Saturday, 08 May 2021

Volunteers to run art workshops at schools during youth festival

Volunteers to run art workshops at schools during youth festival

SEVENTEEN members of the Henley branch of the Arts Society will help deliver workshops at this year’s Henley Youth Festival.

The volunteers will use their expertise to run the school sessions which are designed to complement the curriculum with sculpture, animation, screen printing, batik and 3D modelling among other disciplines.

At last year’s festival, the society supported 23 workshops in 11 schools, featuring 762 children and involving 58 hours of creativity. The children created 80 screen-printed T-shirts, 110 giant cupcakes, 90 lanterns, nearly 200 puppets and many metres of bunting.

Liz Jarvis, of the Arts Society Henley, which runs the young arts programme, said: “It was a joy to see the children having so much fun while having their creativity stretched.

“Our volunteers fund-raise and give grants to arts projects for children in the local area.

“They are passionate about the benefits that creativity and arts education can bring to children in early life and adolescence and are now directly involved in helping to deliver the school workshops.

“The Arts Society Henley is extremely grateful to many of its members and friends who gave so much of their time to help at these workshops.”

Alison Flower, arts co-ordinator for the festival, said: “We had 14 society members help in the school art workshops during the 2018 festival. I don’t think any other sponsor provides this level of volunteer support — their experience goes a long way to making this a special experience for young artists in Henley.

“The society enables us to cover the costs of materials and other overheads associated with running the art workshops. Its continued support for the Henley Youth Festival means we do not have to scale back our art programme.

“Together we have enjoyed a growth in the success of our art workshops which would not have been possible without the direct involvement of their volunteers.”

The 26th annual festival will take place from March 4 to 17. The theme is “Dreams”, which was inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and there will be several related events.

There will be performing arts showcases, sports and arts workshops and competitions for art, writing, film and photography. Artists, drama groups and sports coaches will give demonstrations in schools.

The festival is open to all young people aged between four and 18 who are either at school or live in the Henley area.

The programme will include a run, sponsored by the Henley Standard, Gig Night at Lovibonds Brewery and the Junior Proms at Rupert House School. Proms, Entertain, Sing and Dance evenings will take place at the Kenton Theatre in New Street. The Young Reporter competition, which is run in conjunction with the Henley Standard, will return and there will be opportunities for young people to get involved in running the festival itself.

For more information, visit or see Henley Youth Festival 2019 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The Arts Society is a leading arts education charity with a global network of 385 local societies, which bring people together through a shared curiosity for the arts.

For more information, visit

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