The Hunstanton & District Festival of Arts sponsor a collection of events throughout the year that includes Poetry Mornings, a children’s Dance Festival. A One Act Play festival for Amateur Drama Groups, Art Shows and musical events of different kinds. There are monthly craft fairs for locally hand made goods, and a Professional Theatre Company visits at least once a season. There are also creative writing projects and projects for schools.

Recently, the HDFA has sponsored a community ceramic tile project for Hunstanton that can be seen on the promenade to the north of the Family Amusement Centre. In December there is a Festival of Christmas Trees which has proved very popular with the local community. New ideas are constantly being sought and the second “Festival Three by the Sea” event will run from May till September 2016.

The HDFA is run by a committee of local volunteers who are interested in all things artistic. They meet monthly at the Princess Theatre in Hunstanton. Each year the group receives a small grant from Kings Lynn Borough Council to distribute to local Arts Groups to promote the visual Arts of painting, sculpture and photography, and the performing arts of poetry, dance, music and Drama in Hunstanton and its surrounding areas. The committee is always keen to hear from anyone who has something to offer who would like to join in.

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HDFA Hunstanton District Festival of Arts

The HDFA is run by a committee of local volunteers who are interested in all things artistic.

HDFA Hunstanton District Festival of Arts

The Hunstanton & District Festival of Arts sponsor a collection of events throughout the year

HDFA Hunstanton District Festival of Arts

The Hunstanton District Festival of Arts is a local charity and a non-profit making organisation

HISTORY

“FESTIVAL THREE BY THE SEA”

A HISTORY OF THE FESTIVAL OF ARTS 2014- 16

. The new committee was voted in on 24th November 2014. Cllr Elaine Clutton became Chairman taking over from Cllr Richard Bird; Cllr Christine Earnshaw took over as Treasurer from Town Clerk Lisa Powell. Ann McKimm and Viv Young became joint publicity Officers taking over from Elaine Bird, and Amanda Knight remained as Secretary having taken over from Roisin Wellard in 2013.

2016/17 Festival Director Steve Ellis.

There were lots of new projects to be discussed but we began with the very successful annual Christmas Tree Festival. This was started by Lisa Powell back in 2012. More than 20 groups and charities took part and the Town Hall looked beautiful, full of decorated trees and twinkling lights. The Hunstanton Lifeboats won first prize this year, with their novel tree made entirely out of yellow wellington boots!

Next there were the Poetry Mornings. There are 6 a year held every other month in the newly refurbished Town Hall Basement. These are organised by the Princess Players but supported by the HDFA and have a growing memberships stretching from Lynn to Old Hunstanton.

Next there was a photographic talk and display by Chris Holt at the Princess Theatre. Chris took us on a photographic journey from Hunstanton to Lynn along with tips on how to take great photographs along the way. This was to help everyone with their entries for the HDFA Photographic Competition to find 12 outstanding views in and around Hunstanton for the Town Calendar. This competition was judged in October, and the finished Calendar is now on sale in the Towns Tourist Information Centre.

Next we had a literary talk given by local Author Mary Mackie. “The Lady Farmer of Sandringham” was a lively account of one woman’s battle with royalty and what became of her! A lively discussion followed with supper to follow. Mary’s books were also on sale.

Then we launched “Festival 3 by the Sea”. This was the brainchild of Christine Earnshaw and linked all the summer HDFA events in one colourful brochure. This was designed by Viv Young along with a new logo and eye-catching colours to get us noticed! Items included the relaunch of the Ceramic Tile Project to decorate with “Memories” the plain and boring panels along the sea wall/ this project began in 2012 with artist Kate Dunbar and has now been taken on by Dave & Suzy Mason new owners of ‘Paint Me Ceramics’ . The new tiles will are now on display at the sea front.

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Next there was a Creative Writing Day with tutor Sue Burge. ”We do like to write beside the Sea side” was a brilliant and creative day of poetry and short story writing. This will be followed in October with another called “The Winter Sea”.

The Dance Festival came next, organised by Michelle Rollason. This was and adjudicated dance festival where local talented dancers compete for honours in ballet, tap, modern and street Dance

The talented winners then appeared as part of the programme at the ‘Oscars Night’, held at The Princess Theatre in June. There was also a Bible Reading Competition for Schools held at the Union Church in Hunstanton this month.

