The Sheffield Children’s Festival 2009 will be celebrating its sweet sixteenth in style this year, with more than 40 events taking place across the city over the course of three weeks. It’s a festival with a difference: the majority of artistic content is made and performed by kids, to be enjoyed by all ages.
Proud parents will be found in droves at end-of-year school performances staged in professional venues, from Bugsy Malone to Romeo & Juliet. Sheffield’s Youth Theatre will also be performing the Bard’s work, with a performance of the Tempest on the closing day of the festival.
Much of the city’s exhibition space will also be dedicated to showcasing children’s work. Sheffield-based Lovebytes have worked with 90 kids to produce Avatars, an exhibition of digital artwork showing at the Showroom Cinema for the festival’s duration.
Meanwhile Show Of Hands, at Yorkshire Artspace, brings together an Anthony Gormley-influenced sculpture installation produced by local artist Jane Avgousti in collaboration with 1200 school children, taking a plaster cast of the space in each child’s cupped hands. Poet Matt Black then provided workshops for 360 kids who have produced an epic poem, displayed in the gallery printed on a twisting, turning 100m ribbon.
Talking of twisting and turning: there’ll be an opportunity in the Winter Gardens to take part in the timeless kids’ pursuit of den-building. The ‘Den With A Difference’ will be constructed by anyone who wishes to participate, and will remain in place for a week for intrepid youngsters to explore.