A spectacular festival of arts and culture aimed at boosting the wellbeing of children after the impact of the pandemic reaches its climax in Huddersfield on Saturday July 2.

Our Biennale 2022 will showcase the work of children and young people between the ages of two and 18.

Between 11am and 3pm in the Piazza Shopping Centre there will be a parade and performances.

Then from 3pm-7pm there will be skateboarding, street art, young bands and DJing activities at the Lawrence Batley Theatre Courtyard.

Our Biennale 2022 has seen arts projects in schools, in the community and in youth groups with over 80 art, music, dance, poetry and theatre workshops over the last two months. The work has ranged from self-portraits, alter-egos and avatars to puppets, costumes and more.

Festival director Chloe Williams said: “We are delighted to be delivering Our Biennale again this year with the theme of Magnificent Me!

“Young people have had a lot to contend with these past couple of years. The Covid pandemic has led to them missing school and becoming isolated from friends and normal activities.

“The focus of our 2022 festival is on ‘well-being’ and how we can use the arts to inspire children and young people to express themselves, re-connect and have fun again.

“This is an opportunity for children to take over the streets, make a noise, be heard, be seen and look magnificent.

“We want children and young people to feel that they have a right to impact on the world around them –  as Picasso once said ‘all children are artists.’”

Local schools have received the event with enthusiasm. Kathy Coates-Mohammed, head teacher of Pentlands Infant and Nursery School in Savile Town, Dewsbury, said: “The looks on our children’s faces are the reason why we will continue to partake in Our Biennale over and over again – absolute joy.”

Events on Saturday are all free and include:

·       A parade at 1.30pm featuring magnificent puppets, instruments, costumes and flags;

·       Performance and circus from Poppins Presents;

·       Tooting, whistling, plinking and parping gizmos from Orchestra of Objects;

·       Performance by Shabang Theatre;

·       Junk Samba with Rhythm Stick;

·       Art installations and exhibitions;

·       Funky Junk workshops with Satellite Arts;

·       Stilt walkers.

Older children can head down to the Lawrence Batley Theatre Courtyard for the ‘Summer Slam’ between 3pm and 7pm to enjoy:

·       A pop-up skate park with 11 ramps from Skate it Yourself (parental consent required);

·       Street art with Northern Mural Company – have a go at decorating the skate ramps and vinyl records;

·       Listen to young DJs spin their tracks;

·       Watch local up and coming musicians with Jam Factory;

·       Spoken word – check out what young writers have been producing.

There will also be opportunities to learn more about creative career paths and gain experience and advice from professionals.

‘Our Biennale’ is produced by the Kirklees Local Cultural Education Partnership, Evoke, and led by The Children’s Art School.  For further information visit https://ourbiennale.org/