Festival of the Mind is a biennial festival showcasing a unique collaboration between University of Sheffield researchers and the city’s cultural and creative industries, to help bring research to life in exciting, entertaining and innovative ways.
The festival takes place in various venues across the city including the iconic Spiegeltent in Barker’s Pool, the Millennium Gallery on Surrey Street and Event Central on Fargate. The programme includes free exhibitions, films, performances, podcasts, workshops and talks exploring University of Sheffield research that is helping tackle some of the biggest issues impacting society.
The festival is free and open to all and has brought more than 150,000 visitors into Sheffield city centre since its first edition in 2012.
This year as we embark on our sixth Festival of the Mind, we wanted to share the journey that we as a University have been on with the city over the past ten years since the inaugural festival in 2012. Since that first auspicious occasion we have welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to our venues, engaged in over 200 collaborative projects with creatives in the city and laid the foundations for long term collaborations with city partners. Our rich variety of free events continue to be open to all, with the message that we as researchers wish to engage, entertain and enthral current and future generations of residents and visitors to the city.
The 2022 festival themes reflect hope for the future and centre on celebration, regeneration, innovation and exploration and, in the light of the last two years of the pandemic, well-being and hope. However, even as we cannot wait to welcome you back in person in our fantastic venues, As with all our festivals, none of this would be possible without the commitment of our university community. Thank you to the festival team, our staff and student volunteers, and the public for attending. I look forward to seeing you at the Festival of the Mind. we continue to ensure wider accessibility through digital platforms. We hope that all the new followers who joined in 2020 will continue to celebrate our work on all platforms through our wonderful University Player and through the Festival of the Mind podcast, films and the website.
Our audience makes the festival dynamic, friendly and inclusive, and we look forward to welcoming you all back to the beautiful Speigeltent this September. We are particularly proud to use Event Central, the new venue that is part of the exciting Future High Street Fund scheme and welcome you once again to Futurecade in Millennium Gallery. A decade ago we embarked on a brave new road of engagement, coproduction and creativity with the residents of Sheffield and creative partners in the city. Festival of the Mind 2022 is bigger, more ambitious and embraces partners and creatives across our region.
We look forward to welcoming you back.
Professor Vanessa Toulmin – Festival Director (Director of City & Culture, Partnerships and Regional Engagement)