Echo Eternal Festival
1107. Adrian Packer
Adrian Packer CBE, from Birmingham, is the founder of ‘Echo Eternal’, a commemorative arts, media and civic engagement project which is taking Holocaust education into schools of all faiths and backgrounds in Birmingham for the first time.
Inspired by the testimony of British Holocaust survivors, ‘Echo Eternal’ was launched on Holocaust Memorial Day 2018 in 12 schools in Birmingham. Assisted by an artist in residence, each school produces a creative response to the story of an individual who survived the Holocaust. The project also offers a series of training events in Holocaust education and works with schools to design civic pledges to counter prejudice and to deliver positive societal change. Such is the impact of the project that a former Trojan Horse school has now been nationally recognised for outstanding Holocaust education. Pupils from the first 12 schools will deliver their ‘Echo’ at the ‘Echo Eternal Festival’ at Birmingham Town Hall to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day 2019 (Sunday 27th). Adrian received his award at the event from TV presenter Natasha Kaplinsky, and with Dr Agnes Kaposi, a Holocaust survivor and participant in the ‘Echo Eternal’ project (pictured).
In a personal letter to Adrian, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
Through ‘Echo Eternal’ you have enabled children of all faiths and backgrounds in Birmingham to learn about the Holocaust and play their part in ensuring that the testimony of British Holocaust survivors lives on for generations. You should feel very proud of the way that your innovation and creativity as an educator is helping to bring young people together in fighting all forms of hatred and prejudice and I wish you every success as the project continues to grow.
Adrian Packer, CEO of CORE Education Trust and Founder of Echo Eternal said:
“Celebrating the first year of Echo Eternal is a proud moment for everyone at CORE Education Trust. Receiving a Points of Light award from the Prime Minister is a testament to everyone’s hard work in getting us to this point. At the project’s heart it’s the children who are doing the most wonderful things. It has been magical to see all the schools come together.
“Our schools live and breathe collaboration, and we look for opportunities to encourage and help our students to look outwards and engage creatively with the rich diversity of our communities.
“Echo Eternal allows us to pay tribute to the survivors’ testimonies and champion civic engagement. We have created ‘echoes’ to spark light, to create new life, and new impulses. These individual sparks of light have sought and attracted other sparks to form a collective force for good – to inspire civic action and to promote a happier, healthier, safer world. I hope the students hold on to these truths, they are gifts which we will all cherish.
“It’s fantastic to see the impact the programme has already had on the 12 schools taking part. Over the next couple of years, even more students will have the opportunity to engage with Echo Eternal, and by 2022, we anticipate that around 15,000 children, young people and their families will have been part of this movement – both listening to the echoes from the past and, in turn, creating their own echoes for the future.”