Stroud Festival is a charity promoting and supporting all types of artistic activities throughout the Stroud District. Founded in 1946, it’s the ‘grandfather’ of all the wonderful festivals this area has to offer. It brings the best of music, poetry, drama, art and dance to Stroud and the Five Valleys.
In its earlier years Stroud Festival gained a national and even international reputation for the calibre of its events, sponsoring a poetry competition in the 1960s and ’70s which drew more than 900 entries from over 35 different countries!
Now the focus is more local. We encourage home-grown talent and involve children and young people in the arts with our recently established Children’s Festival. We’re planning to develop that into a full-blown Youth Festival by 2020. But we’ll still bring some well- known performers to Stroud so that we can all enjoy world class performances on our doorstep.
Each year, the charity distributes funds on behalf of the Margaret and Netlam Bigg Trust – local patrons of the arts whose legacy was a bequest to promote education in the arts within the District of Stroud. Many local arts organisations have started with the help of funds from this Trust. Over the years we have supported new ventures and even new festivals, which then go on to be independent. We launched the first Stroud Book Festival in 2016 which now runs separately, with its own place in the festivals calendar. (see www.stroudbookfestival.org.uk for latest details)
Organisations and individuals can apply for a grant to support artistic projects within the Stroud District. This year we are going back to our roots and in line with our future plans we’re giving grants only to those projects which are for/by/involve children and young people. Grant applications are discussed at the regular Stroud Festival Committee meetings and decisions taken swiftly. The next committee meeting will be held on 25 JUNE 2019 (For information on Grants see the Grants page) so the closing date for application is Wednesday 19 June.
Come and join us!
We are always keen to see new faces at our committee meetings and on our team of dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in helping to promote the arts in Stroud and would like to come to a meeting to see what we are about please contact Rick Vick, Festival Organiser