Laced Words, Arabel Rosillo de Blas and Kathy Hinde, light and sound animation, Almanac Festival, Frbruary 2013
Photography Darren Marsh
We’re now less than 10 days away from the launch of our Almanac Festival, so it seems a good time to share some of the reasons why we’ve been working so hard to make it happen.
First and foremost, it’s an opportunity, during a traditionally quiet time of year, for the whole town to have fun and experience great art.
We know that we bring something new and different to the cultural landscape of Bedford – last year’s projects like Lace in Place and Concerto Magnificent: An Anthology of All Things have shown that. What we hope Almanac Festival will do is bring together a critical mass of experiences all in one weekend – a culmination point for all of Bedford to celebrate their creativity.
We’ve been saying that this festival is “Made in Bedford”, but more than that, everything you see and experience would not have been possible without the unique contributions of all the local people who’ve been involved in our projects throughout the year. If you or someone you know hasn’t been involved, it’s very likely that a neighbour or friend of a friend will have been.
Maybe they’re part of the 50-strong Bedford Community Choir, formed to rehearse and perform Johnny Parry’s Concerto Magnificent, and now carrying on under their own steam with lots of interesting musical projects lined up. Maybe you yourself were one of the hundreds of local people who contributed a word or phrase online, when Johnny was writing the lyrics last summer.
Maybe you know a High Street shopkeeper, who has been working with artist Bettina Furnee on a new work of public art – a portrait of the High Street, on the High Street – commissioned by the Bedford Portas Pilot Town Team in partnership with us.
Maybe you’ll see someone you know in our Made in Bedford Film Night – films showing how we’ve been making art happen with you in Bedford for over 25 years.
Maybe just down the road from you lives one of a small team of performers who spent last autumn experimenting with strange sounds and electronic devices for Kathy Hinde’s Vocal Migrations interactive installation.
As BCA CEO Dawn wrote in her article for one of our local papers late last year, “the value of bringing art and artists into public spaces isn’t about creating more monuments, but about creating moments – moments in which we can enjoy aspects of our town and share in a lively conversation about it.”
For us, these moments are all the more powerful when there’s a sense that a whole town has come together to make it happen, and that’s what we hope Almanac will feel like. We’re not just giving you a passive experience of art made by distant artists, we’re giving you the results of extraordinary feats of collaboration – art made by you, your friends and your neighbours.
We’re really excited to have announced the full programme for our Almanac Festival – a weekend of art made in Bedford, 22 – 24 February 2013, fueled by unique contributions from those who have taken part in our projects; you, your friends and your neighbours.
Here’s a few photos to give a flavour of the festival (from top left):
- Aaron Head’s Tour of Failure – part of Cafe Almanac at Studio Club, Saturday 23rd Feb
- Andre Stitt’s The Bedford Project – part of Almanac Film Night: Made in Bedford at The Pad, Saturday 23rd Feb
- Infinite29 video installation inspired by lacemaker’s lanterns at 82 High Street, all weekend
- Vocal Migrations by Kathy Hinde at St Cuthbert’s Hall, Sunday 24th Feb
- Johnny Parry’s Concerto Magnificent: An Anthology of All Things at St Cuthbert’s Hall, Sunday 24th Feb