Why Essex 2020?

From L to R: Professor David Humber (Anglia Ruskin University), Hayley Dixon (Focal Point Gallery), Gavin Jones (Essex County Council), Zenith McIntyre-Allen (Essex County Council), Marc De’Ath (Chelmsford City Council)

Every art should become science, and every science should become art

Friedrich Schlegel

For our very first blog, Gavin Jones, CEO of Essex County Council shines a light on Essex 2020

Essex 2020 – A Year of Science and Creativity is shaping up to be the county’s biggest ever public celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). So it was hugely exciting to be able to launch the project to a 150-strong audience of forward looking organisations and businesses from across Essex at last month’s Essex Assembly.

Essex 2020 – which brings creativity to the fore by introducing the arts to the more commonly used STEM sectors – will showcase a year-long, county-wide programme of science, technology and arts inspired events, workshops, exhibitions, talks and more.   Its ambition is to forge new and lasting partnerships between business and industry, the arts, education and grass roots organisations that will drive innovation and prosperity.

In 2020, the prestigious British Science Festival, which boasts an international profile, comes to Essex for the first time in its 189 year history – hosted by Anglia Ruskin University at its Chelmsford campus in September.  The county also celebrates significant centenaries – it’s 400 years since The Mayflower left Harwich for the New World; 200 years since Darwin’s Beagle left our shores for the New World and 100 years since the Marconi Company broadcast the world’s first live recital by a professional musician – Dame Nellie Melba – from a makeshift studio at its Chelmsford factory. What momentous occasions to celebrate the county’s pioneering past!

With an abundance of tech innovators, global engineering pioneers and young people with visionary ideas across Essex – Essex 2020 empowers us to be ambitious of Essex’s role in creating the conditions for investment, new partnerships and new experiences across Essex and boost new opportunities in STEAM education that last well beyond 2020.  We’re proud to have joined forces with organisations such as Anglia Ruskin University, BBC Essex, Diocese of Essex, Firstsite and Teledyne E2V to help shape and deliver on our ambition to involve and inspire people, businesses and communities from every part of Essex.  In addition, Focal Point Gallery, Chelmsford Ignite, Harlow Creative Ways, Braintree Cultural Education Partnership and Stansted Airport College are central partners in leading Essex 2020 Hubs to ensure the programme brings opportunity to all areas of the county.

With the British Science Festival at its heart, the Essex 2020 programme will feature anchor events such as Essex Book Festival, Rochford Discover 2020, the Estuary Festival, T100 Walking Festival and Sounds of Essex Youth Festival.  Hundreds of design and technology, music and dance, skills and engineering, space, coding and health events have also been submitted to the Essex 2020 programme from multi-national businesses to grassroots organisations – and you can be part of it too. 

We’re calling on individuals, businesses and organisations who are already planning an event or activity for next year, or who simply have a great idea they’d like help to bring to fruition (whether through additional funding or collaboration) – to be part of the Essex 2020 programme (as long as there’s a link to STEAM). 

To find out more, or to stay in touch via the Essex 2020 mailing list visit Essex2020.com/get-involved