Massive weekend for the arts coming up!


A series of small grants are adding a vital spark to this year’s Plymouth Art Weekender which takes place this weekend (23 to 25 September).

Over 90 events, involving 500 local, national and international artists, will be taking place all over the city from the water’s edge to people’s houses, the Athenaeum to the Mayflower Steps.

The Weekender is organised by Visual Arts Plymouth and aims to promote the city as a contemporary art destination with a wide range of exhibitions and exciting activities for all ages.

As well as offering in kind support, the Council has helped a number of activities happen thanks to a series of small grants made through its Vital Sparks scheme – a Plymouth Culture project led by the Council and funded by Arts Council England.

The scheme awards bursaries of £500 to £5,000 to community, youth and residents groups and is designed to inspire arts, culture and creativity in local neighbourhoods.

They are:

  • One Good Yarn Deserves Another workshop. Deadly Knitshade artist Lauren O’Farrell is a professional yarn stormer who is creating woolly street art all over the country. Lauren specialises in changing the way crafters interact with the world and will be in the Main Hall at Hamoaze House, George Street, Devonport PL1 4JQ from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Friday 23 September.
  • Mayflower Returns – Journeys to Plymouth – a writing and visual art project created by refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers who explore their journeys to Plymouth and stories of lives left behind. This takes place on Saturday 24 September from 10am to 3pm at the Open Doors International Language School, 28 Woodland Terrace Lane, Greenbank PL4 8QL
  •  Plymouth’s Pilgrim Ambassadors will be at the Mayflower Steps on Saturday 24 September from 11am to 3pm.
  • A one hour audio tour of the hidden Old Jewish Cemetery on Lambhay Hill (PL1 2NP) on the Barbican takes place on Friday 23 September at 11am, Saturday 24 September at 2pm and Sunday 25 September at 2pm. The tour is the result of a project involving the Synagogue and Friends of the Cemetery group who worked with a designer to create soundscapes for people to listen to on MP3 players as they wander through the grounds.
  • The Other Place – a corn on the cob community picnic followed by an art rock performance! Billy Bottle & The Multiple’s set will explore British democracy with lyrics from the words of voters and celebrates gentler kinds of power. It takes place on Saturday 24 September from 6pm to 9pm at Seeds N Feeds, Melbourne Cottages PL1 5HG.

Councillor Glenn Jordan, Cabinet Member for Culture said: “There’s a lot of ambition for the visual arts in Plymouth right now and the Art Weekender is an opportunity not only to showcase the artistic talent we have here, but also to highlight just how vibrant the sector is – from a grassroots level where artists are working with community groups to venues that are hosting work by international names.

“I’m staggered by the sheer variety and inventiveness that is shining through the programme for the weekender and am really impressed by the number of people who are working so hard to make it happen.

“We’ve been keen to lend a hand where we can and support projects both in kind and with small grants. Thanks to Vital Sparks we’ve enabled some incredible, thought provoking and fun events to take place in a range of neighbourhoods and communities.”

For more information visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/vitalsparks.

For more information about all the events taking place during the weekender visit www.plymouthartweekender.com.