Creatives sought to celebrate landmark 400th anniversary of Worcester City Charter

Image-of-Worcesters-City-Charter-held-at-The-Hive Image of Worcester's City Charter, held at The Hive

On 2 October 1621, James I put his seal to the Charter that granted Worcester the rights and constitution which still form the basis for modern governance of the city today.

A Charter Festival is planned during 2021 - and commissions are being offered for artworks inspired by significant aspects of Worcester's history over the last 400 years.

The artworks, which are being commissioned by Worcester City Council, could take any form – as a painting, sculpture, performance, piece of writing or a digital creation.They will go on display in Worcester on 2 October – the date of the 400th anniversary.

The City Council has a total budget of £5,000 to pay for the artwork.Between one and four artists will be commissioned.

"The Arts have helped to sustain many of us throughout this last year – and they have a crucial role to play in encouraging people to return to the city centre as Worcester recovers from COVID 19," says Cllr Jo Hodges, Mayor of Worcester.

"The artworks we're commissioning will help to draw attention to the significance of Worcester's City Charter, which forms the bedrock of local governance and underpins many of the freedoms we enjoy today."

The artworks will form part of a Charter Festival, helping to revitalise Worcester's economy and communities after a year defined by the COVID pandemic. Through a celebration of the city's heritage, culture and 400 years of endeavour, festival organisers want to bring local people and visitors back to the City to enjoy its attractions, hotels, bars and restaurants.

Local heritage and cultural venues have already committed their support to the 2021 Charter Festival.Existing events including the Three Choirs Festival (, the Elgar Festival, and the annual Worcester Festival ( are all supporting this significant anniversary.

Interested artists and creatives should submit an expression of interest and short proposal by 9.00am on 19 April 2021 – with the final artwork ready to go on display on 2 October.Further information is available at – or call Michelle Newell on 07917 623481.

James I's Charter is held by Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service at The Hive.This most modern of buildings is owned by the City Council, which celebrates another significant anniversary this year:the 300th anniversary of the magnificent Guildhall on Worcester's High Street.

Information about the Charter can be found here - including a short film.

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