The generous grant from the John Salmon Fund has made it possible for The Spark Festival to take place in Belgrave and Braunstone for the first time. The festival will include a weekend of professional and local arts performances, participation activities and locally produced food. Two Leicester communities, Belgrave and Braunstone, are working with Spark Arts for Children to organise the weekend event. Through this process they are learning new skills, getting to know each other better and bridging the gap between generations over 16 weeks. A ‘family theatre club’ in each area is engaging families in working together to create something to perform and display and organising stalls and catering.
The Spark Festival runs from 10-16th February 2020. For further details see https://thesparkarts.co.uk/festival/
Spark’s relationship with these two communities started in 2016 with professional artists working closely with local libraries and community centres. Families in both areas expressed interest in getting more involved with Spark as they noticed improved community cohesion and family learning. Belgrave and Braunstone have above average levels of unemployment and children living in poverty. This free/low cost event is accessible to everyone. This is particularly important for children as participation in the arts increases cognitive abilities, creativity and imagination.
The Spark Arts for Children is a children’s art organisation. Over the last few years they have developed from an annual children’s arts festival to a year-round multi-art form programme for children. The Spark gives children opportunities to immerse themselves in the arts, and spaces to discover their own skills, passions and potential, as audiences, participants and creators of their own work.