6 – 15 May, Voluntary Arts Week

April 28, 2016 by Perthshire Creates

Thousands of volunteer-led cultural groups meet regularly across the UK and Republic of Ireland, to share skills, have fun and feel good.  Voluntary Arts both champions and promotes this creative cultural participation, recognising the important role it plays in improving health and wellbeing and bringing communities together.

Each May, Voluntary Arts co-ordinates Voluntary Arts Week festival (6-15 May 2016) a series of events showcasing the nations’ creativity, with support from Spirit of 2012, an independent trust that funds projects that empower people to get out, get involved, and feel better.

Last year’s Voluntary Arts Week (15-24 May 2015) saw over 400 open rehearsals, showcase events, taster sessions and skills share events take place across UK and Ireland involving 53,000 people. More importantly, 64% of participants said they were visiting a creative group in their local area for the first time and 68% planned to join a group or volunteer as a result of taking part.

There are no boundaries as to the type of cultural activity groups can register as part of this special Week. It can be anything from one-off performances, to singing sessions, CraftBombs (eye-catching outdoor crafty installations), music and song Flashmobs and Woollen Woods featuring woolly creations exhibited in forests.

For full list of Voluntary Arts Week events across UK and Republic of Ireland click here.

The Voluntary Arts Week website offers practical advice to participating groups, including guidance on how to write a press release and engage people on social media. Event toolkits have been developed to help groups take part in nationwide events such as the Woollen Woods, Flashmob, CraftBomb or to hold a ‘Come and Sing’ / ‘Come and Play’ day, which is being promoted by Making Music UK. The toolkits include examples, guidance on planning, organising, implementing and publicising the project as well as links to additional useful resources.

Robin Simpson, Voluntary Arts Chief Executive said: “Voluntary Arts Week has become an annual nationwide highlight in the calendar, showcasing the amazing range and scale of creative cultural activities organised by local volunteers all year round. It’s a truly open opportunity for every local voluntary arts group to raise its profile, demonstrate its creativity and attract new members.”

Debbie Lye, Chief Executive of Spirit of 2012 said: “At Spirit of 2012, we’re absolutely committed to helping the voluntary arts sector grow and develop. Voluntary Arts Week is always a great opportunity for people to get along to the huge number of events happening in communities across the UK, and this year is no exception. Local arts groups are a great way to get out, meet people and feel better – and I hope as many people as possible join in by putting a creative date in their diary and checking out what their local community groups are up to.”