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Thoughts from the Artistic Director – Feburary

It’s like buses, you wait for one and three come along! Having said we want more Community Projects we suddenly have at least three on the go.

After our successful Year 5 Creative Arts Conference last year we have the funding to run another in May. We want to involve all children across a year group as previous Harwich Festival events to ensure everyone can get engaged in the arts. We will run a dance activity for all 250 and then creative and performing arts workshops.

We are also involving 3,500 children and young people in a massive public art project. A local artist came to us with an idea to wrap a local landmark in sail cloth panels marked out to give the impression of it being built from plastic bricks, with each child painting a brick. Eventually we decided that the installation should be much wider and we hope to install 450 panels across the town and in other art venues.

The Panel Project is Arts Council England funded as is our other project ‘Write Away’, a series of free weekly sessions at the Harwich Library with other events in Parkeston and Harwich. These will help aspiring writers to see through their writing projects or just encourage people to express themselves through various genres of written word including poetry.

One offshoot from Write Away is the support of a former Voice Coach for the Royal Shakespeare Company for Dramatic Pause to help them in their production of The Tempest, to be staged in Bobbit’s Hole during the Festival. A collaboration of the Harwich Society, a Drama Group and local musicians in a hidden beauty spot will be a magical event.

The Festival is now a platform to launch various activities. A new Urban Knitting Group has been set up and will meet in the Library every Thursday at 10.30am and a group through Old Bank Studios is getting together to produce bunting for the town. In addition the Festival has launched the 2020 project where anyone can submit a 20 by 20 cm painting, drawing, image or piece of writing which will be exhibited during the Festival.

Visit the Harwich Box Office or harwichfestival.co.uk for more details.

Next month I will start to introduce the other exciting events we have planned for the Festival but meanwhile find out what’s going on, get involved and be entertained!

Peter Davis

Artistic Director Harwich Festival


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