(BN26 6RX - postcode for the centre of Arlington)

Monday, 1 August 2011

2011 Festival report

Arlington Arts Festival
8-10th July 2011
Wilmington, Alciston, Selmeston, Berwick and Arlington.
The 9th and 10th July was a very busy weekend in the area with lots of different Arts events happening. The vast majority of the feedback I’ve received has been very positive with Wilmington, Arlington and Berwick Churches and Wilmington Art Group reporting very successful events regarding attendance and funds raised.  A recurring comment at our Arlington Show was about the lack of visitors but, totting up the door money paid over the weekend we had about 300 visitors to the Arlington Art & Craft Show over the weekend so it was busier than it seemed! If we add the St Pancras Church concert visitors and the evening viewing and Cajun Night, we had 500 people in Arlington Village over the 2 days, not bad at all. Last year we had 400 visitors over 3 days.
We raised £620 for the Arts Group and are donating £273 to St Pancras Church.
It was suggested that there perhaps were too many events in a short space of time so there was not time to visit all events - obviously at that time of year there are a lot of competing events in the area so I am not sure that spreading the festival over a longer period would have helped. Road signage was an issue - over 30 roadside posters were printed and put up on approach roads, many disappeared overnight in the heavy winds, some were removed. It takes a lot of time to put up the posters and they are not cheap, especially the posts. I did try to get all events involved to buy posters to display outside their venues but only one venue did so. I would welcome offers of help with this aspect for any future events.

Our French visitors enjoyed themselves immensely, many thanks to those who welcomed them into their homes for their 2 night stay. The string quartet, Chrisopale played beautifully at the Classical Concert in St Pancras (which raised £201), plus one artist, Benoit Beuvain displayed his work in the church and one craftsperson, Christelle Pouilly displayed her work in the village hall. Both sold work. Michelle Vienne, the president of Les Amis du Patrimoine Ponchois is very keen to keep our Arts Exchange going and will be inviting Arlington representatives and artistes to join them at their festival next spring.  I have a lot of literature about Ponches Estruval if anyone is keen to read up about the area, plus I was given a copy of the concert that Anne and I visited at last year’s Ponches Arts Festival and a CD of music by Chrisopale. There is a video online of the St Pancras Concert on www. arlingtonartsfestival.blogspot.com.

There are so many ‘thank you’s to say that I can not possibly fit them all in, but here are a few. Revd Peter Blee, Michael Bloom, Lawrie & Christine Skinner, Roz Nathan, Peter & Jackie Appleton and Chris, all of the marquee helpers, Berwick Church for the loan of the marquee; Rare Displays for the loan of a van and 7 seater vehicle, Tim Church and family, Jim and Bob Tipler, Phillippa and Michael Vine, the lighting and sound crew and all of the Cajun musicians, Camilla Pennant, Jenny & David West, Carole & Peter Vine, Jill Church, Sarah Walton, Carolyn & John McCutchan, Eileen & David Vine, Henry McCutchan, Valerie and Rosie Holmes,  Anne Howard & Rob Graham, all of the Arts Group, artists and craftspeople & all of the neighbours!

There are no plans to repeat the Festival next year, but we may be considering it again in 2013,  possibly applying for arts funding.  If anyone is interested in joining an Arts Festival Committee to help with funding applications and event planning, please do let us know.