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The festival helping the UK to Get Creative this March

From Saturday 17 to Sunday 25 March 2018, the Get Creative Festival will see people coming together to be creative in their local community. This event aims to be the UK’s biggest ever celebration of creative participation, whilst shining a light on all the great cultural activity that takes place across the UK. What's more - registration is open for the public to register their own events. 

We spoke to Kathryn Welch, the Director of Voluntary Arts Scotland (a festival partner) to find out more about the event, and how creative participants across Scotland can get involved.

What is the Get Creative Festival, and why is it important?

The Get Creative Festival encourages everyone to try their hand at something new and creative - from pottery to painting to printmaking; hand-bell ringing to quilting - and much more besides. It is a great way for people to find out how to get creative on their doorstep, and to try something different with hundreds of hands-on events on offer.

In Scotland, as well as a full programme of events, Get Creative Microgrants are available for creative groups in Cumnock and Renfrewshire. Supported by Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Events and Heritage Fund in Renfrewshire and by the Corra Foundation in Cumnock, these Microfunds invite self-led groups to apply for up to £150 to support their involvement in Get Creative. The aim is that this modest funding will enable cultural groups to put on an event that engages new people, helping the group to be more sustainable in the long-term.

What kinds of events can attendees expect, and who can host an event at the festival?

Absolutely anyone can host an event as part of Get Creative Festival - whether you're a small group of friends, a regular creative group, or an internationally-renowned venue. Get Creative in Scotland will kick off with My Time - a celebration of the everyday creativity taking place in towns and cities across Scotland. The Scottish Poetry Library and Voluntary Arts Scotland will be joined by poets from St Mungo’s Mirrorball, for readings of poems inspired by visits to creative groups - from quilters and musicians to swing dancers and arts festivals.

Getting creative enriches our lives. It makes us feel good, brings people together, creates some headspace from everyday life and brings laughter and fun- Kathryn Welch

The Scottish Potters Association will be inviting you to 'release your inner potter', with Hey Clay events popping up cross the country. Join The Quilter's Guild to try your hand at a new skill, or join Project Ability in Glasgow to explore their creative activities for people with disabilities and mental health issues.

Get Creative will be connecting with festivals across Scotland. Explore new artistic techniques at the Borders Art Fair, try samba, felting or ukulele workshops at Lochwinnoch Arts Festival, join the Family Art Lab at Dundee Women's Festival, or try reading aloud at St Mungo's Mirrorball's poetry open mic night at Aye Write! Festival.

The Scottish Men's Shed Association will be teaming up with Craft Scotland to run mosaics workshops at the Rutherglen and Cambuslang Men's Shed. Their collaboration will be exploring how getting creative can nurture new opportunities to socialise, learn new skills, and enrich lives.

How can you register an event?

There's a really simple 'add your event' form at getcreativeuk.com. That will guide you to add details about what you're planning, where and when, and to let people know what to expect in terms of costs, accessibility and booking. It's quick, easy and totally free to add an event.

Why does creativity matter to you?

Getting creative enriches our lives. It makes us feel good, brings people together, creates some headspace from everyday life and brings laughter and fun. People regularly tell us that taking part in a creative group helps them relax, makes them feel part of their community, gives them a sense of achievement and helps with wellbeing.

Get Creative events are designed to be as inclusive and accessible as possible - they're free (or just charge enough to cover their costs), take part all over the country, and absolutely anyone can join the fun by adding their event or joining an event near them. It's a chance for us all to get creative, and remind ourselves how much fun that can be.

What are you hoping participants will take away from the festival?

We hope that everyone who takes part in Get Creative Festival will enjoy trying their hand at something new, rekindle an old passion, meet new people, or discover something exciting happening in their neighbourhood. We hope it gives people an excuse to find time to get creative - on their own or with friends, family and neighbours. We hope that lots of those who take part will continue to make time for creativity over the coming year, whether by joining a local group, getting creative at home, or making the most of local venues, festivals and creative groups.

The Get Creative Festival takes place across the UK from Saturday 17 to Sunday 25 March 2018. For more information, or to add your own event, visit getcreativeuk.com.

This article was published on 16 Feb 2018