Arts Award Festival Investments Programme: Readipop Festival
Date Created: 28th Nov 2016
Each July, Readipop runs a three-day, family friendly arts festival in Reading on the banks of the River Thames. This year, a grant from Artswork gave us the opportunity to run an extensive Arts Award project with local primary schools in the run up to Readipop Festival and to incorporate Arts Award into our festival. We were able to offer ukulele, music technology and Samba workshops, Samba was especially popular with the young people because they were all really excited about the Rio Olympics. Young people really enjoyed the workshops and teachers were impressed with the way samba playing encouraged transferable skills like teamwork.
At the festival, we created a special booklet designed to guide participants around the festival and to give them everything they needed to achieve their Arts Award. Our design reflected the layout of the festival site; making it easy for the young people to navigate all the activities on offer and engage with local artists. This was a really effective way of introducing the young people to accessible arts-based career paths.
The project enabled us to develop better links with our local primary schools and was a great way to bring our work to a wide range of young people in the local community. Making Arts Award part of the festival provided a structure for young people to engage with art, encouraging them to identify multiple disciplines. Arts Award also helped participants to broaden their definition of what constitutes art; children and young people were able to take part in a variety of arts activity (including musical workshops, performance art and theatre) and to recognise that all of these form part of a wider definition of arts practice. One young person told us: “I have enjoyed learning that art doesn’t always mean drawing”.
Making Arts Award part of our festival benefitted artists, project participants and the event as a whole. 248 young people gained Arts Awards as a direct result of the project, exceeding our target by almost 100. At Readipop Festival we provide access to a range of artistic practices, including music, theatre and craft. The Arts Award structure helped attendees engage with these activities in a new and meaningful way.
Artswork supported Readipop through its Arts Award Festival Investments Programme.