Tees Valley festival receives national funding boost

A stalwart of the North-East cultural scene has received essential national funding that will enable it to deliver its education and performance programme for the next eighteen-months, and in turn employ local, national and international artistes.

The Billingham International Folklore Festival, celebrating its 58th year, has been awarded an Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant funding to help present its forthcoming programme of work entitled “The Dance Of Time Quest”.

This will be a chance for the Festival to engage with a number of different dance companies and community groups to produce a collection of projects. It looks to harness multi-cultural themes, represent diversity and work across a variety of locations.

Audiences will be able to reap immediate rewards as some of the funding will be used during this year’s Billingham International Folklore Festival commencing on 12th August. The extended programme being nurtured for The Dance Of Time, inspired by the works of renowned artist Salvador Dali, will see BIFF produce challenging pieces for audiences, dancers and the lovers of performing arts to enjoy.

Olga Maloney, artistic director of Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance, said: “We are overjoyed to have received the funding from Arts Council England to support our work here in the North East. As a festival that has been in people’s lives for nearly sixty-years it’s important that we move with the times and keep the work both current but also in keeping with the traditions of our creative foundations.

“This funding will allow us to continue our journey, make new acquaintances and give new and existing performers the chance to express themselves in front of live audiences. This is crucial for their own development but The Arts is so important to so many people as it provides wonderful opportunities of escapism.

“The work we’ll be producing will not only be for the stage but also for the classroom, as we always incorporate an elements of education in our programme that is delivered to local schools and community groups in the hope it inspires the dancers of the future.”

Jane Tarr, director, North, Arts Council England, said: “I am delighted we have been able to support Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance through our National Lottery Project Grant Funding. The festival does fantastic work in bringing world dance to the town centre and to audiences across the North East and I can’t wait to see the work they will produce this year around the theme of Salvador Dali.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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