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This May 10th - 22nd, the Isles of Scilly will come alive like never before in a 13-day celebration of music, theatre, spoken word, visual arts and island life, including pop up events and intrigues to delight and inspire.

The Creative Scilly festival, organised by Islands’ Partnership’s Creative Islands team with support from Arts Council England, will feature an eclectic mix of events, workshops, courses, demonstrations, talks and performances in the most unique of island settings, welcoming a host of imaginative and artistic talent from artists and creatives on the islands themselves, and across the 28 miles of water in Cornwall and beyond.

Scilly is home to a thriving community of talented artists, creative writers and inventive artisans, and has inspired artists including Kurt Jackson, Luke Jerram, Gordon Young and Anthony Garratt, as well as writers such as the former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo and crime novelist, Kate Rhodes who have both set several of their books on the islands.

Indeed, Kate will be joining the festival to share her new work which is based on Scilly including the Hell Bay crime series whilst Luke and Gordon will also share details during the festival of their respective plans - for a proposed moon sculpture to mark the opening of the new Dark Skies Observatory on St. Martin’s and a public installation on St. Mary’s.

Further highlights of the 13-day festival include performances of charming music and the spoken word by the celebrated folk quartet The Story Republic, who will be popping up all over the islands (so keep an eye out); Stamp and Go, who will deliver a radio play telling the scandalous story of the Bishop and the Diva set on Rosevear when the Bishop Rock lighthouse was being built; and Ed Rowe, the Kernow King, who makes another welcome return to the islands he so loves for a stand-up comedy night, performances at the Five Islands Academy and a community reading of a new play script. Rogue Theatre will dish up a taste of their magical and hilarious performances; celebrated Cornwall based novelist and writer Wyl Menmuir leads a creative writing walk, and Harbottle and Jonas return to Scilly for a couple of folk concerts around the islands.

Creative Scilly will also see the launch of “Walking stories” – five new audio books which have been specially commissioned to be best enjoyed on each of the inhabited islands. Highlights include stories by local musician Piers Lewin set on his beloved St. Agnes and a Tresco set story by Sam Llewellyn.

Paint the Day returns this year as part of Creative Scilly – as budding artists young and old, local and visiting, amateur and professional, are challenged to capture a day on Tresco (on Saturday 11th May) with the resulting masterpieces all displayed and shared at the Tresco Island Gallery, and prizes awarded to the winning entries in a number of categories.

Throughout the festival, there will also be a range of arts and crafts workshops led by local and mainland artists, in particular from the Phoenix Craft Studios, a co-operative of six artists and craftspeople on St. Mary’s whose work beautifully bears witness to Scilly’s untamed wildlife and landscapes.

Other highlights include the chance to join artist Sue Lewington, well known for her published sketchbooks of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, on a sketching walk, the opportunity to learn to weave at a workshop on St. Agnes with Trish Peacock of Twisted Bobbins, a “magical fish” pottery workshop with Bryher’s Alex Bagnall, a “cowbell” workshop with St. Martin’s based silver jewellery maker, Fay Page, and an evening of music at the candlelit Old Town Church with talented local musicians Duo Prosperro.

In addition to the Creative Scilly Festival, Creative Islands is hosting a three-day symposium from 8th – 10th May in collaboration with Isles of Scilly library and the Isles of Scilly Museum. Kindly funded by Cultivator Cornwall and Plymouth University, the cultural symposium will see around 30 delegates from various island communities and arts organisations around the UK arrive on the Isles of Scilly for a series of lectures and seminars, as well as trips to the some of the other islands to visit studio workshops.

David Jackson, Executive Director for Visit Isles of Scilly, says: “We’re delighted that Creative Islands has put together such a fantastic programme for our first Creative Scilly festival and are extremely grateful for the support that Arts Council England and our local sponsors have afforded us. We are equally delighted to be hosting the cultural symposium as a fringe event, which not only provides an opportunity for us to showcase the wealth of creativity and artistic talent on the islands, but also to share learning and exchange ideas with peers and professional colleagues from further afield.

“May is a fantastic time to escape to Scilly, with longer, warmer days and colour flooding into the landscape and we look forward to welcoming visitors, old and new, so that they can soak up and celebrate with us the fantastic artistic and creative talent that fills our islands.”

The full programme is available to view at www.visitislesofscilly.com/creativescilly and tickets are on sale now.

Upcoming Events

  • Tue
    12
    Jan
    2016
    All dayIP office

    There will be no formal training for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter this year; instead if you want some top tips and ideas on how to get started or progress with social media, come and see Amy, Sam or Carolyn at the Islands' Partnership office. We don't know everything, but we'll do our best to answer your questions (and if we can't we'll endeavour to find out the answers for you!)

