Fostering young talent

Engaging emerging artists and young people in the Wirksworth Festival

Wirksworth Festival is proud of its commitment to young people and their emerging talent across the arts. Over the years we have provided wonderful opportunities for young people to develop their skills, experience and involvement in the arts. Our focus around emerging artists who are embarking on careers in the creative industries is tailored to stimulate learning and opportunities where they can establish their work within professional platform environments, network, and experience the exciting and rich opportunities the arts offer.

Fostering young talent

Whether considering an occupation in the arts, passionate about participation, or enthusiastic to see and appreciate, the Festival works hard to develop relationships with and extend opportunities for young people. We aim to nurture skills, provide professional development, increase understanding and the value of the arts; this in turns helps us to build relationships with our future artists, audience, volunteers, staff and board.

Two of the ways that the Festival has fostered young talent are through our Fine Arts graduate programme, which forms an important part of the Art and Architecture Trail, our partnership with Learning Through Arts and our Community Participation programme. The latter includes working with local schools and young people to provide a stimulating and engaging Community Celebration programme made up of workshops and large-scale outdoor performances during the Festival and specifically created performances by Wirksworth INdependDANCE youth dance theatre.

Gerry Vaughan Arts Award

Every year the Festival awards a small bursary to a sixth form student from Anthony Gell School to help them with their transition to Higher Education. The winner is chosen by a member of the Festival’s Visual Arts Panel, and the school’s Head of Art and is presented by Marian Vaughan, wife of the late Gerry Vaughan – a highly respected and talented painter, teacher, lecturer and education adviser. The winning student’s work is exhibited during the Festival.

Festival Young Photographer

This is a programme aimed at providing a budding young Wirksworth photographer with the opportunity to flex their muscles and to gain exposure by documenting the Festival. One of the most successful Festival Young Photographers has been George Peck who has gone on to win numerous awards and prizes including 1st place with friends at the MSA/FIA Road Safety Short Film Competition 2015 – they won a trip to Monza to watch the Italian Grand Prix and meet Lewis Hamilton!