Festival to offer a feast of free activities and workshops

This year’s Bradford Festival is set to stage over 15 workshops and activities alongside its colourful and varied music, street theatre and dance programme.

Local artists will again play a significant role in offering the free activities which can be enjoyed by adults and children of all ages.

City Library will host creative writing and drawing workshops, puppet and funky book making activities, Pyjama Drama sing-song sessions and imaginary bear hunts.

Children’s author, Jim Whalley, will read from his book, Baby’s First Bank Heist which will be followed a bandit mask making workshop and code cracking games.

Bradford artist, Zareena Bano will help people make their own hero-themed cuffs, capes, masks, gliders, shields and frames in an inviting atmosphere full of fun, vibrant colour and creativity. Participants are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite hero.

Local artists Musarat Raza and Nasreen Akhtar will help people make and decorate beautiful delicate hand-crafted personalised jewellery and unique trinket keepsake boxes using colourful beads and craft materials.

Festivalgoers can create a giant collective artwork with Mussarat Rahman and Douglas Thompson. The Labyrinth! will feature a series of winding interactive pathways, leading to a central maze which requires teamwork to solve its mysteries.

There will be an opportunity to learn the spiritual and therapeutic rhythms of the ancient Ibos people from Eastern Nigeria at Traditional African drumming workshops with local musician, Moses Ekebuisi.

People can release their inner rock star with basic drumming, guitar, bass, and DJ and music recording workshops by the Bradford School of Rock and Media.

Participants can discover the beauty and majesty of Japanese Enso calligraphy by drawing simple circles, triangles and squares using large brushes on canvas and paper with artist, urban designer consultant, and teacher, Mahmud Manning.

Master puppet makers from Cecil Green Arts will show people how to make fabulous hats and cardboard masks which, once complete, can be worn at a special parade around Bradford’s City Park.

Festivalgoers can learn the ancient Oriental art of lantern making with help from professional Chinese artist Ping Kelly. Ping will teach simple traditional paper cutting and paper folding techniques so people can create their very own works of art to take home.

Shipley-based artist, Morwenna Catt has created the Ministry of Bees where attendees can meet ‘militant bee representatives’ and learn about the importance of pollinators though fun craft activities in a colourful garden tent.

Bradford-based Bloomin' Buds Theatre Company will help create wellbeing first aid boxes in fun and interactive workshops. Festivalgoers can add their favourite things to a giant first aid box while creating their own to take home.

Forster Square arts company, Freedom Studios will use words, images and objects to help people make their own mini-dramas at special play making workshops.

A family-friendly space with lots of age-specific activities including a finger gym, Playdough, book sharing, and music making will be created by BHT Early Education and Training.

Festival-favourite, Lou Sumray will again invite people to join her in tracing what they see of Bradford onto special semi-transparent screens.

Seasoned multimedia artists from Q20 Events in Shipley will show people how to up-cycle everyday discarded and recycled objects.

Hundreds of local school children will take part in a mass dance and a mass sing, and in workshops and taster sessions at the opening Schools’ Day.

The Bradford Festival takes place in City Park from 12-14 July and entry is free.

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