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Hertfordshire County Council

My Story

Festival and Touring Exhibitions

Festival and Touring Exhibitions

Hitchin Library, Paynes Park
Sunday 17July, 12.30 – 5.00pm
£5 per adult/child (free for 0-3s)


Join us for an afternoon of live music, interactive storytelling, open-mic poetry, and lots more!

Once you have your ticket (Sunday is a closed day for the library), you are free to stay in the library all afternoon long to enjoy the variety of performances and activities, or you are welcome to come and go as you please (we will give you a sticker on leaving the Library).

Here’s what you can enjoy:

  • My Story Exhibition – view the artwork created by Hertfordshire residents over the last 18 months. The exhibition debuted at our first My Story Festival in Watford Central Library and will be touring Hertfordshire Libraries from September/October 2022.
  • Interactive Story Telling from Herts Inclusive Theatre- Join Amy and go back in time to the 1960s on a sensory immersive storytelling experience to Cuffley Camp, inspired by a My Story submission.
  • Artists in Residence – we will be joined by lots of incredible artists from Hitchin and the wider area who will be creating art in the library.
  • Family Activities – Junk journaling, making dreamcatchers, creating recycled daisies, eco planting and more…Plus, a sneaky opportunity for your child to join this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, Gadgeteers


Plus, the following performances:

1.30-2.15pm   Interactive Storytelling session from Herts Inclusive Theatre

2.30-3.00pm   Music from acclaimed Folk singer Lizzy Hardingham

3.15-4.15pm   Open-Mic Poetry and Story Sharing session

4.15-4.55pm   Music from acclaimed Folk singer Lizzy Hardingham


My Story Festival at Watford Central Library

We had a fantastic day at Watford Central Library on Sunday 29 May for the first of our My Story Festivals!

With activities ranging from junk journals, to dreamcatchers, theatre performances to story writing workshops, there was lots of fun for all the family.

We didn't forget the adults either and we were treated to an amazing afternoon of poetry and storytelling from participants who had taken part in our poetry Creator Day last year alongside performance poets Kate Walton and Paul Eccentric.

Artists in residence

Through having artists-in-residence, we want to make art and creativity accessible to the whole Hertfordshire community. As well as hosting drop-in sessions open to all, the artists-in-residence will be holding some workshops for invited groups including clients accessing services from one of our partners, Mind in Mid Herts.

We hope to be able to provide workshops as part of ‘Art on Prescription’* in recognition of the considerable role the arts and participation in creative activities can have in terms of boosting our mental health and overall wellbeing.

Sheila De Rosa, Artist-in-Residence at North Watford Library    
January to April 2022

Sheila’s practice takes a critical view of social, political and cultural issues.  She uses a variety of materials and processes, with printmaking as the central core. Sheila is hoping to use her residency to demonstrate how everyone can be an artist. She will be working with children and families as well as local groups, including one for people with dementia and their carers, to transform treasured photos and family memories into new forms of art.

Drop-in to North Watford Library on Monday 14 March from 2-4.30pm and join Sheila De Rosa for a fun and engaging print workshop.


Every Envelope Tells a Story

Hitchin Library was delighted to host artist and poet, Sophie Gresswell, as Hertfordshire Libraries’ first Artist in Residence as part of the My Story project. Sophie joined Hitchin Library at the end of September and hosted drop-in sessions and pre-arranged workshops, as well as a poetry night, culminating in a weeklong exhibition of the works created throughout the residency in December.

At the sessions, Sophie challenged participants and visitors to think about what identity means to them and asked them to reflect on their heritage as stimulus for their art, which varied between words and poems, self or family portraits, genealogies and more. Some of the blind or single line portraits created in the workshops with primary and A-level students were then turned into powerful artwork by Sophie.

To launch the exhibition in December, there was an event celebrating the residency, which gave participants an opportunity to see their artwork displayed in the library.

The works created during the residency will be part of a My Story touring exhibition, so you may yet have a chance to see some of the incredible artwork produced. More details on the exhibition will be coming soon...


Join the My Story team – be a Storyteller

We are still keen to receive your story!

We love hearing from the Hertfordshire community, reading your stories and learning about your memories, experiences of change, transition and defining moments in your lives.

Stories do not have to be written either. You can share your story with us in whatever form you like. If you would rather make an audio recording than writing words on a page, we would really like to hear from you. Stories told in your own voice will add an extra special element.

You may also like to make a video, animation or, perhaps, even a song. Some of the stories we have received so far have been in the form of poems. How ever you feel happiest sharing your story, we would love to receive it.

All the stories we have been sent so far have been read by the team and shared on our website for people to enjoy. Storytellers become part of the My Story project and it is your stories that are used as fantastic inspiration to create amazing pieces of work by our talented group of artists. Who knows how your story might develop?

To send us your story in your chosen format all you have to do is email We look forward to hearing from you.


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