Be inspired and Get Creative!

This year I want the Get Creative Festival to spread the word even further, so that everyone - no matter where they live or how old they are - has the chance to experience the joy and boost in well-being from participating in the arts.Stephen James-Yeoman
Date: 17.04.2019     Last updated: 17.04.2019 at 10.36
The Get Creative Festival, the UK-wide celebration of have-a-go creativity, is back from 11-19 May 2019, aiming to give everyone in the UK the chance to Get Creative.
  • Get Creative Festival 2019 is on track to be a record-breaking year as arts organisations and community groups are preparing for the nine day celebration of arts, crafts and creativity
  • An interactive map - at getcreativeuk.com - has gone live listing hands-on events around the UK, most of them free: from dance to DJing, painting to pottery, knitting to needlecraft
  • New for 2019, the Feel Good Test will give participants advice on how to unlock their creative potential and using specially-commissioned research will reveal why getting creative is good for our wellbeing
  • For the first time, the Get Creative Festival will be partnering with four other festivals that celebrate creativity in later life - Age of Creativity (England), Bealtaine (Ireland), Gwanwyn (Wales) and Luminate (Scotland)
  • The Crafts Council’s Hey Clay! returns giving people the chance to have a go at pottery through taster sessions and workshops at more than 120 venues
  • Micro-grants being made available to voluntary, amateur and community-based groups in Wales to help stage events
  • The BBC’s networks and stations across the UK will be covering Get Creative Festival highlights

From Lowestoft in the east to St David’s in the west, the Isle of Mull to the Isle of Dogs, Portsmouth to Belfast - hundreds of participatory events are being held in town halls, libraries, studios and leisure centres - all of the events are either free or have a small cost. Highlights include:

  • Using yoga to improve creative writing skills in Harrogate
  • Trying your hand - and arms - at extreme knitting in Whitland
  • Using DJing in Doncaster to combat the effects of stress and loneliness
  • Find your inner-Strictly with free Argentine Tango taster sessions in Belfast
  • Take part in the visually magical technique of Raku firing in Dunoon

The annual Festival - now in its fourth year - shines a light on all the innovative and inspiring cultural activity across the UK; it is delivered in partnership with 64 Million Artists, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, the BBC, Crafts Council, Creative People and Places, Creative Scotland, Family Arts Campaign, Local Government Association, Libraries Connected, Scottish Library & Information Council, Voluntary Arts and What Next?

New for 2019, BBC Radio 3's New Generation Thinker and University College London Senior Research Fellow, Dr Daisy Fancourt - in partnership with UCL and The Open University - will reveal for the first time why getting creative is good for us using results from the biggest study of its kind. The Get Creative Feel Good Test will give participants a ‘feel good formula’ to re-boot their creative habits - maximising the potential for each individual to improve wellbeing. The Open University has developed a new website with the BBC to run the study and give personal recommendations. This unique test will launch in early May ahead of the Get Creative Festival and will be found at bbc.co.uk/getcreative

For the first time this year, Get Creative Festival will also be partnering with four festivals that celebrate creativity in later life - Age of Creativity (England), Bealtaine (Ireland), Gwanwyn (Wales) and Luminate (Scotland).

The BBC’s networks across the UK will be covering the highlights of the Get Creative Festival. Presenters will be talking to those involved, telling listeners how they can get involved in events, workshops and classes near to them.

BBC News’ Big Picture gallery will be marking the Get Creative Festival week with a special themed gallery inspired by taking part in creativity and wellbeing. Audiences can join in by sending their photographs inspired by the theme to england@bbc.co.uk or via social media using the tags #GetCreativeFestival and #BBCEngland and the gallery will publish a picture a day from those that have been submitted.

Last year’s Festival in March 2018 saw more than 1,400 events across the UK and this year the hope is to encourage even more people to try their hand at something new and creative.

Voluntary Arts Wales, supported by Arts Council Wales, is offering is offering micro-grants to voluntary, amateur and community-based groups in Wales to help put on participatory events while Libraries Connected and the Scottish Libraries and Information Council are again encouraging libraries to host events as part of the festival, building on last year’s success where more than half of Get Creative events were held in libraries.

Find the Get Creative Festival map at getcreativeuk.com for a list of hundreds of hands-on arts and cultural events already on offer.

Stephen James-Yeoman, Editor, Digital Development and Innovation, BBC Arts, says: “Last year’s Get Creative Festival was a huge success with more than 1400 events across the UK. This year I want the Get Creative Festival to spread the word even further, so that everyone - no matter where they live or how old they are - has the chance to experience the joy and boost in well-being from participating in the arts. New this year is the Feel Good Test which will offer the ‘feel good formula’ - a guide to making creativity work for you. I’m thrilled that the BBC is able to play its part in encouraging creativity and well-being across the UK.”

Robin Simpson, Chief Executive, Voluntary Arts, says: "For millions of people across the UK, taking part in creative cultural activities is an essential part of our everyday lives. This encompasses everything from traditional amateur arts and crafts such as singing, dancing, drama, quilting, painting and writing, to digital arts and creative cookery and gardening - from knitting a jumper to playing the guitar, making a short film to arranging flowers. Creative cultural pursuits bring people together, teach them new skills, boost confidence and bring about a sense of achievement, identity and place. Get Creative Festival recognises the huge contribution that creative cultural activity makes to people’s wellbeing - and the wellbeing of communities - and encourages everyone to explore, rediscover and celebrate their own creativity. I urge you to have a go, get involved and get creative!"

Rosy Greenlees OBE, Executive Director of Crafts Council, says: “Get Creative is such an important festival and the Crafts Council is delighted to be part of what has become a really important annual event. Taking part in creative activities is good for the soul and everyone should have the chance to have a go. The variety of partners means that there really is an activity for everyone (for the budding potters there’s our own Hey Clay! workshops across the UK) and they are a great example of local activity created for local people so we hope people step out of their comfort zone and try something new.”

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