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14th February 2002
ArtSparks Makes Flying Start
ArtSparks logo

The ArtSparks Festival for Young People made an exciting start last Thursday evening, with the help of some talented Nottingham artists.

Ben Goldie reports

The ‘Paint Terrorist’, Dan Wilkinson, was on hand to demonstrate a passion and flair unique to Nottingham’s youth, with his clever combination of paint and rocket launches.

Accompanied by a breathtaking fire-eating and stilt walking performance by local performer Debbie and excellent live backing from talented band The Pesky Alligators, Dan’s inspirational artwork, to be displayed at the final event, allowed spectators to realise the broad range of arts activities happening during the next two weeks.

From skateboarding to graffiti, film to rap, all aspects of art will be featured in the revolutionary festival. The advent of the ArtSparks festival has given Nottingham’s young artistic talent a chance to showcase their work and try new forms of art at the many workshops, installations and performances all over the city.

‘The festival is part of our continuing work with young people, helping them to get involved and have fun.’

Christine Hayward,
Outreach officer

Being the first of its kind in the area, ArtSparks hopes to establish itself as a leading promoter of youth arts, and a key fixture on the arts event calendar.

Helping to host the events is the Nottingham Playhouse, well known for their work in and around the community. With schemes such as The 3rd Age Theatre and Critic’s Circle, the Playhouse has established itself as a key player in Nottingham community arts initiatives.

The Playhouse will be running a series of workshops during the festival period, under the supervision of outreach officer Christine Hayward and DJ tutor Steven ‘Fever’ Richards. Christine’s involvement with the event started a few weeks earlier, in creating a banner to promote the identity of Forest Fields Youth Club.

‘Having fun is the key thing.’
Steven ‘Fever’ Richards, DJ tutor

Youth identity is a theme of The ArtSparks Festival, which aims to encourage youth rights and involvement in all aspects of the arts.

Local youth groups Millennium Volunteers, The Youth Council and Fallen Angel Project have played a major part in the organisation and smooth running of the festival.

Christine has echoed the thoughts of all participants, commenting that, "The festival is part of our continuing work with young people, helping them to get involved and have fun."

Steven, a.k.a. Fever agrees, "Having fun is the key thing." His work over the next couple of weeks will include free workshops on DJ-ing, teaching budding DJs how to control, mix, cut and scratch on the decks, in an exciting hands-on taster session.

Fever brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the event, having produced for leading UK rap group, ‘Out Da Ville.’ The group, based in St. Anns, Nottingham, are acclaimed nation-wide, and are active supporters of community work.

Both Christine and Steven hope that this year’s ArtSparks will create the foundations for bigger and better youth opportunities in the future.

More information
Amongst the early events, young people can enjoy the black comedy "The Taming of the Shrew" for the price of a pint! Under 26s can see shows for only £2.

More details available from the playhouse website,
or by phoning 0115 947 6100.

To see a comprehensive guide to the ArtSparks festival, check out our guide,

or for full listings of events, please visitthe official ArtSparks site:
or call the ArtSparks Info Line on 0115 915 3555.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

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