Droitwich Arts Network reveals ArtsFest 2018 Programme
Droitwich Arts Network (DAN) has announced an exciting programme for this year’s Droitwich Arts Festival. Lasting 4 weeks and 5 weekends, ArtsFest offers a wide variety of free events, many in the open air, encouraging the general public to experience a range of arts related activities. The festival is anchored on five Saturdays. The festival starts on Saturday the 30th June at 12 noon in St Andrews Square, Droitwich, with announcements by the Droitwich Town Crier accompanied by fanfares from a brass quartet, The Mayor of Droitwich and Nigel Huddleston MP. The afternoon will be filled with Dance – Belly Dancing, Salsa, and Zumba. The public will be encouraged to join in, but can just watch if they prefer.
On Saturday 7th July, the public will be able to create a “People’s Gallery” to be situated near the High Street during the day. In the evening, a festival highlight will be a free music event in St Andrews Square featuring Mumbo Jumbo offering elegant country blues music with powerful songs and punchy vocals, supported by The Ollie Miles Band playing everyone’s favourite rock and pop numbers from the last five decades. Gates open at 6.30pm.
Saturday 14th July sees events for families and children based in Victoria Square, including free art activities for young children, activities for older children including the creation of a Chinese Dragon, face painting, children’s painting, and free activities with salt outside the Heritage Centre. Adults can join a Sketching Walk (materials provided) during the morning, and attend a presentation by Katy Beinart about the “Saltways” in the Heritage Centre at 12.30pm. During the afternoon, the crowds in St Andrews Square can listen to a Music Showcase presented by pupils from Droitwich High School.
The popular “Arts in View” event returns on Saturday 21st July when members of Droitwich Arts Network will demonstrate their artistic skills alfresco in Victoria Square. Authors and poets will be giving short readings throughout the day in various locations around the town centre. All are welcome to join a Photo Walk led by Droitwich Camera Club during the afternoon. Any camera will do including phones and tablets. The evening will see the 11th Poetry Extravaganza to be held at Park’s Café.
The final day of the festival, Saturday 28th July, will comprise music on the hour, every hour, in St Andrews Square. Starting at 10am there will be live performances by RMA with “feel good” music, Sing and Tonic, The Droitwich Ukulele Club, Mandy Harding on saxophone, Helen Pearson with songs from the 40s to the 70s, and popular music from The Fidgets.
Other significant evening music events are Keith Slater’s 60s Celebration on Wednesday 4th July at the St Andrews Town Hotel, and The Best of Droitwich “Last Night of the Proms” on Friday 27th July at St Andrew’s Church. Droitwich Folk Club meets at the Old Cock Inn on the 5th and 19th of July, Droitwich Jazz Club meets at the Gaude Luce Golf Club on the 10th July, and the Rock Choir will perform at Droitwich Spa High School during the evenings of 30th June and 1st July.
Budding actors and others can “have a go” at a fun Mime and Improvisation Workshop to be run by Emily Hastings of “Acting Up” on Wednesday 11th July at Spectrum Days. The Booktales and Dreams Book Group meets at the Old Cock Inn on the 25th July.
From 30th June to 27th July, Droitwich Library will host a free exhibition of art by members of DAN in the Gallery Room and an exhibition of International MailArt on display boards upstairs. Artists will also be “in residence” at Droitwich Library most days during July.
ArtsFest organiser, Rhys Jones, added “Last year’s Mayor of Droitwich Councillor Shaun Best, set us the challenge of extending the arts festival to fill a month. We have risen to the challenge and this year’s festival provides fun activities for all the family”.
Droitwich Waitrose Community Matters Programme supports ArtsFest
Droitwich Waitrose is working with Droitwich ArtsFest 2018 as part of its Community Matters Programme. During May, shoppers at Waitrose in Droitwich will be able to vote using tokens to provide Droitwich ArtsFest with a share of £1,000. ArtsFest will be one of three local organisations that will share the grant.
Droitwich ArtsFest 2018 will be bigger and better than in 2017. Starting on Saturday 30th June, it will last four weeks and five weekends, finishing on 28th July. The festival will have a number of different themes including activities for families and youngsters, “Arts in View”, spoken word, music, dance, and interactive art.
Rhys Jones, ArtsFest organiser, said: “ArtsFest aims to engage the public in a wide range of art forms. Many of the events will be free to attend and most in the open air. Additional funding from Waitrose will allow us to deliver even more exciting events and arts related activities”. Chairman of Droitwich Arts Network, Helen Karakashian, added “Voting with a token is a very easy way for shoppers to help raise essential funds to allow Droitwich Arts Network to deliver its largest ever ArtsFest”.
