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Lewes Arts Lovers in for an Easter Treat

At ‘Art of Change' festival, 10-14 April, 2009

March 31, 2009, Press Dispensary. A new festival of music, dance and the spoken word - showcasing charismatic talents from Lewes and beyond - is coming to the town over the Easter weekend. Inspired by the informal, eclectic and family-friendly spirit of fringe events at big festivals, 'Art of Change' will combine dance, drama and vocal workshops for children and adults with concerts and performance – including an Afro-Cuban night, Eastern European folk, and a Dylan sing-along by candlelight.

The not-for-profit festival takes place at indoor venues in and around Lewes between Friday 10 April and Tuesday 14 April, 2009, with many of the shorter concerts and workshops free of charge.

Visitors can learn the basics of belly dance, salsa and Balkan dance, join in a percussion workshop inspired by ‘Stomp’, learn world harmony songs, or experience ‘voice art’, a powerful combination of vocal expression and painting. A children’s programme includes 3-D art, whacky team races, a potluck picnic and a traditional Easter egg hunt.

Acts to watch out for include local rising star Chippy Mobs, who will perform his distinctive upbeat blues, world music played on rare traditional instruments by Undiscovered Lands, and a performance of Brecht/Weill works, a hybrid of satire, social commentary and singing.

But the five-day festival isn’t just about arts and entertainment – it also aims to raise awareness about the ‘transition town’ movement, a country-wide network of community projects trying to prepare people for life after oil. One of the UK’s foremost transition towns, Lewes introduced its own ‘Lewes pounds’ to encourage people to shop locally, and the festival will be underpinned with the movement’s environmental ethos.

Transition themed events include an introduction to sustainable living, launching an eco school club, and a series of sessions for health, healing and well being – including compassionate touch, yoga and creative writing.

Internationally renowned dance teacher Stefan Freedman, who has travelled the world teaching at festival weekends for 25 years, is staging the festival.

Stefan explains the thinking behind the festival: “A healthy community combines creative expression and co-operative projects, but today’s commerce-fuelled culture invites us be isolated and passive. This five-day festival is an opportunity to come together as a community to explore some positive ideas for low-carbon, sustainable living – and provide great entertainment for the whole family over the Easter weekend."

Stefan concludes: “This year Lewes is missing three regular festivals, The Literary, Folk-Rock and Guitar Festivals, so we trust you'll want to adopt this new one and make it very successful.”

Tickets are available over the counter from the Lewes Tourist Information Centre, and by cheque or paid in Lewes pounds to Maria Gibbs, tel: 01373 475798 and email: . Sixteen of the festival events are free, with others charged at the minimum needed to cover costs. A five-day festival ticket is available for £60 if paid by 8 April, after which it will cost £89 (ticket covers all events other than meals). Full details of the program, venues and costs can be found at

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Notes for editors
The Art of Change festival is a collaboration between Transition Town Lewes, Subud Lewes Centre and Lewes New School, co-ordinated by Stefan Freedman.

The transition town movement was started by Rob Hopkins based around community projects that prepare the challenges of climate change and peak oil. Lewes became a transition town in April 2007, and currently has 20 groups looking at issues such as energy, food, housing and transport. More information can be found at

For further information, please contact:
Stefan Freedman, co-ordinator
Art of Change Festival
Tel: 01473 415496 (away Thurs Apr 2- Sat Apr 4)

Media contacts

Stefan Freedman, co-ordinator
Tel: 01473 415496 (away Thurs Apr 2- Sat Apr 4)