Arts Activity Trail guide

The guide is now available for the Mytholmroyd Arts Activity Trail launch event on Sunday 16th October which will include a series of drop-in workshops along the route between 10:00 and 17:00.


The Festival Team and artists have been having fun testing the Trail route and activities

After the Festival weekend the Trail route can be followed all year round with a guide that will include creative outdoor activities contributed by the four Festival workshop leaders – artists Dorothy Simister, Tina Foran and Sally Barker and poet Winston Plowes.


One week to go

The main Festival weekend is only a week away.

Everyone has been very busy behind the scenes…


Making and decorating ceramics for ‘Living Rooms’ (photo by Jane O’Neill)


Having fun developing ‘The Project’ (photo by Winston Plowes)


Getting outdoors to trial the new Mytholmroyd Arts Activity Trail

Last week ‘Singing for Everybody‘ got off to a flying start; the next session takes place on Tuesday 11th October and new singers are welcome to join at any time.

Make sure you check the Festival Programme for events taking place ahead of the main weekend including Paper/Scissors/Stone, an evening of poetry at The Blue Teapot.


‘The Project’ takes shape

Our great musical adventure, aka ‘The Project‘, is under way.  Here’s all the latest news, direct from musician and composer Dave Nelson:


Some of you will have heard about ‘The Project’ before, but now that it has begun to take shape properly you may like to have some more detailed information…


This is for you if you’d like to get involved in the creation and performance of what we think will be a spectacular, exciting and enjoyable piece of music with many local singers and instrumentalists taking part.

On Sunday October 16th I will be directing the whole ensemble, which will be made up of musicians and singers from the Upper Calder Valley, as we endeavour to create and perform a large-scale “Songscape” based loosely around the four elements: earth, water, air and fire…all in one day!

This is a community event organised by Mytholmroyd Arts Festival and it’s open to anyone who plays an instrument, sings, writes song lyrics or possible does all three. You don’t have to be brilliant! My job is to involve everyone who wants to participate, no matter how inexperienced they may be at writing, singing or ensemble playing. We’ve even got some fantastic, easy-to-play Javanese Gamelan instruments and lots of other percussion for people who don’t own an instrument. Other instruments that you can expect to see on the day so far include guitars, bass, piano, harp, hammer dulcimer, various brass instruments, accordion and mandolin. We have room for lots more!

The end result will be a partly improvised, partly structured piece of music; partly instrumental, partly choral, sometimes both. There will also be times when only one or two instruments are playing; times too when the lyrics are sung or even spoken by just one person. Parts of the music will feel like a massive sound collage played over a basic groove – other sections may come out being more free-form.

It’s an ambitious target, but I’ve done this kind of work many times before whilst delivering music workshops to schools, colleges and to many adult groups. We’ll be starting with some fun musical games and warm ups which will give us most of the musical ideas needed to form the whole piece.

We’re going to make a start at 10am on the Sunday morning (16th October) at the Ted Hughes Theatre in Calder High School. If you’d like to take part you’ll need to be there just before then in order to set up, tune up etc. We’ll carry on throughout the day, gradually putting the piece together, before taking a break late afternoon in preparation for a performance (A World Premiere!) in the same venue that evening.

You may be wondering where all the lyrics will come from. Some will come from writing workshops in local schools given by Hebden Bridge poet Winston Plowes. But they could also come from you! There are lyric writing sessions being held on October 5th and 12th at Mytholmroyd Community Centre, when your own ideas can be worked on and joined up with others to form the lyrical base of the whole piece. We’ll also try to add melodies to your words – not only for the choir to sing but also for some of the instrumentalists to play.

So if you’re a singer (or someone who enjoys singing), an instrumentalist (or someone who plays a bit) or a writer (or someone who simply enjoys writing) and you’d like to participate in this unique and possibly unforgettable event, then please get in touch with me on 01422 843315 or via

Singers take note

This year’s Festival is opening up some exciting musical opportunities for local singers.

If you’re interested in performing and/or writing new music, check out ‘The Project’.  Music/lyrics workshops begin in early October, plus there’s the chance to take part in our Festival Finale on Sunday 16th.

For a regular sing with a friendly and fun group, get along to our Singing for Everybody sessions (beginning on Thursday 29th September).  Everyone is welcome, from complete beginners to more experienced singers.



‘Calder’ goes on tour

The short film ‘Calder’, commissioned by the Festival in 2015, will shortly be touring Calderdale with September screenings in Blackshaw Head (28th), Midgley (29th)and Todmorden (30th).

Tim and Jack from short film 'Calder'

Tim and his dog Jack from short film ‘Calder’ (image courtesy of Geoff Brokate, 2016)

In April 2016 the film premiered to a tightly-packed audience at The Dusty Miller in Mytholmroyd, where filmmakers Geoff Brokate and Paula Sutherland discussed the remarkable experience of making the work in the community in the aftermath of such a devastating event.

Tour screenings of ‘Calder’ will be followed by a discussion with writer and filmmaker Paula Sutherland.  The film returns to Mytholmroyd with screenings during this year’s Arts Festival.

Visit our Film Tour page for further details.

Ceramics workshops with Sarah McDade

Would you like to get involved in our ‘Living Rooms’ project?

Make a cup, or bowl, and spoon as well as one or more pottery flowers to decorate one of our outdoor ‘Living Rooms’, on display around Mytholmroyd during the Festival weekend.

Ceramic flowers

Workshops information

Free drop-in workshops for all ages with ceramic artist Sarah McDade:

10:00-13:00 Saturday 10th Sep (making) and Saturday 1st Oct (glazing/decorating)

The Old Firestation Gallery, Mytholmroyd HX7 5EG


Opportunities for artists

We are delighted to announce two opportunities for artists/makers.

Artists tools

Living Rooms project

We have paid opportunities for three Mytholmroyd artists/makers to work on an exciting project for MAF2016.  Following the Boxing Day floods, we all experienced the distressing sight of people’s destroyed belongings out on the street.  We want to turn that bad memory into something positive by creating a beautiful outdoor display of ‘living rooms’ in the village, using art and gardening to make temporary installations which might in include a bedroom, sitting room, bathroom or kitchen.

We are looking for artists to work with experienced curator and public art commissioner Geoff Wood to develop and execute these installations, which will be in place during the Arts Festival 14th-16th October.

Payment for the project will be £500 including fees and all materials costs.  There may also be the opportunity to work with people skilled in working with plants and flowers.

If you would like to be considered for this opportunity, please send an email with no more than four images of your work and no more than 200 words about why you would like to take part to: and

by 12 noon, Sunday 14th August.

Shortlisted artists will then be invited to a meeting with Geoff to discuss their ideas, and successful artists will be informed by 28th August.

Open Studios

We are also delighted to announce an exciting opportunity for Mytholmroyd artists/makers to showcase and sell their work during the Arts Festival 14th-16th October.

Are you interested in opening your house or studio, or partnering with a local business in the village to show your work in their premises?

Please send an email with your contact details, no more than three images of your work and a brief description of what you will be showing to:

by Monday 22nd August.

We look forward to hearing from you.

2016 Festival dates announced

We are pleased to announce the main Festival dates for 2016.  Please mark Friday 14th to Sunday 16th October very firmly in your diary.

MAF16 diary

Our theme this year is the four elements, one of which has been rather too prominent in our thoughts in recent months. We’ll do our best to restore harmony and balance with a celebratory exploration of fire, air and earth (and maybe just a dash of water).