Droitwich 4th International Open Postcard Mail Art Exhibition – Self Portrait 2018
After a very successful 2017 exhibition, with a large number of submissions arrived and a fear that gallery space allocated to the project won’t be enough big, we are glad to announce that the new Droitwich Mail Art project is on now. The theme is Self Portrait (past, present, future and wannabe self) and the artists are invited to look at their mirrors (real or imagined) and create the picture of themselves, as they are or wish to be, or how they looked once upon the time.
Theme: Self Portrait
Technique: Any [except videos and 3D]
Format: please choose A6 [10cm x 15cm] or A5 [15cm x 21cm], if possible.
Terms: No entry fee, no returns, all mail art will be exhibited. Racist, violent and pornographic artworks will not be exhibited. Max. two submissions per artist.
Artist’s /artwork’s details: Please give us clearly written – your name, title of the work, email address, website [if any]. Please confirm your submission by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: 1st June 2018
The exhibition will be held during the ArtsFest in Droitwich Spa, UK (30 June – 28 July 2018) in the public library gallery. All artworks will be published on
the Droitwich Mail Art website www.droitwichmailart.wordpress.com
Please send your art to: Droitwich Mail Art, 19 Impney Way, Droitwich Spa, WR9 7EJ, United Kingdom
Droitwich ArtsFest Organiser given 2017 Wychavon Community Arts Award
Droitwich Spa ArtsFest calls for votes to bag a share of Tesco’s bag fund
Droitwich ArtsFest is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative. Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores awarded to local community projects. Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant. Droitwich ArtsFest 2018, delivered by Droitwich Arts Network, is on the shortlist. In Droitwich, people can vote at Tesco Droitwich Express at Mulberry Tree Hill, off Primsland Way.
Droitwich ArtsFest 2018 will be bigger and better than in 2017. Starting on Saturday 30th June, it will last four weeks and five weekends, finishing on 28th July. The festival will have a number of different themes including activities for families and youngsters, “Arts in View”, spoken word, music, dance, and interactive art. Rhys Jones, ArtsFest organiser, said: “ArtsFest aims to engage the public in a wide range of art forms. Many of the events will be free to attend and most in the open air. Additional funding of up to £4,000 from the Tesco scheme will allow us to deliver even more exciting events and arts related activities”.
Voting will open in Tesco stores in Droitwich and Worcester on Thursday 1st March, continuing until 30th April. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out each time they shop. There is no need to purchase a carrier bag. As well as Tesco Express in Droitwich, shoppers can vote at locations in Worcester. They are the Superstore in St Peters Drive, the Warndon Superstore at Mill Wood Drive, Foregate St Express, Warndon Express at Brindley Road, Henwick Park Express in Martley Road, and Larkhill Esso Express in London Road.
Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for March and April. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”
Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between. We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”
New Bookmarks for ArtsFest 2018
During January 2018 we will be distributing these bookmarks to inform people of the dates of Droitwich ArtsFest 2018. The bookmarks were designed and paid for by Fresh Nous.
The photo shows both sides of the bookmark. They will be made available at various places in Droitwich Spa town centre. If you would like a number of bookmarks for members of a club or society, please contact us by sending an email to email@example.com
Droitwich ArtsFest starts on Saturday 30th June 2018 and finishes on Saturday 28th July 2018.
ART EXHIBITION IN DROITWICH LIBRARY & 3rd INTERNATIONAL MAIL ART EXHIBITION
Droitwich Arts Network organised the town’s first ArtsFest during the three weeks of July and, so far, has proven a huge success. As the final event, an art exhibition by DAN members will be held at Droitwich Library (first-floor gallery). The exhibition will represent a fine choice of art in various styles and media (acrylic and watercolour paintings, drawings, photography and contemporary textiles). 24 local artists will present their recent works until the end of August.
At the same time, the library will host the 3rd International Mail Art exhibition “Long Live the Art!”. This project was started in 2015 by local artist Tamara Jelaca with the aim to bring some fresh and new art in Droitwich Spa. Mail art (small format artworks sent by postal service) seems to be a perfect format thanks to its non-formality and free representation. This year, the response from the artist was excellent. There will be artworks by 157 artists from 26 countries (USA, Brazil, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Turkey, Argentina, Italy, Serbia, Mexico, Norway…). This exciting display of over 250 artworks is a true celebration of art and visitors will have the unique opportunity to see the diversity of contemporary visual arts in one place.
