• An estimated 80’000 people visited installations over the We shine 2021 festival period

• The festival created an approximate wellbeing value of £4.4 million by providing opportunities for people to engage in cultural events

• With an estimated UK economic value of £1,068,000 (GVA)

• In partnership with Abri’s Work-Based Academy, We Shine created an estimated social value outcome of £344,204 by supporting community members who experience barriers to employment and those from marginalised community groups

From Thursday 18th – Sat 20th November 2021 Portsmouth saw local and national artists take to, the streets and local venues for 3 nights of free art and light installations to celebrate the city, including: projections on buildings, large scale murals, light installations, dance and theatre performances, a lantern parade, audio trails, braille art, projection mapping, laser dance, We Create Market and more.

On the lead up to the festival creative practitioners worked with schools and community groups via free workshops to produce content for the festival and professional mentorship opportunities were provided to upskill local artists in projection mapping techniques.

Talented creatives, creative organisations, local people and businesses, community groups, charities, social enterprises and university students helped bring the city to life.

For further information about the installations, projects and inspirational people we worked with please visit the We Shine website.

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Words of support

Councillor Ben Dowling,
CM for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development at PCC, said:

I want to congratulate Portsmouth Creates and all their partners on an amazingly successful We Shine festival. This breakthrough initiative shows what can be created when collaboration, catalysed by passion, energy, and a little bit of funding are brought together by an innovative social enterprise like Portsmouth Creates.  It was wonderful to see so many people from every corner and community of the city enjoying art and culture with no barriers. As a council, we were delighted to have supported the project and we look forward to working with Portsmouth Creates in the future, along with an even wider group of stakeholders and communities, to make such festivals a more regular fixture in the city

Phil Gibby,
Arts Council England, South West, Area Director, said:

Arts Council is thrilled to have supported We Shine Portsmouth through our National Lottery Project Grants funding programme. The event offered new opportunities for local creatives and brought fantastic cultural experiences to community venues and public spaces across the city.

We have recently announced our strengthened commitment to Portsmouth as a priority place, to help us deliver our strategy Let’s Create, and it’s with thanks to National Lottery players that we were able to invest in Portsmouth Creates to produce this event, which demonstrated the power of culture in bringing people together.