The HDFA were at the ‘Hunstanton Carnival’ and the ‘Kite Show’ with the ‘Ceramic Tile Project’. This was followed by “Taking a Line for a Walk” an Art tuition day with local artist Kate Dunbar who looked at drawing with line and tone for beginners.

Next was the Hunstanton & District Drama Festival of One Act Plays at the Princess Theatre in July. This event lasted 4 days and showcased 16 different plays performed by amateur drama groups from all over the East of England. This was organised by chief adjudicator Michael G. Williamson and 2016 will see its 25th Anniversary Celebrations.

Music came next with “Nelson’s Shanty men”, performing their sea shanties for free at “The Spinney” venue in August, followed by a special treat. The first ever Hunstanton Folk Festival held at the Community Centre on August 15th. Seven bands performed and it is hope to make it bigger and better in 2016.

The annual “Picnic on the Green” came next with the Town Concert Band performing free for 2 hours. This was much enjoyed by the ladies of the Red Hat Society who turned out in force! This was followed by the “Authors in Schools” project, to encourage local schoolchildren’s reading and writing and imaginative skills. This was attended by nearly 400 children from our local schools. Some on their very first visit to a theatre! They had great fun with “The Two Steve’s” took lunch in the Town Hall and returned for a second session in the afternoon. It is hoped to repeat this in 2016.

Finally we had a talk on the 200th anniversary of Victorian Novelist Anthony Trollope with Michael G. Williamson. “Going to bed with a Good Trollope”, Michael is the International Chairman of the Trollope Society and travels all over the world talking about him.. Here we were treated to a literary supper of soup and cheese with great entertainment from an expert in his field.

A literary feast in every sense of the word!

Next we look forward once again to the Christmas Tree Festival to be held in the Town Hall in December – and our season turns full circle.

The Hunstanton & District Festival of Arts is a registered charity and is supported by Kings Lynn Borough Council who provides a much needed grant.

If you would like to be involved in any way then please contact the website for information on www.hdfa.org.uk or, email info@hdfa.org.uk. You can also find us on Facebook - click here

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2016/17 projects

New projects for 2016 began with our popular Craft Fairs of hand made goods on sale at the Town Hall from May till November. These are run by Lorraine Cannell and all proceeds go to funding arts projects in and around Hunstanton.

Next there was the Dance Festival run by the Rollason Stage School with lots of girls and a few boys entering to win medals and certificates for their dance prowess.

The bi monthly Poetry Mornings continued with themes such as “Celebrations” and “Holidays” for would be poets and poetry lovers who travel to Hunstanton Town Hall from all over the area to take part.

On Wednesday May 25th we had “Much Ado about Shakespeare”. An evening celebrating the Bard with songs, music, and extracts from his plays. There was a Sonnet competition and a Shakespeare Quiz with over 100 entries and cash prizes for the winners.

On May 26th we had and evening with Doreen Reed, local poet and authoress with a special brand of humour all of her own.

In June there was a Bible Reading for Schools Competition at the Hunstanton Methodist Church, closely followed by an “Oscars Night at The Princess Theatre with EastEnders Derek Martin and Rollo as joint hosts and a full variety show of dance and drama items.

In July the 25th Anniversary of the Hunstanton Drama Festival was celebrated. There were 16 different one act plays to see from local amateur groups. These were adjudicated by Michael Williamson and his team and the awards were presented at the last Gala Night on the Sunday.

Nelson’s Shanty men were “Live at the Spinney “on July 23rd and Kings Lynn Ukulele Club also performed there on July 13th and August 13th.

On August 17th there was an open air performance of Shakespeare’s’ The Tempest by the Heartbreak Theatre Company at Thornham Village Hall grounds. Good weather ensured a brilliant audience of over 300 people.

In August there was Hunstanton Concert Band performing for 2 hours for free at The Bandstand on the Green and finally we had Elgar & Alice by the Global Theatre Company at The Town Hall in November.

The Christmas Tree Festival again took place in December with 30 entries – our biggest so far!

2017 News will be added next year.

May 2017. AmcK