Families are invited to dance, draw, listen to live music and pop bubbles this half term at The Spark Festival

Posted by pt91 at May 11, 2016 04:26 PM |
Attenborough Arts hosts a range of events for children from 23 May to 4 June

Issued by Attenborough Arts on 29 April 2016

Come along to Leicester’s favourite children’s festival between Monday 23 May – Saturday 4 June. Families are invited to explore The Spark Festival at the University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre, including free activities in our new gallery space and children themed food in our refurbished Attenborough Café.

We have a playful programme of arts events for the very young including Poggle, a funny, sensory dance theatre piece with live music and bubbles on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 May, 10.45am and 1.30pm. Baby Disco is back by popular demand! Boogie babies and tap-dancing toddlers are invited to dance their way on a journey through sound and movement on Sunday 29 May.

Try something more hands on with dance company Turned On Its Head in this family dance show Sponge; an exciting participatory experience, taking children on a creative journey with lots of family interaction on Friday 3 June. Enjoy a musical adventure with Spitalfields Music’s award-winning, interactive, opera series in Musical Rumpus: Run, Rindle, Rill on Saturday 4 June.

Our programme of family shows doesn’t stop at babies; we have wonderful shows for toddlers too including Doodle Dance on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 May, 10.30am and 1.30pm. Grab a pen and kick off your shoes for this playful story-show that will get the whole family drawing, doodling and imagining! Be mesmerised by Grandad and Me, a living storybook about loss, longing and the treasures of memory and imagination, about a young girl, missing her Grandad on Tuesday 31 May and Wednesday 1 June.

Drop in for the book launch of The Nose That Nobody Picked a snotty, surreal, rip-snorting yarn for all the family on Wednesday 1 June. Join author David as he reads from the book and plays songs from the musical version. Squelch your fingers into snot, bang Doctor Skinner's toe-bell and meet Little Big Nose himself!

The little ones can also enjoy FREE activities every day in our art explorers’ kids’ area in the Attenborough Café and every Saturday as part of our FREE Gallery Family workshops on 28 May and 4 June, 1pm -3pm, exploring themes, materials and ideas from the exhibition with our friendly learning team. Join us during half term to create your own story objects in Cabinet of Curiosities, this fun free workshop exploring your imagination to make a sculpture to join our festival display. Led by artist Jo Dacombe, in response to her exhibition The Reliquary Project in Gallery 3 on Wednesday 1 June, 10am – 3pm, FREE. For 4+ years.

Children can take further inspiration from the Small Print International exhibition in Gallery 1 by creating their own monoprints on Saturday 28 May, 1pm - 5pm and linocuts on Saturday 4 June, 1pm - 5pm,, by experimenting with texture, colour, design and layering to make their own original limited edition. Children with disabilities are very welcome. For 8+ years. Both workshops will take place at Attenborough Arts Centre and led by Leicester Print Workshop.

As part of The Spark Festival we are offering relaxed performances, which are aimed at opening up theatre experiences for people with autism and other learning disabilities. The following shows will offer relaxed performances:

  • Musical Rumpus: Run, Rindle, Rill on Saturday 4 June at 12.30pm.
  • Sponge on Friday 3 June at 1pm
  • Poggle on Saturday 28 May at 1.30pm
  • Grandad and Me on Tuesday 31 May at 3pm

To get closer to our exhibition we are offering FREE Sensory Suitcases, a fun lap-sized suitcase jam packed with tactile and multisensory objects linked to the exhibition, including our touch guides, which can be booked everyday with our friendly Front of house team.

There are also lots of Spark events and activities for the whole of the family to enjoy across the city and many of them are free. The festival runs from 23 May – 4 June. Visit www.sparkfestival.co.uk for more information.


Notes to Editors:

Further details are available from Lucy Stevens at email ls229@le.ac.uk, tel (0116) 223 1525.

About Attenborough Arts Centre

The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre prides itself on being accessible and inclusive. With over 18 years of experience, the programme offers courses and workshops, contemporary art, performance and live art, theatre and comedy, live music and jazz, dance, activities for children and families, and more. It is proud to champion emerging talent and disability-led performance companies, supporting those starting their careers. Its outstanding access and inclusive work has been recognised, through multiple awards and grants from Arts Council England, British Council, BBC Children in Need, Leicester Shire Promotions and Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Its audience has grown to 55,000 people over the last year.

Attenborough Arts Centre is part of the University of Leicester’s Division of External Relations. Its new exhibition programme will significantly contribute to the University’s corporate social responsibility, wider public engagement and strategic research goals. It will specifically explore issues of human identity and inter-cultural interactions, promote inter-discipline, attract high-calibre collaborators, and encourage new imaginative approaches that culminate in exhibition projects.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk

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