Festival will span heritage and art

PLANS for a major new arts festival for Great Yarmouth are progressing apace with a full programme of events taking shape.

The Great Yarmouth Arts Festival will be held in the first three weeks of September and will coincide with other popular events such as the Maritime and Out There festivals.

Many events will be held in Great Yarmouth Minster but other venues throughout the town will be used.

Hugh Sturzaker, chairman of the event, said the festival is grateful for financial support from chief sponsor Gardline and Norfolk County Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council through Seachange Arts and the Mason Trust.

But further sponsorship is needed and Mr Sturzaker has appealed for any businesses or firms who might be able to help to come forward. He is also appealing for volunteers to help with organising the event.

He is keen for people to submit work for an art exhibition at the Minster on the theme of energy and industry, reuse and regeneration.

“It could be a painting, photography, materials, glass, light show or sculpture,” he said.

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“The work will be judged by two top artists. The artists will be able to sell their work if they wish. We are looking for people to submit their entries, with people expressing their interest by the end of July.”

Mr Sturzaker said schools might like to consider submitting works, along with groups and individuals.

He said that leaflets and emails would be sent out soon telling people how to apply.

The working title for the festival is “Span” – spanning design and construction, spanning generations, and spanning heritage and modern art.

Mr Sturzaker said it is hoped the event will help increase a sense of pride in the town and boost the local economy. “The aims of the festival are to encourage the local population, particularly the young, and its visitors to become involved in art in all its forms and to celebrate Great Yarmouth’s ability and ambition to regenerate, reuse and rejuvenate,” he said.

“The key themes will be industry and energy with a special focus on renewable and sustainable aspects and emphasising the importance of good design.

“We want to increase a sense of pride in the town and to help the integration of the newer immigrants into the community.”

There will be five sections to the festival: visual arts; music; poetry and literature; theatre and dance and film.

These will be presented in an open submission art exhibition, a series of exhibitions by community groups, concerts and recitals, talks and debates, workshops and a heritage trail. There will also be a talk and roadshow on conserving pictures, books, films and other materials.

To help with sponsorship or to volunteer contact Mr Sturzaker at hugh@sturzaker.plus.com