Since 2009 the Festival has sought ways to involve more local people in creative activity during the Festival and between, either by promoting workshops or participatory events. This includes an annual SpeenSchoolFest! – a creative arts project for local primary schools and pre-schools every summer term. Over 30 artists and volunteer parents have led projects in the last seven years building strong partnerships with over 8 schools and pre-schools and their pupils.
This summer we were inspired by Indian themes and music from the BBC Ten Pieces Project: a fusion of western classical music with Indian traditional culture, including creative writing (led by Sarah Uhart) and Indian Dance workshops led by choreographer Subathra Subramaniam. Our art project was devised by sculptor Jeni Fairey and was supported by the West Wycombe Branch of NADFAS.
For the first time SpeenSchoolFest included a launch concert given by the orchestras of two participating primary schools performing some of the pieces from the BBC Ten Pieces Project and providing a fabulous opportunity for performance and collaboration.