Arts for Hungerford was set up with the aim of providing a year-round programme of high-quality arts events for Hungerford and the surrounding communities. Our small market town really punches above its weight in terms of annual events such as the literary festival and Hungerford Arts Festival (HADCAF) but it was thought that there was space for a regular arts programme offering something every month.
So far, Arts for Hungerford has showcased a variety of genres including film, music, drama, literary talks, art and comedy. The original Bookshop Band opened the year with their unique mix of songs. Terence Reis and Danica Trim two local singer songwriters, one with an international career as the front man of the Dire Straits Experience gave us great original music
Highlights in the past year have included the multi-award winning folk band Faustus for a sell-out event, a ‘Stand-Up History’ comedy night which brought the house down, and superlative performances from classical singer Hannah Medlam and blues vocalist Elles Bailey.
Arts for Hungerford teamed up with the bookshop to continue to evolve the Literary Festival with over 16 authors in 2016 and new formats to come for 2017 and 2018.
The community organisation also believes strongly in supporting new talent, and is gaining a reputation for finding and presenting exceptionally gifted musicians at the start of their careers, as seen in November with ‘Young Classical Musicians’ (in association with Berkshire Maestros), and a trio of sparky singer-songwriters performing rock and pop pieces earlier this year. Continuing this theme international cellist Gerard LeClerc offered not only a romantic evening concert but a master class and group playing session for 20 local cellists and an afternoon children’s concert attended by over 70 children
Arts from Hungerford has become renowned for creating a relaxed and intimate atmosphere for its evenings. Tables and chairs are set-up café style, with candles on the tables and a well-stocked bar. It makes for an immersive and entertaining experience.
It seems unbelievable that a year has already passed. Plans are well underway for a Visual Arts Trail in September as well as a Summer concert; with the return of Jazz All-Stars fronted by Adam Winslet and an outstanding one woman play about Jane Eyre imminent, there is plenty more to look forward to.
Arts for Hungerford will be celebrating its first birthday on the steps of the Town Hall on Saturday April 1st from 10am – midday. They invite you to come along for a piece of cake, to buy tickets, and to find out more about forthcoming events. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer is also welcome to introduce themselves.
Hungerford is very lucky to have this active organisation (run entirely by volunteers) sourcing, creating and promoting exceptional arts events for our enjoyment. Happy first birthday!