Royal Leamington Spa’s Art in the Park is a free curated arts festival with a difference that showcases, sells and provides live demonstrations from artists and craftspeople in Warwickshire and the Midlands. It celebrates independent, local and regional food and drink and programmes the best live music, dance and theatre from our doorstep, alongside nationally and internationally renowned companies.
The festival will give visitors, families and young people the opportunity to take part in and enjoy a range of art, theatre, dance, crafts, music, events and workshops, designed to entertain visitors and bring the festival’s community together. It will take place across two spaces in Leamington Spa, Jephson Gardens and Mill Gardens on the 13 and 14 August, and will also host some of the finest local culinary offerings across pop-up food and drink stalls.
“We cannot wait to bring this inspiring and inclusive event to the communities of Leamington Spa. Our 2022 line-up is an amazing mix of new and emerging creatives that we are very proud to represent. High-quality art, walkabout theatre, interactive sensory projects, group painting, live music, family activities, community-made installations, schools workshops and more – there’s so much happening this year, and something for everyone.” – Art in the Park Festival Director, Kate Livingston
Connecting with the local community
At the heart of the festival’s reputation is its famous art marketplace – a community of hundreds of local artists whose art will be on sale in various stalls and tents across the two parks. There are also opportunities for families and locals to get involved with making art for the festival, through online workshops and free art supplies that can be collected from the Pump Rooms or Town Hall.
Art in the Park is not just a two-day arts event but is a year-round cultural hive which works with hundreds of local organisations and artists in the lead-up, to create and support the community it has grown and fostered over the last nine years, putting young people, underrepresented groups and emerging artists – and their creative development – at the heart of the festival’s purpose. Kate said:
“There is a mammoth collaborative effort that goes into producing Art in the Park. Throughout the year we bring cultural communities and artist networks together to – not just make the festival, but also – create learning opportunities for the creatives involved. We put the incredible skills and talents of underrepresented groups, students and children at the centre of what we do.
“Our partners include local schools, support charities, cultural centres, community choirs, universities, colleges and more. From free Zoom Bollywood workshops to art installation projects in primary schools, there is so much for the local community to get involved with, before August has even arrived.”
Throughout the year the festival also works with numerous schools across Coventry and Warwickshire to give children dozens of opportunities to get involved, learn and showcase their work. In collaboration with local community centres, the Woodland Youth Theatre project, based at Foundry Wood Leamington, has been giving those aged 11-14 the chance to take part in free weekly outdoor drama workshops, developing their theatre-making skills and devising a performance ready to share at the festival itself.
This year’s festival has a focus on environmental change. Improved recycling, public transport promotion and traders being asked to reduce their use of single plastics (in preparation for a complete ban at the event in 2023), are just some of the initiatives being concentrated on this year to build a sustainable outdoor event.
An integral part of the festival’s community is its sponsors with whom the festival would not exist. This year Art in the Park celebrated a third year of successful Arts Council funding and also gives thanks to its headline sponsors A. C. Lloyd and Atmap who have been integral to bringing the event and its opportunities to the local community. Further details and information about how to get involved will be announced throughout summer. Find #AITP2022 on social media and visit their website to follow news, register your interest to volunteer and join the community.