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Bradford Festival offers a feast of free activities and workshops

The Bradford Festival is to offer a wide range of free workshops and activities in City Park in late July.

The colourful and multicultural festival, well-known for its flamboyant and creative street theatre and eclectic music line-up, will provide lots of opportunities for people to have different kinds of hands-on experiences and create large collaborative art works.

Local artists, Musarat Raza and Nasreen Akhtar will help people make brightly coloured kites and paper lanterns personalised with bold patterns and ethnic prints, sparkly sequins and metallic paints at their Creation Station.

Raza and Akhtar will also show participants how to create beautiful braided bracelets and Indian peg dolls decorated with fine organza and sari silk yarns.

Local artists, Mussarat Rahman & Douglas Thompson are running workshops exploring the art of global action in World Peace Tree.

They will ask people to join in discussions and create messages of love, peace, hope and unity, and make leaves which will be arranged on a giant three-dimensional artwork.

Idle-based, Young Masters Visual Art School are to encourage festival-goers to enjoy painting with their hands and fingers on large canvasses to create a series of large collaborative masterpieces which will be displayed on a special Friends United exhibition in Bradford’s City Park.

Bradford-based social enterprise organisation, Youthtrain will help people make a mosaic of bright and colourful hearts expressing local people’s love for the Bradford district in the Love Bradford Wall.

Jean McEwan, Chemaine Cooke and Ruth Fettis from Wur Bradford will encourage people to explore movement, photography, mono printing and collage to make, Put Yourself in The Picture, a large collective piece of wall art celebrating the contributions and creativity of local people.

Purple Pod, a special immersive storytelling environment where stories will come alive using sight, sound, touch, taste and smell will be inflated by education company, Purple Patch Arts inside Bradford City Library.

Budding authors, from the Bradford Young Writers Group, aged 12-18 years, are to treat festival-goers to their stories and poems inspired by Liza Dracup’s exhibition at Impressions Gallery.

Staff from Bradford Libraries are running workshops making ‘funky’ fabric book bags, ‘crafty’ bunches of flowers, ‘dinosaurs on sticks’ and book-shaped keepsake boxes.

Actors Simon Kerrigan and Sian Williams will stage Owl Babies, an activity where young children will be encouraged to find missing owls by rummaging through the bookshelves in City Library.

Ilkley Literature Festival plan to run Family Fun Drop In Activities were participants are encouraged to let their imagination run wild ‘with spots, scales, fur and feathers’ whilst creating animal-themed poems and stories.

Traditional African drumming workshops, taken by Bradford musician, Moses Ekebuisi, will give people the opportunity to learn the spiritual and therapeutic rhythms of the ancient Ibos people from Eastern Nigeria.

Ekebuisi believes these sessions will boost people’s physical, mental, psychological and spiritual well-being and help them discover how music consists of lots of layers.

Festival-goers will be able to create colourful Mexican celebration crafts with a ‘Day of the Dead’ theme with celebrated local and internationally exhibiting artist, Morwenna Catt.

These will include traditional Nichos boxes, miniature Mexican shrines which will be personalised with collage, drawing and colourful reflective materials.

Catt will also show people how to craft colourful Mexican waggle sticks with fancy patterns and ‘swishy’ streamers and Mexican sugar skull masks to ‘wear and scare’.

Visitors to the festival will have the opportunity to ‘unlock their inner rock star’ at drumming, guitar, bass, DJ and music recording sessions run by the Bradford-based, School of Rock and Media.

Master sculptors from Sand In Your Eye, who have created striking ice and sand art works in City Park and Bradford city centre, will teach people how to make their own beautiful decorative sand castles.

Laughter yoga exercises will be entwined into tales of Bradford’s colourful history bringing ‘new levels of energy and relaxation’ to participants in You Gotta Laugh by Baildon artists, Sponge Tree.

Bradford-based artist, Zareena Bano will show people how to make Steampunk-inspired top hats, arm braces, chunky bracelets, brooches, hair pins or frames in workshops with an atmosphere ‘full of enigma, wonderment and delight’ at Steampunk Creative Art Workshops.

Vanessa Mitchell, Major Events Programme Manager, Bradford Council, said: “Bradford Festival’s workshops and activities offer an amazing range of opportunities to learn new skills, meet and talk to people, and have fun!

“Many of these are run by local artists who enjoy sharing their knowledge, ideas and inspiration.

“All the workshops are free and everyone is welcome.”

The Bradford Festival runs from 28-30 July in Bradford’s City Park.

For further information and updates, visit www.bradfordfestival.org.uk or follow Bradford Festival on Twitter and Facebook.

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