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

Droitwich ArtsFest starts on Saturday 30th June 2018 and finishes on Saturday 28th July 2018.



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

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

London 1717

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.

Droitwich 20.

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

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:

Please remember Mail Art must be registered before the 15th June 2017 deadline by emailing submission details` to: –

 Mail Art Postcards should be posted to19 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: 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

Matt Nicol of Nicol and Co with Rhys Jones, Organiser of ArtsFest.

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

Laura DuPont of Fresh Nous, Rhys Jones, and Georgia Williams of Fresh Nous (bookmark designer)

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: 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”.


During January 2017 we will be distributing these bookmarks to inform people of the dates of Droitwich ArtsFest 2017.

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

Droitwich ArtsFest starts on Saturday 15th July and finishes on Saturday 5th August 2017.