As the government today reveals details of the impressive national programme to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, the national and international network of partners working to mark the centenary has reached more than 1,000 members.
Established by the Imperial War Museum in 2010, the growing First World War Centenary Partnership embraces the myriad local, national and international organisations who are planning cultural events and activities between 2014 and 2018.
1,140 member organisations from 26 countries including the UK, Australia, America, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Serbia, South Africa, Slovenia, Turkey and many others have signed up.
Many of them are planning commemorative events exploring the meaning and impact of the conflict on a local level – with events ranging from community exhibitions and projects exploring home-grown histories of the First World War to educational programmes and touring musical or theatrical performances.
Partners include local and international governments and authorities and museums, as well as galleries, heritage sites and libraries and organisations ranging from schools and universities to grass-roots community groups.
In autumn 2014, the IWM will reveal the first details of this varied programme by launching a cultural events calendar on the First World War Centenary Partnership website, 1914.org. The calendar is being produced in partnership with Culture24, who will be collating the event and resource information and sharing it with a number of data partners.
1914.org will be the central hub for all of the Partnership’s centenary activities and the place for people to find out what to look forward to in an exceptional programme which IWM Director General Diane Lees said will “enable millions of people to discover and commemorate the First World War”.
“One hundred years on, we are all connected to the First World War, either through our own family history, the heritage of our local communities or because of its long-term impact on society and the world we live in today,” she added.
“It is our shared aspiration that the First World War Centenary Partnership programme will reflect how and what people want to commemorate, in their communities, throughout the centenary.”
At the centre of the national commemorations, the IWM’s refurbished First World War galleries are due to open in 2014. An exhibition of First World War art collections, contemporary art commissions and a major exhibition at IWM North are also planned. Later in 2013, the IWM will launch Lives of the First World War – an innovative, interactive digital platform marking the First World War Centenary.
In the meantime, it is anticipated that the number of both members and events in the First World War Partnership will continue to grow before summer 2014.
Interested partners can head to 1914.org to find out more and access resources including the specially created First World War Centenary logo, 100 free digital assets from IWM First World War collections, specially curated First World War timelines, useful guides on collections, learning and communications and opportunities to network and share expertise with each other.