Stoking Curiosity

Stoking Curiosity is a festival aiming to celebrate being inquisitive, encourage curiosity, and spark ideas, bringing together people from across Staffordshire to get involved in research and debate the big issues that affect them, their communities and the wider world. Stoking Curiosity will build and nurture a community of curious people.

What is it?

Stoking Curiosity is a festival that will build and nurture a community of curious people in Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire. We will celebrate being inquisitive, spark ideas and get involved in research together in our communities.

What is it not about?

  • It isn’t about just listening to someone else talk
  • It is not just a showcase of academic expertise led by Universities

Who is the festival for?

Stoking Curiosity is for anyone who is curious about anything!

  • Local people – people coming along by themselves, with friends, with family
  • Community and voluntary organisations and groups
  • Business and enterprises
  • Students and staff from universities
  • People of all ages and backgrounds

Some events might be suitable for certain age groups.

When and where is it happening?

16 and 17 November 2018
Spode Works, 32 Eleanora Street, Stoke ST4 1QD
10 am - 5 pm on Friday
10 am - 5 pm on Saturday

How will it work – did curiosity kill the cat?

The festival is a space to meet up, ask and debate questions about the world, about life, and about other interesting stuff. It is all about having a go, trying things out, sharing ideas and breaking down barriers, to make sure everyone can take part.

Who is running it?

The festival is co-organised by a partnership between the communities of Stoke on Trent, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Keele and Staffordshire Universities.

Who is this call out for?

Anyone who would like to encourage curiosity in others, get them interested and excited about things you know and care about, and who is prepared to have a conversation / activity about it.

You might have:

  • an idea or some research to share
  • a burning question to ask
  • something to show
  • a hands-on activity for people

How could you share your ideas at the Festival?

Some examples include:

  • a 6-minute talk on what makes you curious, what you are curious about, followed by a group conversation
  • an interactive exhibit, installation, workshop or performance

How will ideas be selected?

The festival will be curated by the festival steering group, which is made up of local people, community organisations and staff members of Stoke City Council and Keele and Staffordshire Universities.
We will look for proposals which clearly explain:

  • A topic or idea
  • How you will engage people and involve them
  • What type of activity or conversation you want to have
  • What makes your proposal exciting
  • What physical stuff you want to bring
  • What support/ space/ equipment you need

What about funding?

We may be able to cover some other costs, such as for stationery and bus travel. Contact us for more details.

Do you have more questions?

For more information, please contact Lotika Singha, PER Fellow, Keele University by email:

How do you send an idea?

Click on this link to fill in a short form with your proposal

If you do not have internet access or have trouble with the form please email Lotika

We will send you a form or take down your ideas over the phone.

What’s the last date you can send your proposal?

Please send in your proposal by the 5 October 2018

You are welcome to send it in anytime before then.

When will you know if your proposal has been accepted?

The festival steering group will get back to you no later than the 19th October 2018.

We will tell you if your proposal has been accepted or not. We will give everyone brief feedback.

If your proposal is accepted, we might have suggestions for you or want to talk your ideas over with you to help make the Festival programme as exciting and varied as possible, and to support you to make the most of your skills and knowledge.