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New arts festival to come to South Cumbria

Published on: Tuesday 29th September 2015
Categorised under: Live, Play , Culture, Lake District

A new arts festival is set to hit the Lake District next summer.

After taking a break from Mintfest this year, Lakes Alive joined forces with the Lake District National Park to create a new showstopper as successor to Mintfest.

The Arts Council has awarded £170,000 towards the cost alongside £25,000 from South Lakeland District Council and £20,000 from the Lake District National Park, who will co-ordinate the festival.

Talks are taking place with other funders and partners to make sure the new festival builds on the success of Mintfest.

Sarah Allen, a creative director with more than 10 years’ experience delivering artistic programmes and festivals across the UK, has been appointed as festival director to commission internationally and nationally acclaimed artists.

The festival will include a spectacular programme celebrating people’s obsession with flight through the ages by utilising cutting-edge digital art, street theatre and visual arts at Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, Windermere and Kendal town centre.

Ms Allen said: “I am thrilled to be working on such an exciting project and in one of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes.

"I’m looking forward to embracing an inventive approach to festival experience in both familiar and new spaces around the Lakes.

"The festival will have a digital and participatory emphasis enabling people to explore and be part of this stunning landscape in a way they never have before.”

She continued: “Lakes Alive is widely regarded as a national lead in outdoor arts and played a significant role during London 2012.

"Outdoor and street arts will continue to play an important role as we build on its fantastic legacy.

"We look forward to developing our valued partnerships, to diversifying audiences, embracing high quality art in all of its forms.

"Next steps are to build the programme and find a name for this new edition to the festival scene.”

The new festival launches in July 2016, opening with a large-scale site commission at Brockhole, by international artist Geraldine Pilgrim.

Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park, said: “The Lake District has long been a source of artistic inspiration and this is one of the central themes of the bid for World Heritage status in 2016.

"It is exciting to be involved in the succession of Mintfest, which was a truly world class event.

"The opportunity to bring a new, digital arts festival to the area will help to firmly establish the Lake District as a modern, cultural destination.”

South Lakeland District Council’s Culture, Arts and Events Portfolio Holder, Cllr Chris Hogg said: “We welcome the investment by Arts Council England into the district and their support for the arts in the area.

“We look forward to working with the new creative director on this exciting new festival, which will build on the success of Mintfest and have Kendal very much at its heart."

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