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Festival Will Shine A Light On Derby’s Dazzling Diversity

Surtal Arts, the long-established Derby organisation rooted in traditional South Asian arts, is spearheading a new family festival in the city and county which aims to bring together local communities and shine a light on hope for the future.

Derby Season of Light (DSOL) will include workshops, community events and arts performances between October and December – coinciding with major cultural and religious festivals including Eid, Diwali, Bonfire night and Christmas – which all share the common theme of 'light'.

Through this theme of light, the festival will also celebrate city's dazzling diversity and cohesion amongst local communities as well as honouring and paying tribute to the ongoing courage and dedication of NHS Staff and all key workers during the pandemic that have connected people through these most challenging of times.

Surtal Arts has developed an extensive festival programme involving a wide range of local people and professional artists.

The organisation has worked in partnership with Derby Live, Derby Museums, Air Arts, Junction Arts and No 28 community centre in Belper and Derby Season of Light is supported by Arts Council England, Derby City Council, Foundation Derbyshire, Community Action Derby, Belper Town Council and the National Lottery Community Fund.

Nisha Nath, chair of Surtal Arts and a celebrated South Asian dance artist, explained: "Derby is a vibrant home to 182 different cultures and we have reached out to other communities to make Derby Season of Light a wonderful celebration of our city's diversity through various arts activities, events and performances with the universal theme of 'light'.

"2020 has been a hard year for many. DSOL unites the whole city in giving back to our valued and amazing NHS staff and other key workers in the form of art. Such a positive, warm and welcoming theme is even more important after 19 months of anguish and disruption for so many people.

"It will give everyone a chance to re-engage with other people, play an active part in the arts which is so important for mental well-being and enjoy some new and uplifting performances.

"The festival will bring people together to show how we have all overcome adversity, acknowledge our heroes and encourage diversity and inclusion to move forward together in a positive way.

"As well as bringing together local communities, a key part of Derby Season of Light will be to 'shine a light' on local artists whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by Covid restrictions to give them an opportunity to perform and engage with live audiences again.

"Our aim moving forwards is that this first Derby Season of Light will create a legacy for Derby's diverse community groups and arts organisations to join in future years and engage with even more local communities."

Several of the activities have been organised and co-produced in partnership with Derby Museums and will take place at the new Museum of Making and the Museum and Art Gallery. These include a lantern workshops as part of Assemble: Derby's Festival of Making on Saturday 23rd October and a 'Stories of Diwali' event as part of the Museum of Making's new First Fridays late series on 5th November

Dan Webber, Events Programmer at Derby Museums, said: "Derby thrives on collaboration and we are thrilled to be working with Surtal Arts as a cultural partner on this high-profile city event, and co-producing with them as part of our First Fridays line-up."

Air Arts is one of the key partners. Head of Arts Laura Waters said: "We are really delighted to be part of this festival with Surtal Arts and to give our staff the opportunity to take some time out to make this Roshni artwork which will be displayed as part of our Autumn/Winter 2021 arts exhibition 'Solace'.

"The Season of light festival promises to be a truly uplifting series of events for our city. We are looking forward to celebrating the rich heritage of South Asian art and culture at our hospitals and bringing a much-needed focus on light and celebration as we approach winter."

See below for festival information.

Posted: Tue, 12 Oct 2021 00:55 by Admin

Tags: News