How the Kenilworth Arts Festival helps the town

The Kenilworth Arts Festival not only brings a variety of literary and musical artists to the town but it increases the number of out-of-town people to visit.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 2:40 pm
Isata Kanneh-Mason (photo by Robin Clewley)

Venues from across the town ranging from churches, to book shops to the Kenilworth Library and local theatres are hosting various parts of the festival.

Victoria Mier, the owner of the Tree House Bookshop, said: “It’s good for the town because they’re involving the whole town. It makes it feel like it’s happening in the whole town and not just in one place.”

The Tree House Bookshop will host some performers, a writing workshop and two films showings for the festival, which kicks off next week from Thursday September 19 and ends on Saturday September 28.

Amelia Gentleman (photo by Sophia Spring)

Victoria added: “It does bring people in from outside Kenilworth. It brings footfall into the town, and they do come and visit the bookshops.”

The festival will bring more than 35 events in a wide range of venues, transforming the town into a world-class stage for arts, music, performance and the spoken word.

The Kenilworth Weekly News published a feature on who's performing and where at the festival.

Judy Brook, who runs the Kenilworth Books shop, said they plan to put a community piano outside their shop in Talisman square.

The Darius Brubeck Quartet.

She said: “Last year it was wonderful. We had people stop and play chop sticks and classical pieces too.”

Judy also praised the event for how well it brings the people of the community together.

She added: “I think it’s really evolved in a really nice way. It definitely brings people into town, and it has grown tremendously over the last three years.

“It just puts Kenilworth on the map for the arts and culture. It’s good for business too.”

The festival, which is a non-profit organisation, aims to celebrate outstanding new work and to provide a platform for ideas and stories.

Tickets can be booked online for each event through the festival website

There will be a free street party event with a variety of activities from 11am to 5pm on Saturday September 21 in the High Street of Old Town.

In partnership with The Farthing Gallery and the Virgins and Castle pub the High Street will be transformed to include live music, a walkabout theatre, a beer festival and an arts and craft market.

Lewis Smith, artistic director of the festival, said: “The festival has grown year-on-year and we are proud to be able to welcome leading writers, musicians and artists to Kenilworth.

"This year’s programme showcases artists from all over the world and includes several UK premieres and exclusive performances.

"We’re also proud that our programme continues to offer a platform for debate and discussion, with events exploring big issues such as gender politics, Windrush and mental health.”