Every year, the Europeana Initiative runs the Digital Storytelling Festival in collaboration with the Heritage Lab. The international event encourages cultural heritage professionals, educators, creatives, and students from Europe, India and beyond to boost their storytelling skills and tell stories exploring culture. We hope to inspire participants to create connections between art, culture and history and the contemporary world.

Residency programme

This year, Europeana and the Digital Heritage Lab will work with a small group of participants (around six people) in our first Digital Storytelling Festival Online Creative Residency. We’ll bring students and new professionals who want to gain storytelling skills in a professional setting together with experts in a range of formats - writing/creative writing, animation and social media. 

Together, the group will produce content to be shared by Europeana as part of our contribution to Pride month in June 2023. We will be exploring LGBTQ+ and celebrating queer stories, narratives and cultural heritage from all around Europe, to add to our LGBTQ+ feature page.

When is the programme?

The deadline for applying to the residency was Friday 5 May 2023, 23:59 CEST . The residency will run from mid-May to mid-June, with the following dates: 

  • Welcome and brainstorm for all participants and all mentors: Tuesday 23 May, 2 - 4 CEST 
  • Format-specific session run by the relevant mentor and attended by the participants following the specific strand 
    • Animation - Thursday 1 June, 11 - 13 CEST
    • Writing/creative writing - Wednesday 7 June, 10-12 CEST
    • Social media - Thursday 8 June, 10-12 CEST
  • One-to-one session for each participant with their mentor, to be arranged as appropriate within the period: Monday 5 June - Monday 19 June
  • Review and celebration session for all participants and all mentors: Tuesday 20 June, 2 - 4 CEST

How will it run?

First, we’ll host a two-hour brainstorming session for all participants and mentors together. We’ll look at what content we can use, what stories we’d like to tell, and the formats available to us. 

Next, each mentor will lead a two-hour session relating to their own area - writing/creative writing, animation, social media - with the participants who are interested in that area. 

There will also be a chance for each participant to have a one-to-one short session with the mentor for their chosen format. 

Throughout the residency, the mentors and the Digital Storytelling Festival team will be on hand to support participants.

At the end of the residency, we’ll all get together again to review our work and to celebrate our achievements before publishing the work the group has produced as part of Pride month.

Who are the mentors?

Writing/ creative writing

Beth says: ‘I love words and I love how stories create connections between people and the world around us. I’m looking forward to working with participants, helping them find their own voice and develop their storytelling skills. It might be a profile of an individual, a hidden story about a particular community, or even a poem inspired by an artwork or movement - I can’t wait to see what the group develops.’

Social media

Marianna says: ‘An avid listener, I believe that change can only come from exchanging ideas and opinions, always striving to find unexplored connections between people to create new communities. I love exploring different ways of communicating cultural content with the use of new media to reach ever more and more involved audiences, combining the use of social media and storytelling. Ethical communication is my soft obsession, I’m very critical about anything-washing.’  

Carola says: 'I firmly believe that storytelling is the way through which we give life and voice to objects by showing ourselves to others. I look forward to meeting the participants and creating emotional and significant stories with them.'


  • AniTatoes Animations

    Creative Specialist

    Nick loves experimenting with animation techniques and has worked with a number of cultural clients on animating a selection of their images, music, or illustrations to celebrate an anniversary, promote a service, explain and simplify a strategy, or even bring a Bhangra song alive! He particularly …

Nick says: ‘I love how you can bring ideas alive and tell short stories using a mix of simple animation techniques, colour and engaging content. I’m looking forward to working with participants to impart some of the knowledge I’ve learnt when experimenting with a range of animation techniques. I’m hoping to introduce them to new animation software and apps which will help their workflow and ideas come to fruition and want them to feel like their creations are just the beginning of their animated journeys!‘ 


In 2023, the Digital Storytelling Festival took place on 9 - 10 May 2023. Keynote talks, panel discussions and workshops showcased some of the innovative ways digital tools are used to bring cultural heritage stories to life. 


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