February 2013 – February 2016
Febfest is a programme for all ages, gender, background and abilities – the full specrum of our local community and surrounding areas. It is a programme specifically designed to encourage, stimulate and give opportunities that aren’t, by the norm, obtainable… an event that always tries to offer something new and give a platform for new works that are designed and developed by local professional artists as well as our young people, whether it be for the three-week art exhibition, integral to the festival, or for performance based, theatre based or music based premieres.
Between 12 and 24 artists have been employed each year with over 15 volunteers supporting the programme. A growing number of local schools and colleges take part, with 2015 alone seeing 3240 young people take part, either in the schools exhibition or public performances. Community Groups are also actively involved in the festival with approximately 120 participants yearly. Workshops and programmed events are open to the public, seeing over 250 and 750 participants respectively, with participant ages ranging from 4 to 94. Annual budgets have ranged from £14k to £25k giving a high engagement rate per pound spent. We have also developed collaborative partnerships, including a creative partnership with Durham University’s Palace Green Library.
This festival could not happen without its partners, in particular the venues that so kindly offer their premises each year. These venues are a key to the half-term workshops and the events that are programmed over the three-week event.
We’ve had a break in 2017 from delivering this festival but look out for what’s to come in 2018…
“This is an activity that inspires as well as aspires those that take part. It offers a programme of events that goes some way in assisting the rejuvenation of an area and its community – making a real difference to a socially and economically deprived community such as ours.”
“The festival has grown in both scope and popularity since its conception. The wide variety of events enables all the different sections of the community to participate. The programming is well thought out ensuring new experiences are on offer in each consecutive year.”
Woodhouse Close Library, Durham County Council
“A Festival such as this lifts people’s spirits and makes lives better.”
The Right Revd Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham 2003 – 2010
“In increasingly difficult times ‘the arts’ bring colour and joy into people’s lives, which in turn fosters a sense of wellbeing. Febfest has been vital in that process as it involves people of all ages and backgrounds, it may be to try something new or just to visit a gallery to see a grandchild’s work or to see a performance something they may never have done before. From a personal point of view I feel it brings a whole new audience into the Town Hall who previously may have thought it wasn’t the place for them to be.”
Janet Strong, Bishop Auckland Town Hall
Funders: Scotto Charitable Trust, DCC Neighbourhood Budget Funding: Cllr. John Lethbridge and Cllr. June Lee, Bishop Auckland Town Council and NAFAS
Supported by Auckland Castle Trust, Auckland Youth & Community Centre, Bishop Auckland Town Hall, St. Mary’s RC Church, Woodhouse Close Church, Woodhouse Close Library