Sady the local press either did not see any point in publicising a rural event or are not interested in the arts as we had just 2 mentions in the Sussex Express in April and May - the events were in July. They were sent many press releases with the option to report on the event from many different angles and told of all of the photo opportunities: The french link with Ponches Estruval (an arts exchange being formed between Arlington and Ponches estruval in Picardy following a 'twinning' of parishes through interreg funding a few years back); the number of visitors brought into the area (The arlington events alone attracted over 500 people over the weekend) and visitng other local attractions and businesses; the participation of Cuckmere community Bus; the forging of a wider community with the coming together of the five parishes and the United Benefice; the musical vicar, Peter Blee who performed flute at 2 classical concerts; the raising of funds for a the sussex children's hospice, Chestnut Tree House; the number of artists and craftspeople taking part; the links with local businesses and sponsors; the use of rural venues including underused parish churches; prize winners in the Paint me a Spring woodland Competition; plus the sheer number and diversity of events including art shows, art talks, musical performances, crafts on show and being demonstrated, cajun musical event (with the most magnificent food I must add!), local author book signings; artists opening up their homes and studios to the public; and more.
I am at a loss as to how else we can get the local press interested (of course I will send a post-event press release and any photos I receive so we will see if a journalist picks it up to write a story or even if they simply publish what they are sent...) but despite their lack of advanced support the whole event seems to have been a fantastic success. Certainly the 10 french visitors we had thought so and are already planning their reciprocal invitations to the Ponches Arts Festival in 2012.
I am awaiting feedback from the other events so will report later with photos and videos of the event as a whole, but in the meantime my HUGE thanks go out to everyone who took part, helped and supported us - without you the Arlington Arts Festival just could not have happened.
There are no plans for a 2nd full Arlington Arts Festival in 2012 but maybe in 2013...?