Summer in the City Festival moves online

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The Summer in the City festival, which aims to celebrate Durham City’s theatre, music and art, is to go digital for 2020, organisers from the County Council and University have announced.

The programme for the online festival includes exhibitions and performances, as well as do-it-yourself activities to encourage creativity at home. 

Among the highlights include ‘Lighting Up the Home’, a competition inspired by the Lumiere light festival, which will challenge locals to create their own light installations at home.

“I’d encourage everyone to see how they can get involved.”

Jeremy Cook

It will also include an exhibition of art by young people aged between 12 and 17 working on their Arts Award Bronze qualification, a sketchbook project in association with the Brooklyn Art Library, an online short film festival, interactive art walks, a brass band composition competition, family do-at-home theatre, art and crafts workshops, a micro music festival titled ‘Performance In Lockdown’, opportunities to share artworks via a Community Art Club and a virtual affordable art market run by Thought Foundation.

The decision to host the festival digitally has been praised by the University and Council.

Jeremy Cook, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience) at Durham University, said: “We have some fantastically talented student actors, musicians and artists at Durham University and we’re proud of the contribution they make to Durham’s cultural life.

“Though we can’t stage student shows and concerts right now, this year’s Summer in the City Festival will in its own way be just as exciting, as we experiment with what can be done online. The programme is a great mix, so I’d encourage everyone to see how they can get involved.”

Similar optimism was expressed by Councillor Joy Allen, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, who said: “In these difficult times it is more important than ever to do things we enjoy and look after our mental health and wellbeing. It is well known that culture and the arts can lift our spirits and so I am delighted the Summer in the City Festival has moved online so we can still experience it together this year.”

Alix Collingwood-Swinburn, Curator of Western Art at Durham University, said that in light of COVID 19, “the easiest thing to do would have been to cancel the Festival. But we wanted to give the community something to enjoy, so we came up with Summer in the City ONLINE.”

More information about the online festival can be found here.

Feature image: Morsky Studio via @sitconlinefestival

Embedded image: Durham University via Flickr

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