The exhibitions are open from 2nd – 31st August 2017, at Droitwich Library (Mon, Wed, Fri 9:30am – 5:30pm, Tue 9:30am – 6:30pm, Sat 9:30am – 3:30pm, Thu, Sun Closed).
Hundreds watch Droitwich Water Music Celebration
Hundreds of Droitwich residents and visitors came to Vines Park in Droitwich on a lovely summer’s evening to listen to the Blackwell Community Band play Handel’s Water music on a barge, as part of a re-enactment of the first performance ordered by George I on the River Thames on 17th July 1717, exactly 300 years earlier. The event was organised by Alan Davey of Droitwich Arts Network (DAN), and is part of Droitwich ArtsFest.
The Canal and River Trust loaned their workboat, The Wanderer, which was skilfully handled by members of the Droitwich Waterways Trust. The Trust also brought the Pamela May trip boat carrying a superb trumpeter, the Prince of Wales, and his entourage of beautiful 18th century ladies. Droitwich Norbury Theatre supplied actors who worked with members of DAN to deliver a fun dialogue, all dressed in terrific costumes. John Bodley of DAN designed and led a small team who built the structure that transformed the work boat into the Royal Barge. A number of other organisations and individuals contributed to the event including Wychavon District Council for the loan of Vines Park, Blackwell Community Band who played the Water Music on the barge, and Worcestershire County Council for their financial support in the form of a grant.
A collection was made during the event, raising £365 for St Richard’s Hospice.
Droitwich ArtsFest – Off to a great start
Despite grey skies, Droitwich ArtsFest 2017 got off to a great start on Saturday 15th July and attracted a large crowd into St Andrew’s Square. Droitwich Town Crier (Edgar Harwood) announced the start of ArtsFest, and the festival was launched with short speeches by the Mayor of Droitwich Councillor Shaun Best and Nigel Huddleston MP.
The free events commenced with Voices Unlimited from Worcester who gave an hour-long powerful and energetic performance, followed later by Droitwich based Sing and Tonic. Swing 42 (UK) provided background music in the square during the afternoon. Later in the day Droitwich Spa High School presented their free Music Showcase in St Andrew’s Church and attracted a large audience.
On Sunday 16th Keith Slater’s high-tech Frank Sinatra Celebration in St Andrew’s Town Hotel was a sell-out. The audience gave Keith Slater a standing ovation at the end of his excellent performance.
This coming weekend comprises free spoken word events. On Friday 21st local teacher David Izod will deliver his monologue “Alan, Alec, and Bert” in St Andrew’s Church at 7.30pm. Saturday 22nd will see poets, authors and actors reading poetry and literature in St Andrew’s Square from 11am. At 7pm on Saturday, Park’s Café in Victoria Square will host a free “Poetry Extravaganza” with cash bar.
During June and July 2017 we will be distributing these leaflets to provide details of almost every event to be held during ArtsFest 2017.
The photo shows both sides of the leaflet which is folded to DL size so that the main photo is on the front. Leaflets will be made available at various places in Droitwich Spa town centre. If you would like a number of leaflets for members of a club or society, please contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Droitwich ArtsFest starts on Saturday 15th July and finishes on Saturday 5th August 2017.
300 Year Celebration of Handel’s Water Music in Vines Park
On Monday 17th of July at 7.45 pm, Vines Park in Droitwich will be filled with the sound of Handel’s Water Music played by a band travelling the canal on a barge.
This free event celebrates 300 years since King George I commanded Handel to play his Water Music on a boat on the River
Thames on the 17th of July 1717. The re-enactment in Vines Park will see the Canal and River Trust Community Work boat (the Wanderer) travel the canal in Vines Park with Blackwell Concert Band playing Handel’s Water Music. This will be accompanied by the Droitwich Waterways (Pamela May) Trust, Trip Boat carrying 10 VIPs. On the canal bank, near the Waitrose swing bridge, there will be a commentary on Handel’s work with playacting.
During the evening a collection will be made for St Richard’s Hospice.
Event organiser Alan Davey commented: “This event has required amazing collaboration between members of the Droitwich Arts Network (DAN), the Canal and River Trust, the Droitwich Waterways Trust, Blackwell Band, and Wychavon District Council. It promises to be a spectacular event”.
Critically Acclaimed MadCap to perform during Droitwich ArtsFest 2017
Following its previous successes in Droitwich with “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, critically acclaimed MadCap Theatre Productions returns to Droitwich as part of Droitwich ArtsFest. MadCap will perform “As You Like It!” at St Andrew’s Church on Thursday 20th July at 7pm.