  • Tue
    26
    Jan
    2016
    10.15am - 12.15pmSteamship House
  • Tue
    26
    Jan
    2016
    Wed
    27
    Jan
    2016
    All dayLife Long Learning (next to Sports Hall)

    Design and build your own Wordpress website, with maximised SEO capability and essential plug ins. This training is being delivered by an external supplier and, depending on numbers, will cost in the region of £120 and £150 per person. A non-refundable £30 deposit will be required at the time of booking. We also recommend those attending to also turn up to the "writing for websites" training session on Thursday 3rd December. This is complimentary for IP members and complementary to J January's course (!).

  • Wed
    24
    Feb
    2016
    Thu
    25
    Feb
    2016
    Town Hall, St. Mary's

    Sarah Taylor is the IP contact for this event.simply scilly logo 2015

  • Fri
    04
    Mar
    2016
    Sun
    06
    Mar
    2016
    All dayAcross Scilly

    A pre-season clean and tidy up and beach cleans across the islands

    The date has been been changed this year to coincide with "Clean for the Queen" campaign, being coordinated by Keep Britain Tidy in honour of the Queen's 90th birthday. (It was originally arranged for the weekend before Easter)

  • Mon
    07
    Mar
    2016
    Fri
    11
    Mar
    2016
    Porthmellon Enterprise Centre

  • Sat
    09
    Apr
    2016
    Fri
    15
    Apr
    2016
    All dayAcross the Islands

    A feast of walks across Scilly, and evening entertainment, to kick start the season. Now in its 11th year.

  • Thu
    14
    Apr
    2016
    10.15am - 12.15pmSteamship House
  • Sun
    01
    May
    2016
    Tue
    31
    May
    2016
    Across Scilly

    A month-long celebration of arts and culture on the Isles of Scilly

  • Mon
    09
    May
    2016
  • Wed
    11
    May
    2016
    10am - 4pmEden Project, Cornwall

    David, Carolyn and Amy will be there representing the IP and building relationships with potential suppliers and partners to businesses on Scilly

  • Thu
    12
    May
    2016
    7:00 pmSt Mellion
  • Mon
    16
    May
    2016
    7:30 pmPorthmellon Enterprise Centre, St Mary's
  • Tue
    17
    May
    2016
    11am-6pmWeslyan Chapel - TBC
  • Tue
    17
    May
    2016
    Thu
    19
    May
    2016
    From 5.30pmAll islands

    BRYHER Community Centre 5.30pm Tues 17th
    ST AGNES Island Hall 8pm Tues 17th
    TRESCO Community Centre 5.30pm Thurs 19th
    ST MARTIN'S Reading Room, Community Centre Thurs 19th

  • Wed
    18
    May
    2016
    6pm - 8pmSt Mary's - Steamship House
  • Tue
    24
    May
    2016
    10am - 4pmIP Office

    Come by and have a chat about how you can improve your business listing / advertising on the Visit Isles of Scilly website and make good use of the new live search by availability.

  • Thu
    26
    May
    2016
    10am - 4pmIP office

    Come by and have a chat about how you can improve your business listing / advertising on the Visit Isles of Scilly website and make good use of the new live search by availability.

  • Sat
    18
    Jun
    2016

    100 teams of two swim and run across all the islands in one day.... a world cup qualifier!

  • Thu
    28
    Jul
    2016
    10am-12noonIP office - Steamship boardroom
  • Fri
    26
    Aug
    2016
    Mon
    29
    Aug
    2016
    St Mary's

    Scilly's inaugural maritime jamboree - tall ships, sailing regatta, music and laughter and more!

  • Thu
    01
    Sep
    2016
    Fri
    30
    Sep
    2016
  • Fri
    30
    Sep
    2016
    10am - 12 noonMincarlo Guesthouse
  • Wed
    12
    Oct
    2016
    10am - 3pmLifelong Learning Centre, St Mary's

    A day's event hosted by Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Hub. For all businesses - start-ups, young businesses looking to grow and large businesses seeking to expand.  Meet the professionals who can give you expert advice and help source financial aid. Not to be missed - it's free and lunch is included.

  • Wed
    12
    Oct
    2016
    6pm - 8pmSteamship House
  • Thu
    13
    Oct
    2016
    Mon
    17
    Oct
    2016
    Across the islands
  • Thu
    13
    Oct
    2016
    11.00am - 1.00pmChurch Hall, St. Mary's TBC
  • Thu
    08
    Dec
    2016
    10am - 12 noonLifelong Learning Centre, St Mary's
  • Fri
    23
    Dec
    2016
    5pm - 7pm TBCHugh Town
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