Holt festival inspires young minds

Activities on offer at a new arts festival for Norfolk youngsters ranged from storytelling and vegetable carving, to painting, pottery and performance poetry.

Held at north Norfolk activity centre Holt Hall on Saturday, the inaugural Festival of Art and Literature for Norfolk Children (FALCON) was the idea of poet Phil Barrett and retired teacher Maggie Prior.

'We both felt that creativity is being squeezed out of schools, so we wanted to provide a really hands-on arts event for children to participate in,' Mrs Prior said.

Thirty artists, authors and musicians gave up their time to appear at the festival, which aimed to fire children's imaginations and 'test the water' for possible future FALCON-led activities.

Funding came from donation including a �500 start-up gift from Holt Hall, with prizes for a book making competition given by Norfolk Library Service.

The festival, which attracted more than 600 visitors, continued until dusk, with a jamboree evening of readings, music and storytelling.

'We had some absolutely fantastic feedback and the looks of delight on children's faces as they left made us determined to make FALCON an annual event,' Mrs Prior said.

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Organisers now hope to raise funds to enable them run other activities in schools and at Holt Hall the run-up to next year's festival.

For more information on the festival, visit www.falcon.org

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