Dressed as a man, the exiled Rosalind is ready to begin a new life after escaping her foes in the dead of night. But when she runs into the love-sick Orlando and joins forces with the colourful inhabitants of the Forest of Arden, who knows? Rosalind’s plans may lead to more than just her own happy ending.
Shakespeare is always made understandable and enjoyable with MadCap’s fun, fast-paced and entertaining staging that combines comedy, music, dance and physicality with the original script. They present Shakespeare’s plays in a way that makes it effortless to understand and has led to them being loved equally by fans of The Bard and those who usually shy away from these centuries old classics.
The performance will be in the stunning outdoor setting of St Andrew’s Church garden, and the audience is encouraged to bring picnics and seating. Tickets, including strawberries and cream, cost £15 for Adults and £12 for Concessions, and can be obtained by calling 01905 794952.
“Sinatra Celebration” during Droitwich ArtsFest 2017
Droitwich ArtsFest is offering a rare opportunity to see a high-tech Frank Sinatra Celebration on Sunday 16th July, in a show packed full of classic hits.
Professional musician, Keith Slater, will harness the power of computer graphics, state of the art sound, lighting and projection to bring to life the story of this unique artist and icon of the 20th century. Using film footage and photos from the archives, the “Sinatra Celebration” takes us on a fascinating journey through the life and times of “Ole blue eyes”. Droitwich resident Keith Slater has been a professional musician since 1981 and has toured extensively round the British Isles. He has recorded with well-known bands and has appeared a number of times on national TV. His music has been played on Radio One, Radio Two, and local radio. He regularly works with well highly regarded Midlands artistes Carl Chinn (Birmingham historian), Malcolm Stent, and Don Maclean.
The “Sinatra Celebration” will take place at the St Andrew’s Town Hotel on Sunday 16th July at 6.30pm. Tickets are £7 each and can be purchased at the hotel, through the ArtsFest website or by sending an email to email@example.com
Keith Slater commented “I have taken the Sinatra Celebration to a number of UK venues, so it is a great pleasure to perform in Droitwich as part of the arts festival”.
Worcestershire Young Poet Laureate to appear in Droitwich ArtsFest
Worcestershire Young Poet Laureate, Oakley Flanagan, has accepted an invitation to participate in Droitwich Spa ArtsFest. Members of the public can meet Oakley and listen to him read poetry in St Andrew’s Square shopping centre on Saturday 22nd July from 11am.
Oakley will appear with a group of other poets who will be reading poetry in public during the day. Oakley is also a playwright, has recently finished a five month development programme with the Birmingham Rep for emerging writers, and has recently had his short play ‘proxy’ read at The Tristan Bates Theatre. He is currently working on his first collection of work and is having a selection of his poems published in America this June. His work draws on social commentary and lyricism to narrate and challenge the times we find ourselves in. Earlier this year Oakley was nominated for the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry.
Oakley added “As Worcestershire Young Poet Laureate, part of my duties is to act as a champion for poetry and inspire other young people, as well as writing poems to celebrate special events. I am delighted to accept the invitation to be part of the Droitwich arts festival”.
World Renowned Micro Artist to Speak at Droitwich ArtsFest 2017
During Droitwich ArtsFest, world renowned micro artist, Graham Short, will explain how he engraved Jane Austen onto four £5 notes that are now selling for over £40,000 each. Known as “The hands of genius” for his micro-art, Graham has appeared in television news items in 42 countries, been the subject of a Discovery Channel documentary, and in 2015 his story was told at the Annual Arts and Film Festival in Hollywood, California.
You can meet Graham when he gives his illustrated talk on Tuesday 25th July at 7.30pm in Droitwich Old Library (Droitwich Spa CVS). After the presentation the audience will be invited to “pay what you want” with a suggested contribution of £4 per person. People can pay less, but it is hoped that many will enjoy the evening so much that they pay more.
Graham Short will describe how he engraved The Lord’s Prayer on the head of a gold pin, and a portrait of HM The Queen on a speck of gold inside the eye of a needle. Graham will explain how he goes to both physical and mental extremes to produce the highest-quality engravings in the world. Graham’s desire to produce an engraving so small as to be illegible to the naked eye led him to producing The Lord’s Prayer, engraved on the head of a gold pin.
ArtsFest 2017 organiser Rhys Jones said: “I was totally amazed when Graham Short approached me offering to give a presentation during ArtsFest. The presentation will be full of amusing anecdotes of Graham’s involvement with the Royal Family, Uri Geller, Ronnie Barker, Kim Kardashian, astronaut Neil Armstrong, and other celebrities”.
