Young people strive to stage festival

A Coalfields Regeneration Trust grant is helping to train young people from Amber Valley for a Bronze Arts Award and build up their employability and skills.

After the initial training led by artist Sally Lemsford on behalf of Platform Thirty1 (a cultural educational partnership for the region), the young people, will use their learning to stage a new arts festival in Alfreton in October.

Through COAL – Creative Opportunities for Aspiring Leaders – the young people are learning about finding suitable venues, how to commission artists, working out budgets, creating a marketing strategy and valuing their own different skills as volunteers. They have been meeting local arts professionals, including fibre artist Bev Moss, film-maker Martin Blackham, Alfreton potter Dave Wadsworth, wordsmith Dave Wood and illustrater Bob Moulder to see how they work.

They are pictured above with Martin from Creative Forum, based in Tibshelf, developing a short promotional film for the festival.

The result? Young people confident to create a wide programme of many different art forms, workshops, exhibitions and performances, taking the old into the new. As trainee festival producer Billy Holt says ‘ The Festival is going to be a fun, exciting and diverse cultural event for all ages.’ It’s still in the planning stage but is sure to be worth putting in your diary.