Sunday, 16 May 2021

Dreams is theme of next youth festival

Dreams is theme of next youth festival

DREAMS will be the theme of next year’s Henley Youth Festival.

This was inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and there will be a number of related events when the 26th annual festival takes place from March 4 to 17.

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.

Jo Dickson, who co-chairs the event, said the theme was intended to fuel creativity and spark the imaginations of those taking part.

She said: “It enables us to forge a stronger link to the school curriculum, for instance through Young Shakespeare workshops, which are always popular.

“This is where the festival plays an important role in the local community — the workshops both reinforce school work and give our children new experiences they may not otherwise encounter.”

The programme will include a run, sponsored by the Henley Standard, a 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.

Festival organisers have been liaising with schools, recruiting new sponsors and booking venues and professional workshop providers.

Co-chair Kate Swinburne-Johnson said: “We are always looking for new opportunities to further our reach to the young people of Henley, especially those at secondary school.

“It’s early days but one example is a link with business people in Henley — we are already in discussion with one local business to offer experience days and hope more will follow suit.”

The festival will be supported by volunteers from the Arts Society Henley helping to deliver some workshops and students from The Henley College reading to younger children as part of a storytelling course module.

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 Henley Youth Festival 2019 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or

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