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VIDEO: Brighton Festival will provide children with an 'alternative education'
This year’s Brighton Festival will aim to fill the gap in arts education that schools are leaving open.
Speaking at the launch yesterday, guest director Michael Rosen said youngsters were missing out on arts lessons at school because teachers consider them less important.
He said: “Because of what we do to children in education, we treat them as people on conveyor belts – certain things are being put onto them like making a Ford car.
“There’s a special role for children in the arts. We deprive them of the right to look at their own lives. The arts is an important way of doing that.
“At primary school and secondary school you see children get excited by arts, but there’s always something more important to do – usually a worksheet.”
The author and former Children’s Laureate was joined at the Brighton Dome launch by Guardian columnist and Festival chair Polly Toynbee along with chief executive Andrew Comben.
The trio introduced the May event with a video recital of Rosen’s famous poem We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with cameos from mayor Bill Randall, Albion chief executive Paul Barber and The Argus features team.
The assembled regional and national media were then given a sneak preview of the programme’s 154 events.
Mr Rosen said: “I have always loved festivals – I’ve been to them and tried to participate in them.
“If you hold a festival there’s a concentration of energy and attention across the scope of a city.
“It’s like an informal college or university – but for everyone.
“I’m a passionate believer that knowledge and the arts are for everybody.”
The author highlighted some of the events he is involved with, including The Great Enormo.
Billed as a youngster’s introduction to the orchestra, the event will kick off the three-week festival from May 4 to 26.
The author and a full orchestra will create a new piece of music with the help of the audience.
He will also hold an “in conversation” with legendary children’s author Judith Kerr as well as a number of readings.
Don’t miss The Argus on Friday for an exclusive copy of this year’s Festival programme.
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