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Plans unveiled for major Darlington arts festival
PLANS have been announced for a major arts festival in Darlington, which will showcase a wide range of events in venues spread across the borough.
Darlington Arts Festival, to be staged in May 2013, is being co-ordinated by Darlington for Culture (DfC), the group which speaks for arts and culture in the area.
The festival will include:
* A month-long literary festival based at Cafe Create, in Parkgate, and other venues, featuring readings and writing workshops;
* Art-based events involving a wide range of artists;
* A film festival to be run by Darlington Film Club, which is based at the Forum Music Centre, in Borough Road;
* A series of music events.
DfC chairman John Dean said: “Many people were saddened by the loss of the Arts Centre this summer, but there remain plenty of excellent arts venues in the area and we aim to celebrate their work.
“We hope that the idea of an Arts Festival will excite people and we are talking to all sorts of individuals and arts organisations in the hope that they wish to be involved.
“So far, we have received an enthusiastic response. The borough has a rich variety of talent and we hope the festival will showcase what people can do.
“A range of organisations and individuals have already said they will support the event, including the Forum, Darlington Borough Council, Darlington Film Club, Darlington R ‘n’ B Club and musician Ian Rutland.
Mr Rutland said: “We can’t afford to let the arts die in Darlington. We need to work on this nucleus of DfC members and keep pushing for an Arts Collective for the town, linking sympathetic venues to all the people and groups in the area.”
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Also behind the project is Darlington Borough Council, Voodoo Cafe, in Skinnergate, writers’ groups, events companies and Yvonne Preston and Becky Sunter, artists based at Lingfield Point.
Committee member Ms Preston, one of the festival’s organisers, said: “This is a great opportunity for artists and groups to showcase who they are, what they can offer and where they are located. The festival will raise awareness by inviting people to come along and get involved.“
Jo Land, owner of Cafe Create, organiser of the literary festival, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the people of Darlington.
“We are seeking to widen participation in the arts by getting as many people involved as possible.
“I hope that by bringing together grassroots writers and the wider community with published authors to participate in the Festival, we can show that the arts are for everyone and champion Darlington as a creative town.”
Some of the events will be based on the theme of the fantastic, an idea which came about because one of the sponsors, the Mad Hatter Tea Company, is supporting a competition to be run for schools. More details will be announced later.
Further details of events being held under the festival banner will be announced in the coming weeks and months.
Groups or artists wishing to run events are asked to email DfC at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit darlingtonforculture.org