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People across Hull are set to be inspired and entertained thanks to a new two-month long festival that kicks off tomorrow, to celebrate the life of Hull’s aviation heroine Amy Johnson – the first woman to fly solo from the UK to Australia. 

Green Port Hull's moth, which is part of the Amy Johnson Festival's public art project A Moth For Amy

Commemorating the 75th anniversary of her death, the Amy Johnson Festival will raise Amy’s profile and public awareness of her remarkable achievements as an aviator, as an engineer and as a woman of her time. The festival programme includes more than 60 events, a public art project and a major exhibition, Da Vinci Engineered, which is a first for the UK.

At a time when Hull has a brighter future built on green energy, Amy is a role model for encouraging young women to consider a career in engineering.

The Green Port Growth Programme, which has been created to establish East Yorkshire as a world-class centre for renewable energy, is one of 70 organisations and businesses sponsoring the festival. All will be attending a VIP event tonight, when they will be able to preview the Da Vinci Engineered exhibition and hear a keynote speech from Benita Mehra, President of Women’s Engineering Society – a role which was held by Amy Johnson herself.

Tim Rix, Chairman of the Green Port Growth Programme, commented:

“The Green Port Growth Programme may be focused on creating a brighter future for businesses in our region as our emerging renewable energy sector grows, but we are also incredibly proud of our heritage and arts scene.

“We are delighted to be involved with the Amy Johnson Festival. With unique, UK-first events such as the Da Vinci Engineered exhibition, we hope the collaboration of art, design and engineering will inspire people across generations.”

At the festival’s launch tomorrow, there will be a range of free family entertainment, including The Journey, a performance arts piece based on the flying machines of Leonardo Da Vinci, and Pif Paf’s Planetary, a stunning theatre show fusing movement, aerial acrobatics, theatre and Russian swing.

The Da Vinci Engineered exhibition also opens tomorrow at 10am in Zebedee’s Yard, Hull.  Featuring works by contemporary artists, it focuses on flight machines based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventive designs and has travelled to the city from Florence, in Italy, for its UK debut.

Public art project A Moth for Amy also officially launched this week, with 59 giant painted Moth sculptures brightening locations across the UK. Originally created by East Yorkshire-based sculptor Saffron Waghorn, most moths can be found in Hull and East Yorkshire, with some spreading their wings outside the area, fluttering as far as Croydon Airport, the location Amy started her solo flight, and Herne Bay, Kent, close to the place of her death.

Rick Welton, Festival Director, said: “The Amy Johnson Festival re-imagines Amy’s world through the lens of today. We hope that our programme will bring Amy to life, through a great programme of events that will have a wide family appeal.

“We’ve already seen a fantastic response to our festival plans and to ‘A Moth for Amy’, which demonstrates the enthusiasm and excitement the people of Hull have for festivals in general and Amy Johnson in particular. There is also a huge sense of anticipation from people across the country to attend the festival – a great indication of how much Amy Johnson and her story captivates people today.”

To find out more about the Amy Johnson Festival, please visit amyjohnsonfestival.co.uk and download the festival guide. News will also appear on Twitter via @amy_festival and @amothforamy