In 2017 we ran a small-scale festival in Consett, County Durham. We used various spaces available at Consett’s YMCA (now Delta Youth) to host 30 visual artists from across the UK, ranging from the ages of 17 – 70.

‘If a classroom can host a painting exhibition and a sports hall a sculpture show, then what other spaces in Consett have the potential for multi-use and development?
We’re programming Conny again this year and look forward to connecting with even more local community groups, businesses and residents.

The festival will last 2 weeks from the 18th October – 1st November and will feature events, workshops and exhibitions, all free to the public.

We want to celebrate our community and the people who make it. There are so many fantastic groups and creative individuals in our area and we want to highlight their work.

We also want to connect more people to the arts in a way which is fun, engaging and exciting.

The project aims to provide a platform for local talent while inviting artists from all over the UK to exhibit.

Organisers of the festival are Elaine Robertson, 21 from Consett and Ellen Ranson, 21 from Tow law. They are both art students in the middle of their courses however this is the first time either of them has curated such a large project. They hope the festival will encourage an ‘intergenerational conversation about Consett’s and wider North East’s identity, putting emphasis on the present and future, as well as celebrating and remembering the past’.

They also want there to be an emphasis on the importance of ‘creative space’ and ‘hope the festival will inspire young people to take their creativity seriously’. Conny will be the first time for some young artists have exhibited allowing them to really see the potential of their work and what they are capable of!

They hope Conny will encourage people to visit the area and encourage us to ‘look at the potential of space our town has to offer’, claiming ‘you don’t need a gallery to have an art festival. We aim to challenge city centralised arts funding and facilities, often the potential of towns such as Consett’s gets overlooked or even forgotten, especially regarding arts and drama etc. ‘

‘If a gym can exhibit a monumental installation, and a bar a painting show than what other spaces in Consett has the potential for inventive multi-use, development and investment? Whose potential is being overlooked because of a lack of creative space and how does this impact the art world in terms of who’s voice is encouraged to contribute to it? ‘

Keep a lookout for more information to come on workshops, exhibitions, events and volunteering opportunities.

If you would like to know more or get involved email the team or follow the festival on social media.

connyartfestival@gmail.com





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