening show The Awakening, a live show held at Headingley Stadium.
Making A Stand

Behind Making A Stand

Inspired by Leeds' roots as an ancient woodland, world-famous visual artist Michael Pinsky and award-winning environmental architects Studio Bark put sustainability at the heart of this epic piece for LEEDS 2023. Take in the architecture and beauty of the sculpture, learn about the stories and materials that brought it to life, or sit back and enjoy inspiring events and performances, including work led by Leeds Beckett students.
A row of Barn Raisers wearing high vis jackets raise a piece of timber

From the ground up

Witness a groundbreaking feat of community and collaboration! In just 24 hours, 300 women and non-binary people came together to build The WOW Barn from scratch, defying traditional gender roles and breaking barriers in the construction industry. Produced by Opal Films, this short documentary takes you on a journey of empowerment and inspiration as we witness the unity and determination of LEEDS 2023 and WOW - Women of the World's Barn Raisers through wind, rain and sunshine.
Screen in Roundhay Park

Children's Day: Reimagined

Hundreds of children from Leeds came together to show us what our world could be like when children are put in charge with Children’s Day: Reimagined. View the film series inspired by the Children’s Day event that was co-created by Fevered Sleep, the Young Creatives and over 1000 Leeds school children.

International partnerships

Growing beyond Leeds' borders to create a strong global legacy for culture and collaboration

    lots of instruments attached together
    International commissions

    What does it mean to exist and thrive in the gaps of a system,  the gaps of society?

    Sokunge is the word from the Shona language used to describe something in transition, or in the process of becoming; this project by award-winning Zimbabwean artist Masimba Hwati celebrates the small acts of resistance that ordinary people practise every day as they exist in the in-between. 

    cartoon of 3 women from ethnically diverse backgrounds holding creative items
    International commissions
    Guardians of Leeds

    Guardians of Leeds created by acclaimed poet, activist and artist Xabiso Vili is where stories, technology and magic collide. This celebration of unheard perspectives explores how the stories we share shape our reality. Using poetry, augmented reality and illustration, these stories come to life across Leeds.

    A group of people with sun glasses on, with one person kneeling on the knee
    An International Leeds

    Skinder Hundal MBE, Global Arts Director of The British Council explains why Leeds is one of the UK's most culturally exciting and diverse cities.

Your LEEDS 2023

Projects that put the communities of Leeds at the heart

    people sat on floor in room
    My LEEDS 2023
    Hidden Stories
    July onwards

    Heritage is within us all.

    It’s in the stories we tell, the food we make, and the songs we sing. It’s what makes our city so special. Hidden Stories is our year-long co-created programme of special projects with creativity at their core, celebrating the heritage we all share.

    My LEEDS 2023
    My World, My City, My Neighbourhood OR Moon Palace
    2022 - 2023

    My World, My City, My Neighbourhood celebrates co-creation in all its forms. From communities taking ownership of disused space to new cultural festivals, the project speaks to the cities rich history of community action and shared agency. 

    The Awakening
    Waking The Artist
    Jan - Apr

    As part of our ticket ballot for ‘The Awakening’, we activated the artist within. We asked you to tap into your creative side and the response was so overwhelming, we simply had to share it.

    Waking The Artist was a series of activations of ballot artworks that crescendoed in a beautiful exhibition.

A crowd of people sitting down watching a screen.

Data insights

Our impact

The programme for the Year Of Culture aims to be as truly inclusive and representative of the people of Leeds and beyond. LEEDS 2023 work with all 33 wards of the city and engage with a wide range of Leeds residents in order to make that happen.

Discover the impact we are having on the city with our real-time impact dashboard.

Sign up to our newsletter

For latest announcements and get involved opportunities, sign-up to the LEEDS 2023 email newsletter.