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Summer in the City festival moves online, with Lumiere-inspired art challenge

Published June 15, 2020 2.56pm

The Summer in the City arts festival is going digital this year.


The Summer in the City festival is taking place online this year

Organised by the council and Durham University, the festival aims to celebrate Durham City's theatre, music and art.

The inaugural event, held throughout June 2019, attracted around 19,000 visitors.

For 2020 the festival is moving online, with a programme of events throughout June including exhibitions and performances to enjoy digitally and do-it-yourself activities to encourage everyone to get creative from home.

Highlights include 'Lighting Up the Home', a competition inspired by the Lumiere light festival, which will challenge people to create light installations at home.

There will also be an exhibition of art by young people aged 12 to 17 working on their Arts Award Bronze qualification and funded by Arts Council England, a sketchbook project 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.

Contributing to culture

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."

Lifting our spirits

Cllr Joy Allen, our Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, 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: "Facing 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.

"The programme is bringing together some amazing people and the circumstances are forcing everyone to be more innovative, so we're excited to see what happens."

Festival experience at home

Kylie Lloyd, our community arts manager, said: "We wanted to include a range of opportunities for people to get involved and, with venues still closed, we wanted Summer in the City to offer people the festival experience from their own homes.

"With performances and workshops, art markets and micro music events, we have something for everyone to enjoy."

For more information, please visit the Summer in the City Festival website.


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