Theatre in Wales

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THE NATIONAL 2014 FAMILY ARTS FESTIVAL WILL BRING THE ARTS ALIVE FOR FAMILIES IN WALES AND ACROSS THE UK     

THE NATIONAL 2014 FAMILY ARTS FESTIVAL WILL BRING THE ARTS ALIVE FOR FAMILIES IN WALES AND ACROSS THE UK Following on from the huge success of the 2013 national Family Arts Festival in which over 500,000 people took part across Wales and the UK, the 2014 Family Arts Festival will run its second year from 17 October to 2 November with best selling author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo announced as patron.

The 2014 Festival will bring a variety of quality family arts events, many of them free, across Wales and the whole of the UK both for residents and for visitors. The Family Arts Festival aims to increase the amount and range of high quality arts available across the country to families and was established to foster a lifelong interest and passion for the arts.

The festival was launched in 2013 as part of the Family Arts Campaign, an initiative of six national arts membership bodies and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England; with activity in Wales being supported by Arts Council Wales.

Nick Capaldi, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Wales said:
“The Family Arts Campaign provides a welcome focus on the many exciting opportunities that the arts in Wales has to offer families and young people. Encouraging people of all ages to enjoy and take part in the arts is a fundamental part of our work. And whether you’re a member of the audience or the organisation presenting the event, bigger audiences for excellent events benefits us all. So we’re delighted to support a festival that brings together a programme of events that are not only fun for the whole family, but which introduce them to innovative, inspiring and engaging arts.”

The Family Arts Festival 2014 planned to take place during the autumn half-term holiday, will include over 2,000 events throughout Wales and the UK. A variety of quality arts events will be available to families of all ages, including circus, dance, literature, music, theatre and visual arts. BBC National Orchestra of Wales, National Youth Orchestra of Wales, Artes Mundi 6 and Literature Wales are just some of the organizations to plan activity for festival events in Wales.

Michael Morpurgo, former Children’s Laureate and bestselling author of War Horse which is currently being performed at Wales Millennium Centre comments on his new role as Patron of the Festival:

“I am delighted to be Patron of the 2014 Family Arts Festival. The enormous range of events presented across the UK means there will be something to delight, and share with, all members of the family across the generations.

“Many of my books have become plays, opera and ballet and so I have been able to see first-hand how live, cultural experiences can transform, transport and delight; opening up the imagination to a lifelong interest in the arts.

“I encourage families to make a day - or a week - of exploring the fun, interesting and entertaining events in your area this autumn half term.”

An exciting variety of innovative and interactive events for all the family have already been confirmed. Events already planned in Wales include Developing Dylan led by Literature Wales. Part of the official Dylan Thomas 100 Festival celebrations and supported by the Department for Education and Skills, Developing Dylan will use the magic of Dylan Thomas’s words to inspire the young people of Wales.

Artes Mundi the internationally focused arts organization and biennial exhibition will have a team of Live Guides on hand to support families in interpreting the work during the Artes Mundi 6 exhibition as well as Big Draw events during the opening where families will be invited to explore different drawing techniques and contribute to an exciting collaborative artwork that responds to the Artes Mundi 6 Exhibition.

BBC National Orchestra of Wales and National Youth Orchestra of Wales will also join forces for a Halloween Spooktacular Family Concert. The concert will feature music full of eerie classics written by composers including Saint-Saëns, Dukas, Grieg and John Williams and a variety of pre-concert family activities.

Last year, 928 arts organisations across the UK took part in the Festival and achieved audience figures well in excess of 500,000 across the two weeks of activities, with arts organisations reporting an increased interest and on-going attendance by families.

Kathryn McDowell CBE, Family Arts Campaign Chair, said: “Building on last year’s success we are delighted to present an even more varied and diverse programme at the second Family Arts Festival. We hope to engage families across the UK with the wealth of high quality arts programming which truly offers something for everyone. From music and dance, to painting and theatre, the wide range of arts events on offer through the Festival is designed to welcome and inspire family groups of all ages and backgrounds. ”


David Brownlee, Family Arts Campaign Director and Executive Director of UK Theatre, said: “So far the Campaign has done a great job in helping arts organisations focus on the practical needs of families and we are delighted to see so many organisations signing up to the Family Arts Standards. I hope that the quality and diversity of the artistic offer in this year’s Festival will inspire organisations to devise more innovative and creative programming for adults and children to enjoy together throughout the year.”

Family Arts Festival event listings are now live on www.familyartsfestival.com where families can search for events in their area and by genre, age-range and interest with new events being uploaded daily, with the full programme available from September onwards.
 
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