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Visionaries from arts, culture, science and business head to University of Hull for City of Culture year

Release date:
19 January 2017
Ever wondered what links the spectacular celebrations that kicked off Hull UK City of Culture 2017 with the amazing opening and closing ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games? 

Martin Green, who masterminded both, has delivered the first in a programme of lectures being hosted by the University of Hull in collaboration with BP and Hull 2017. The BP Cultural Visions lectures, which are open to the public, will see prominent speakers from a variety of backgrounds, including the arts, business and science, discussing their work to inspire audiences.


The lectures are taking place at Middleton Hall, the University’s stunning arts venue, which recently underwent a £9.5m redevelopment in time for the City of Culture year. As well as Martin Green, the first season includes:


Wednesday 8 February

Richard Bean, Hull-born playwright, in conversation with Erica Whyman, Royal Shakespeare Company


Wednesday 15 February

Stuart Pearson-Wright, is an artist and a BP Portrait Award winner


Future speakers include the likes of former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and acclaimed artist Richard Twose.


Professor Glenn Burgess, Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull, said: “As a Principal Partner in Hull 2017 UK City of Culture, the University is delighted to host the BP Cultural Visions lecture series in the wonderful surroundings of our recently refurbished Middleton Hall. We are proud to be bringing speakers from a variety of backgrounds and professions and hope their insights will inspire audiences that attend them.


“Martin’s remarkable story was an excellent way to start the programme. Made in Hull and the 2012 Olympic opening ceremonies were such tremendous successes and the audience found it fascinating to hear just what went into creating such memorable events.”


Peter Mather, Group Regional Vice President, Europe and Head of Country for BP, said, “We are delighted to be a major partner of Hull, UK City of Culture. The Cultural Vision lecture series has been created to celebrate the power that culture has to innovate and inspire.”


Martin Green, CEO and Director of Hull 2017, commented: '”Whilst the idea of creating spectacular events may on the surface appear to be very similar there are fundamental differences, as a result of place, purpose and intention. I am delighted to be able to share some of my experiences and the things I have learned over the years as part of this lecture series, which, with the range of speakers promises to be a fascinating part of Hull’s year as UK City of Culture.”


To find out more about BP Cultural Visions and to book tickets, please visit www.culturenet.co.uk

Notes to editors

Media are welcome to attend the events - please contact Sian Alexander or Nicola Oldfield in the University of Hull press office on 01482 462193 or s.alexander@hull.ac.uk and n.oldfield@hull.ac.uk to arrange.


High res images of the speakers are available upon request.


The University of Hull

As both a Principal Partner and the exclusive academic partner in Hull UK City of Culture 2017, the University of Hull has a unique role in the year-long celebrations.


The University will produce and host some of the spectacular events including, in the first season alone, an exhibition of artwork by masters from Matisse to Michelangelo; a film festival dedicated to Oscar-winning Director Minghella who kick-started his career here; and an exhibition of BP Portrait Award Commissions from the National Portrait Gallery featuring famous faces from Paul Smith to JK Rowling.


University of Hull students, graduates and staff are at the heart of the programming. Our academics’ expertise helped create the stunning Made in Hull installations which opened 2017 in spectacular fashion. Our students are embracing the opportunity to enrich their studies whether volunteering as gallery guides for our centrepiece exhibitions or actually creating works themselves, such as the Music students involved with the Bowhead installation at Hull’s Maritime Museum.


Our staff, students and alumni will also feature in conferences, concerts and festivals showcasing their talent.


In addition, as the exclusive academic partner we are an official partner in creativity and in helping to pave the way for future generations.



BP is one of the world's leading international oil and gas companies operating in over 80 countries worldwide.  Headquartered in the UK, BP is one of the country’s largest businesses and a major energy producer and supplier to the nation.


In 2017 BP will celebrate its 50 years of industry in Hull and the surrounding communities. Its site at Saltend is home to some of its most innovative and cutting edge activities. Its Acetyls manufacturing site is the largest producer of acetic acid in Europe and its products are key building blocks for films, fibres, fabric, food packaging and pharmaceuticals. The site also hosts research and development facilities where new technologies for producing petrochemicals are developed, tested and piloted.


BP is a major supporter of UK arts and culture with a programme that spans over 50 years. As a longstanding investor in culture, the company recognises that the experience of new ideas has the power to inspire and innovate and is proud that its support of Hull 2017 brings together its commitment to the Humber region with a wider celebration of excellence and access to the arts.


Hull UK City of Culture

Hull UK City of Culture 2017 is a 365 day programme of cultural events and creativity inspired by the city and told to the world. Hull secured the title of UK City of Culture 2017 in November 2013. It is only the second city to hold the title and the first in England. Divided into four seasons, this nationally significant event draws on the distinctive spirit of the city and the artists, writers, directors, musicians, revolutionaries and thinkers that have made such a significant contribution to the development of art and ideas. The seasons are Made in Hull (January – March). The others are Roots & Routes (April – June); Freedom (July – September); and Tell the World (October – December). 


The Culture Company was set up to deliver the Hull 2017 programme and is an independent organisation with charitable status. It has raised £32 million, with over 60 partners supporting the project, including public bodies, lottery distributors, trusts and foundations and local and national businesses. Key contributions are coming from: Host City – Hull City Council; Principal Partners - Arts Council England, BBC, Big Lottery Fund, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, KCOM, KWL, Spirit of 2012, Yorkshire Water and the University of Hull; Major Partners –Associated British Ports, Arco, BP, the British Council, Green Port Hull, Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, MKM Building Supplies, P&O Ferries, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Sewell Group, Siemens, Smith & Nephew and Wykeland Group.


Hull 2017’s International Partners are: Aarhus, Denmark, which is European Capital of Culture 2017; Reykjavik, Iceland; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; and Freetown, Sierra Leone (twinned with Hull). These relationships are reflected in a number of events throughout the year.


For information go to www.hull2017.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter @2017Hull  Instagram @2017hull  FacebookHullCityofCulture