Shrewsbury Folk Festival announces £150,000 music programme

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Shrewsbury Folk Festival has revealed plans for a £150,000 project that will include bringing world dance and music to Shropshire schools.

The festival will develop and run a two-year programme of activities for musicians, dancers, schoolchildren and communities across Shropshire under the umbrella of its new All Together Now initiative. Shrewsbury Folk Festival has revealed plans for a £150,000 project that will include bringing world dance and music to Shropshire schools. The festival will develop and run a two-year programme of activities for musicians, dancers, schoolchildren and communities across Shropshire under the umbrella of its new All Together Now initiative. The project received an £86,410 investment from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, a £5,000 Arts Development award from Shropshire Council, and £2,000 from Shrewsbury Town Council. The festival will meet the remaining cost.

All Together Now will include an outreach programme taking creative world dance and music into Shropshire schools, dance schools and other community places; new music and dance commissions; a music outreach programme taking artists into rural primary and secondary schools that will lead to a showcase festival performance; running the Shropshire Youth Folk Ensemble for gifted and skilled young musicians with Shropshire Music Service; music workshop weekends offering master classes from professional musicians; and additional music workshops and world artists on the festival programme.

Festival Director Alan Surtees said: “All Together Now is a very diverse programme of activity that will bring more and different world music and dance to our audience. It is a great opportunity to bring highly enjoyable and talented musicians and dancers to our county. “We are over the moon to have secured such a high level of funding to deliver this programme in Shropshire. The project will particularly engage younger audiences and this will ensure traditions continue to be passed from generation to generation.”

The festival will be working with partners including The Hive arts centre in Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury based Micro Video which broadcasts the festival live each year, local schools via Shropshire Council, dance schools, the Help Musicians fund, the British Council and the English Folk Dance and Song Society to deliver the programme.

Project Manager Joy Lamont said: “We developed All Together Now following the huge success of our Global Dance Project a couple of years ago that showed there was a real passion among our audience for culturally diverse programming.

“As well as skill building workshops and showcasing of local talent, there will be valuable opportunities for professional musicians and dancers to enhance their skills.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “We want everyone to have the opportunity to enjoy the arts and we’re delighted to be investing in Shrewsbury Folk Festival’s latest plans. It will be fantastic to see All Together Now bring a rich mix of music and dance from around the world to Shropshire, as well as support local musicians and performers to develop their talents.”

This year’s festival line up includes world music duo Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Folk Nations – a British Council musical collaboration featuring British and South Asian artists, a dance extravaganza called Good Vibrations that will bring together percussive dance styles from across the globe, and a new commission Jig Doll from top clog dancer Hannah James.

Published on 29 June 2015 by Ben Robinson

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