Artsfest 2018 returns to St Paul’s Church on Hills Road from 26 – 31 March, celebrating creativity and culture with events and activities for all ages throughout the week, based around the theme of “Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained”.
The Festival has been organised by Martin and Julia Evans with Kip and Jane Gresham. They’re building on the foundations of the very successful inaugural Artsfest held in 2016 and they firmly believe that people can flourish when they have the chance to be creative.
There’s a packed schedule through the week, whether you want to be hands on or prefer to watch and listen. Daytime workshops for adults include printmaking, creative writing, drawing and painting and there’s a daily after school art workshop for children while a drop in embroidery group will stitch through each day. Anyone can share in the daily lunchtime and evening meals; indeed, the cafe is at the heart of the Festival, offering a place for everyone to meet, talk and share experiences.
A range of talks includes print maker Kip Gresham who will look at the way artists make their work and Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and now Master of Magdalene College, who will explore the theme of hope and loss through poetry.
Evening events include a performance from local performing arts college Bodywork Company Cambridge, a jazz concert and the world premiere of an opera based on John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” with leading counter tenor Lawrence Zazzo. On the final day of the Festival, there’ll be a Scratch “Messiah” in which everybody is welcome to take part, whether as a singer, an orchestra musician or an audience member.
St Paul’s is an Anglican church and community centre. Its motto is “All are welcome, all are safe” and its doors are open every day to welcome everybody, whether they have a faith or not. “We want to bring people together,” Martin tells me, “and we believe that in creating a positive community we can help to combat the loneliness felt by so many.” Around two thousand people use the building each week, either to attend the daily service, to join in with one of the many classes (think yoga, lindy hop, salsa and more) or simply to sit quietly in the foyer.
You’ll find full details of all the Artsfest 2018 events on their website. Most workshops and all the exhibitions, talks and lunchtime concerts are free, although voluntary donations are always welcome. Evening events cost £7.50 per head. For logistical purposes, workshop places need to be booked in advance through the website. Finally, please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to get involved as a volunteer and help to run this wonderful celebration of culture and creativity.
Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 1JP