FESTAC IN RETROSPECT-Heritage Lottery Project

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20170718_143700 MARILYN COFFY – Participant at Festac ’77 in Lagos Nigeria.












PRESS RELEASE  – Festac ’77 project wins National Lottery support

Creative Hands Foundation has received £49,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards a ten month project called Festac ’77 in Retrospect, which aims to explore the month long FESTAC ’77 – also known as the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture.

The project, which will be delivered in Manchester, is being made possible by money raised by National Lottery players and focuses on exploring the history, significance and traditions of the West African mask as part of the 2017 celebration marking the 40th anniversary of Festac ’77.

The project is educational and of great value to the community at large and it will deliver professional–led volunteer training in:

–       School workshop facilitation

–       Film–making

–       Photography

–       Radio broadcasting

–       A celebration of  Festac 77

From the 15th January 1977 to 12th February 1977, Nigeria hosted a month-long event celebrating FESTAC ’77 also known as the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture. At this festival, about 16,000 participants, representing 56 African nations including Britain, celebrated the rich cultural diversity of Africans and showcased to the world African music, fine art, literature, drama dance and religion. 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of FESTAC ’77.

The emblem of the festival was the royal ivory Queen Idia mask last worn by Oba Ovonramen – a Benin King dethroned in 1897 by the Consul-General of the Niger Coast Protectorate, Ralph Moor. The mask, along with other artefacts, has been on display at the British Museum, the Horniman Museum London and the World Museum Liverpool since this time.

Our heritage focus is to explore the history, significance and traditions of the West African mask as part of celebrating the 40th anniversary of FESTAC ’77.

Through recording, documenting and sharing stories about the FESTAC mask and its present day presence in our UK museums, diverse communities across the Northwest will have the opportunity to look at, discuss and learn about the African mask and its significance in the traditions of African communities as well as its role in African heritage and links to Britain.

The project will also contribute to oral history collections about FESTAC ’77 in the NWFA collection, enabling University students, African and Black communities and school children across the UK to learn about this heritage.

Joseph Ayavoro, CEO of the Creative Hands Foundation, said: “I am overwhelmed for this opportunity we have to explore the history, significance and traditions of the African mask as part of celebrating the 40th anniversary of FESTAC ’77”.


About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

Further information:


For further information, images and interviews, please contact (MR JOSEPH AYAVORO – Creative Hands Foundation 07525354429, j.ayavoro@creativehandsfoundation.org


Our team of volunteers will be researching, recording, documenting, sharing knowledge and memories about the FESTAC ’77, the history of the mask and its presence at the British Museum London.

Volunteers will receive free training on Film-making.
Job roles
1. Filming and documenting all trips, events and workshops for duration of project
2. Support and work as part of production team to create film documentary
Volunteers will receive free training courses on photography.
Job roles
1. Capture professional photographs (training will be provided) and document all trips, events and workshops for duration of project
2. Editing and retouching pictures
Volunteers will receive free training on Oral history and interview.
Job role
1. Interviewing members of the public through face to face and mass media (radio)
2. Review information obtained from interview for completeness and accuracy
Job role
1. Listening to recordings and type the spoken content verbatim into a written transcript.
2. Recording and documenting all interviews conducted on the project
Job role
1. Deliver and prepare workshops
2. Organise workshops
3. Forge excellent relationships with schools, community and wider public
4. Completing any appropriate monitoring and feedback
Job Role
1. Coordinating office activities and operations to secure efficiency such as;
2. Filing documents
3. Answering phone calls
4. Ordering stationary
5. Any other role that would be assigned by the Project Manger
Contact: Joseph Ayavoro 07525354429, Oboh Ehinomen 07891834506



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