Arts festival organisers say 'Do It Yourself' at conference

As if one new arts festival wasn’t enough, the organisers of the Made In Worthing festival are helping others set up their own festivals in 2010.

Artistic director Dan Thompson (pictured) will lead a ‘pocket conference’ which will look at why festivals are important for the community, how to set up an event, finding funding, getting publicity and practical matters like using empty shops as venues.

As well as being useful for people considering setting up a new event, the day will be good for those organising an existing event who want to add the ‘wow’ factor, find more partners for their work, or do more for their budget.

 Made In Worthing has been put together in a year, after Dan and fellow director Glenda Harkess decided their hometown needed a festival dedicated to cutting-edge contemporary arts. The pair had previously worked together at the Connaught Theatre, and on events for the Artists & Makers Festival and the Arundel Festival.

Made In Worthing include contemporary theatre, edgy poetry, music workshops, temporary public art, work by children and a showcase evening for local makers. There is also a series of ‘interventions’ around the town, including temporary public art at Splash Point, giving away free artwork, and ‘pop-up poets’ who will perform unannounced sets in local cafes.

‘Worthing has the opportunity to reinvent itself in coming years, and the creative industries are a growing sector,’ says Dan, ‘they currently contribute about the same amount as the financial sector to the UK economy. Festivals are a vital showcase for Worthing’s creative businesses and cultural entreprenuers and we hope to see more in 2010.’

The ‘Do It Yourself’ conference takes place from 2-5pm at the Heene Gallery, Heene Road, Worthing on Friday 18th September. Tickets cost £10.

The Made In Worthing festival is organised by the Revolutionary Arts Group and Theatre Akimbo, and is supported by Worthing Arts Council and local businesses. 

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