Lifeline for ‘doomed’ festival?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 10 December 2010

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AN ANNUAL showcase for Weston’s arts community, which folded last month after a 22-year success story, has been thrown an unexpected lifeline.

Organisers behind Weston Arts Festival voted in November to disband the annual event, citing lack of ‘quality, time and money’ as the reasons behind its demise.

The news came as a blow to the town’s artists and performers, who had thrilled the town with shows and exhibitions every autumn since 1988.

But fresh hope sprang forth this week, with another arts organisation indicating willingness to take on the task of running the event – if support is forthcoming from previous organisers and other town groups.

Weston Arts Social Enterprise is a non-profit organisation which exists to promote the arts in and around the town.

And its board members voted last week to try to drum up new support to revive the floundering event.

Chairman Terry Gilbert said: “It was very disappointing to see that the Weston Arts Festival team are being forced to end their long successful growth.

“At the board meeting it was agreed to attempt to continue the work they have done and at least resurrect the larger events on their calendar.

“To this end the Weston Arts Social Enterprise would like to appeal to the media and interested businesses to join us to make this happen.

“They need publicity, sponsorship, hands on help from the current organisers to help them make it a success.”

Mr Gilbert says he believes a reborn event – provisionally dubbed the Autumn Arts Festival – could even be up and running in time for 2011.

However, to make that happen, Mr Gilbert is keen to hear from people who want to get involved, either as performers or exhibitors, or pulling the strings from behind the scenes.

Anyone who would like to contribute should call Mr Gilbert on 01934 418118.

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