Our events are hosted in the city as well as online. Our relaxed monthly Socials are a great way to meet others and hear inspirational talks from local and national creatives. Our online, monthly Hub events are the ideal platform to promote what you are doing and call out for support and collaboration.

If you are holding a creative or cultural event in or near Chelmsford then fill in the ‘Add your event’ form below, and we will include in the monthly Ignite Members’ and Friends’ newsletters.

We recommend that all events are also listed on the Chelmsford for You website, the central hub for event listings in Chelmsford. 

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Ignite Social: Access to Heritage

14 April 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Free – £5.00

Finding ways to tell new stories, celebrate forgotten individuals and develop events and activities that feel relevant, open and engaging.

Heritage can be understood as an active, dynamic relationship between then and now, formed through an on-going process of renegotiation, reconstruction, and recreation of what we choose to take from the past with us into the future. (Cambridge Heritage Research Centre)

In this month’s Ignite we will be hearing about different projects exploring access to heritage and heritage spaces. Finding ways to tell new stories, celebrate forgotten individuals and develop events and activities that feel relevant and engaging to a wide audience.

As a bridge from the past to the future Cultural heritage is not only central to our sense of identity and belonging but a tool for peace, social transformation, reconciliation and healing. Irina Bokova former Director General of UNESCO argues that now we are more acutely aware of the social, political and economic power of culture and cultural heritage, we must do all we can to protect, promote and share it.

Over the last two years our Ignite collaborative Hub has sparked new events and activities for Chelmsford’s Heritage open Days and we are interested to see what new ideas and collaborations might emerge from these inspiring talks.

From White Stilettos to Blue Plaques – Celebrating the Lives of the Real Essex Girls

Graham Watts, Essex Women’s Commemoration Project
The recognition of remarkable women across our County is woeful and, as a 5-person team, the Essex Women’s Commemoration Project is tasked with addressing that imbalance. Inspiring women and girls by erecting blue plaques throughout 2022 that finally celebrate their astonishing achievements. With a second commemorative plaque recently unveiled for Katherine Courtauld we will hear about the team’s work. Is it expensive? Is it bureaucratic? Can we do the same in our area? Who are these women we’ve never heard of and what did they do? Find out more, in this brief introduction.

Graham Watts is a theatre director born, and still living, in Basildon. A former Associate Director of the Mercury Theatre in Colchester, he has directed 9 outdoor Shakespeare productions in Alaska and his book on the First Folio, Shakespeare’s Authentic Performance Texts, has been published by McFarlane Most recently he has been focusing on plays from the past written by women but ignored. When the pandemic hit Graham moved this work online so that a wide range of productions can be viewed free of charge.

Widening public engagement in heritage

Giles Tofield and National Trust.
Giles will talk about the relationship between Essex Cultural Diversity Project and the National Trust and the approach they have developed to their joint commissions at Flatford and Bourne Mill.

National Trust will talk about their ‘For everyone, for ever: strategy to 2025’ and how this relates to engaging more people (and greater diversity) with their heritage/cultural assets.

Giles Tofield is Strategic Lead for Essex Cultural Diversity Project (ECDP). He was Head of Regeneration and Urban Regeneration Company Renaissance Southend 2006 – 2011 and supports University of Bedfordshire on cultural and heritage outreach programmes. Giles has experience of developing and delivering major regeneration/infrastructure projects and securing funding for a wide range projects.

Ignite Chelmsford is a cultural forum for those involved in Chelmsford’s creative community. Whether you are worker, volunteer, potential partner, or simply a culture loving resident – you are welcome, and we want to hear from you!
Once a month, Ignite hosts social meet-up: an inspirational gathering and an opportunity to learn how we can support one another’s work. There will be time to shout out about upcoming events, help needed or ideas in development so feel free to bring along any promo materials.

We will have a bar with soft and alcoholic drinks.

We suggest a donation of £5, but our event is intended to be accessible and open to all, so a donation is not mandatory.

How to find the venue: Patch is in the old Chop Bloc space, just off the High Street, by the escalator entrance to Debenhams, and next to Nandos. Google maps: 51.732628, 0.475775

We look forward to seeing you there!

Image: Cyanotype print of The Hay Wain view, created by artists Laurence Harding and Liz Harrington, part of a joint commission from National Trust and Essex Cultural Diversity Project


14 April 2022
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Free – £5.00
Event Category:
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Ignite Chelmsford


5-6 Grays Brewery Yard Springfield Rd
Chelmsford, CM2 6QR
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