Artists and producers gather to celebrate the Warwick district's creative community

Grants were also given out to organisations and projects during the event

Warwick District Council’s Arts Section celebrated the area’s creative community at the first Ignite event at the Royal Pump Rooms. Photo by Jo Lewis – © Light and Lace Photography
Warwick District Council’s Arts Section celebrated the area’s creative community at the first Ignite event at the Royal Pump Rooms. Photo by Jo Lewis – © Light and Lace Photography

An event celebrating arts, heritage and the creative community in the Warwick district was held earlier this month.

Warwick District Council’s Arts Section held the first Ignite event at the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington on July 14.

More than 130 artists, producers and commissioners attended the event, which featured street food canapés by Baginton Event Catering and music from Levi Washington.

Louise Richards, Founder and Executive Director, Motionhouse. Photo by Jo Lewis – © Light and Lace Photography

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The assembly room was also decorated by Clare Burgess, director of Frou Frou Days.

Warwick District Council’s arts manager, David Guilding, kicked off the event with a showcase of the council’s four new creative partners, who they will work with for the next three years to represent the creative sector in the area and raise its profile.

These were: Motionhouse, Playbox Theatre, Armonico Consort and the Warwick Words Festival.

Louise Richards from Motionhouse (based at Leamington’s Town Hall) shared details about their globetrotting dance-circus work including ‘Wondrous Stories’, which opened the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

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Mary King, Founding Director and Stewart McGill, Consultant Director, Playbox Theatre. Photo by Jo Lewis – © Light and Lace Photography

Louise said: “Ignite was a fantastic event and it was fabulous to play our part. Our thanks go to the WDC Arts team for giving us this opportunity.

“The event was truly sector-focussed, and the mood of the evening felt hugely supportive and just plain celebratory.

"The support that the council give to arts and culture in the district is what has made the difference here and has truly ignited the local sector.”

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Directors Mary King and Stewart McGill from Playbox Theatre in Warwick produce theatre for young people, which was demonstrated by a short film presented by actor Sir Ben Kingsley about the company.

They said: “Playbox Theatre feel honoured to be a Creative Partner of Warwick District Council.

"We have many plans and projects ahead and the backing of the district council is superb.”

Ignite co-host Carole Sleight, arts officer at Warwick District Council, announced that Leamington History Group had been awarded art project funding to make the short film ‘The History of Multi-Cultural Leamington’ (working title), a documentary film about Leamington’s history and the communities who have chosen the town as their home.

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Wren Hall was awarded funding to make a multi-generational cookbook called ‘The Bakers of Wroxhall’ which will include memories, stories, and secret family recipes.

Jenny Davies, director of Arts Uplift, who specialise in arts, health and heritage projects, were the first recipients of the new Ignite grant funding.

The arts team also announced they had been appointed as the new administrators of the France Brodeur Young Artist Award for emerging artists aged 16 to 35. To apply go to: https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/info/20842/arts_grants/1826/france_brodeur_young_artist_award_fbyaa

The evening ended with the launch of CultureFest, Warwick District’s cultural and heritage programme of events that celebrate the arts and heritage venues, artists, and creatives in the area during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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Cllr Liam Bartlett, portfolio holder for economy and culture at Warwick District Council added: “No one in the room was left in any doubt of how fortunate we are to have so many creative artists and organisations working so hard to make this a great and inspirational district to work and live in.

“The excitement from the evening just proves that our creative sector has a thrilling few years ahead as we build on and celebrate our successes.”