Droitwich ArtsFest 2017 runs from 15th July until 5th August.
Droitwich 3rd International Open Postcard Mail Art Exhibition – Call for artists
This is a wonderful opportunity for all artists and art lovers everywhere to be involved by sending postcard artwork to be displayed, free of charge, during Droitwich ArtsFest 2017 organised by Droitwich Arts Network.
Tamara Jelaca, founder and organiser of the International Open Postcard Mail Art Exhibition said: “This annual project, now in its 3rd year, is open to all, and is an inspirational, easy and affordable way to bring art to the wider public. This Mail Art Exhibition is certainly putting Droitwich on the world art map. I have already received postcard art from around the world and I look forward to receiving further contributions”.
For conditions of entry and further information please visit: www.droitwichmailart.wordpress.com
Please remember Mail Art must be registered before the 15th June 2017 deadline by emailing submission details` to: – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail Art Postcards should be posted to – 19 Impney Way, Droitwich Spa, WR9 7EJ. United Kingdom
Open Mail Art Exhibition
Part of Droitwich ArtsFest 2017 – 15th July until 5th August- will be the 3rd International Open Mail Art exhibition themed ‘Long Live the Arts’ and we are inviting artists locally and from around the world to post their art work to us. Mail Art 2016 commemorated the 400th Shakespeare’s Anniversary and we received 90 artworks by 60 artists from 23 countries.
Tamara Jelaca, Founder and organiser of Mail Art explained: “My thinking for starting a Mail Art Exhibition was for two reasons. I always liked the idea of exchanging art and connecting with other artists and like-minded people. Secondly, it is a great way for artists from around the world to introduce their work with the opportunity to interact with the public through visual and literary expression which, from the past two Mail Art exhibitions proved such an enjoyable and useful experience.”
This exciting Mail Art exhibition will be on display in Droitwich Library from the 1st August until 30th August. Artists can use any technique and can choose paper or card size from A6 (10cm x 21cm), A5 (15cm x 21cm) or A4 (21cm x 29cm). There is no entry fee, no returns, all mail art will be exhibited and also published on the Mail Art website. Please note artwork of a racist, violent or of pornographic nature will be unacceptable. Please register your art work by email: email@example.com The deadline for entries is the 15th June 2017.
Send Mail Art to: – Droitwich Mail Art, 19 Impney Way. Droitwich Spa.WR9 7EJ
Major Sponsor for ArtsFest 2017
Droitwich ArtsFest has received a financial boost with significant sponsorship from a local business. Matt Nicol of Nicol & Co Estate Agents said: “It is part of our ethos to support local community events. I am delighted to sponsor colour leaflets, banners and other promotional items for ArtsFest 2017 which will probably be the largest arts festival ever seen in Droitwich”.
ArtsFest 2017 organiser Rhys Jones added: “The generosity of Nicol & Co will not only help us promote ArtsFest, but will help us deliver a range of artistic activities including music, dance, painting, photography, poetry, and sculpture. Most of the events will be free and many will be held in the open air. Our aim is to enable the general public to enjoy and participate in a wide range of activities”.
Droitwich ArtsFest 2017 will run from 15th July until 5th August. More publicity and information will appear over the coming months leading up to events and activities taking place in Droitwich during three weeks and four weekends.
Promotion for ArtsFest 2017 has started in Droitwich with the launch of an attractive bookmark
ArtsFest 2017 organiser Rhys Jones explained the idea: “The bookmark is to help promote Droitwich ArtsFest 2017 taking place from 15th July until 5th August. People living in and around Droitwich can pick up the free bookmark from the Library, Heritage Centre, cafes, shops and other outlets. I hope it will be used as an aid memoire to help attract local people to support this annual event for Droitwich. There will be more publicity and information over the coming months leading up to what will be a unique and fantastic event covering a range of art activities taking place in Droitwich during three weeks and four weekends”.
The bookmark has been attractively designed in orange, which is the theme colour for ArtsFest 2017, and has dates on the front with further information and website address: www.droitwichartsfest.org on the back.
Rhys said: “I’m so grateful for the generous support received from Laura Dupont and Celia Felgate of Fresh Nous, based in Droitwich High Street, who designed, produced and paid for the ArtsFest 2017 bookmark”. Responding Laura said: “We were delighted to have been asked to support ArtsFest 2017 which will be a great community event for Droitwich”.