Whitley Arts Festival starts with cash boostBy Anna Roberts
July 01, 2009
It was smiles all round at the launch of Whitley Arts Festival which was recently given a £5,000 boost.
Festival organiser Ed Harcourt, from West Reading, revealed the surprise news the Arts Council had provided the cash to fund this year’s festival at its launch event at Reading Museum last Wednesday.
The Arts Festival’s launch was held in Reading Museum and included a reading of a poem by Maiden Erlegh School pupil Michelle Mzari – an example of performances held during the festival.
Miss Mzari, of Whitley Wood Road, Whitley, got involved in the festival last year and is a keen poet.
The 17-year-old said: “I would definitely urge other people to get involved.
“It has something for everyone – drama, poetry, music, singing and dancing.
“I was nervous when I was reading out my poem and I forgot my words.”
Anthony Charles, from West Reading, is also involved in the event through the group Chants, which helps young people get into music and music production.
He said: “It is great working with young people.
“There is a lot of talent in Whitley and we think people there are interested in music production – we want them to take part.”
The Whitley Arts Festival will take place across South Reading during October’s half term and will include drama workshops and poetry readings.
Mr Harcourt said he wanted this year’s event to be bigger and better than ever.
He said: “It is really, really good we have been awarded this money from the Arts Council.
“I want to encourage anyone in South Reading who is interested in the arts to introduce themselves to me.
“We want the community to take part. I know there is a lot of talent in Whitley and the festival is an opportunity for people to show us what they can do.”
This year the festival has established links with The University of Reading where students from the university will be leading drama workshops and showing off their skills.
Anyone who would like to take part should email email@example.com