BedPop Fun Palaces come to life...
In less than one month, nine BedPop Fun Palaces will be popping up in Bedford, bringing free arts, culture and science events to the town centre as part of the international Fun Palaces weekend. Bedford will be one of over 250 towns and cities taking part all over the world.
This year, BedPop has teamed up with Autism Bedfordshire to offer a number of autism-friendly events. There will be specific sessions with artist Anne-Marie Stijelja and also Bloodhound rocket cars, plus supported sessions with engineers from Network Rail and artists from Bedford Creative Arts. More information and booking details can be found at bedpop.co.uk.
“This year’s programme of events is really exciting and is taking place in lots of different locations, including museums, the Quarry Theatre and Slide Records in the Arcade,” said Erica Roffe of BedPop. “We’re collaborating with world-class, locally-based artists, school children and local businesses to offer dozens of free events for visitors to take part in. We’re thrilled to have added some autism-friendly events to the programme too.”
For the first time, BedPop is partnering with the Forest of Marston Vale – a superb local visitor attraction. “Taking our inspiration from the Higgins' exhibition 'A Celebration of Trees in British Art', we will be running leaf identification walks in the grounds of the museum with volunteers from the Forest,” said Erica. “Artist Lisa Tilley will then work with the children to make fabulous leaf crowns, surrounded and inspired by the wonderful artwork in the Wixamtrees gallery at the Higgins.”
Bedford Creative Arts and artist Maria Anastassiou will be running drop-in workshops to contribute to a huge 'living mural' that will be projected onto the wall of the William Harpur Gallery at the Higgins. Maria recently ran the same workshop at the Whitney NYC. Ready Steady Roll will be bringing a giant board game to the Library for the weekend and science students from Goldington Academy and Kimberley College in Wootton will be running hands-on science demonstrations and experiments in the foyer of the Higgins. Castle Newnham School will be running singing, music and drama workshops throughout the weekend.
“Thanks to generous funding from the Harpur Trust, we have been able to bring Bilimnakhwe Arts' multi-cultural production of the Tempest to the Quarry Theatre,” said Erica. “Not only will be have a free professional performance of the show, but we are also offering theatre workshops too.”
BedPop Fun Palaces is generously supported by sponsors including Woodfines solicitors, Slide Records, You Can Book Me and in collaboration with Bedford Borough Council.