International Women’s Day is a good time to look how this year’s Gap Festival is celebrating the role of women in the Arts. We hope we’ve created a platform where female artists play a major part and demonstrate so many success stories.
Our music strand is headlined by soul supremo Mica Paris who has not only conquered the world of music but is also well known for her work on TV, radio and the stage – a truly multi-talented woman!
Val McDermid is widely regarded as the queen of crime fiction. She’s proved her equality throughout her career, starting out as one of the youngest undergraduates at St Hilda’s college Oxford and has been vocal in her support of women’s rights.
Harriet Braine, winner of Funny Women Awards 2016 is a great example of an area of entertainment where women have really taken the high ground (think of all those fabulous female comedians - – Victoria Wood, Jennifer Saunders, Jo Brand, Isy Suttie. Miranda Hart …. the list goes on).
And of course, we have a wonderful female a Capella group with Papagena to celebrate the female voice.
Our Arts programme is strongly represented by local female artists, from Sarah Rushbrooke’s ceramics, Mandy Monkcom’s pastel portraits & Chris Scoby-Smith’s mixed media collages to Merete Hawkin’s textiles.
As 2018 is the centenary of (some) women being granted the vote, we’re delighted to have an illustrated talk from Janet Hurst on some of the unsung heroines of WW1 who helped take the right to vote forward.
And last, but not least, so many of the volunteers behind the scene at the festival are women, from Artistic Director Heather to those leading the teams behind social media, marketing, programme development, health & safety and more. We’re making it happen! #PressforProgress #vote100
The Festival team are working hard to come up with a spectacular four days of fun. Here’s a taster of what we are planning to bring you:
Opera ... A dance with a big band ... A queen of crime fiction discussing her work.
Gardening will feature because gardening is an art and a celebrity garden designer will give us insight into designing a stunning garden.
There’ll be an Art Trail with local artists opening their studios and a visual arts exhibition to include textile art for the first time.
Of course there will be music including a very special woodwind concert for children and babies.
Poetry and drama will also feature we're planning a fabulous Family Day for Festival Sunday.
There will be much, much more going on around the villages from 9th June onward so look out for details of workshops and children's events – more ideas are being investigated and more events will be generated as we approach the Festival, so watch this space!
I aim to build on the success of the past two Festivals and, with help from the rest of the team, ensure that 2018 will be another wonderful time full of entertainment and celebration.
Work on the 2018 Festival programme is underway and I can tell you that there will be something for everyone of all ages - great music, inspirational speakers, comedy, new things to try out in a range of workshops, family fun and some unexpected sights around the village. I hope you will find yourself spoilt for choice!
You’ll already have seen the first of our Festival ExtrA! events, an evening with Simon Evans. We’re planning more of these during the year so you don’t have to wait until 2018 to get into the Festival spirit!
As you may know, the Festival is run entirely by volunteers – from the governing board to those who help on the day. Without these generous, community-spirited people the Festival wouldn’t be possible. If you can help in any way, please get in touch. We need people right now to help us in the planning stages. Have a look at our Volunteers Page and get in touch if you’d like to get involved!
I look forward to meeting you.