Cheltenham Poetry Festival and Arts for Everyone

Creative opportunities for EVERYONE from Cheltenham Poetry Festival — improving health and well-being, offering positive and life-affirming coping strategies, empowering, life enhancing, joyful and inspiring!

Cheltenham Poetry Festival is a not for profit which, alongside offering world-class literature events, offers a programme of community outreach activities, This programme engages the most vulnerable members of society and presents poetry in an innovative and inspiring way.

Since the Festival’s inception in 2011 we have brought hundreds of acclaimed artists to perform in Cheltenham – and offered outreach activities to make poetry accessible and empowering to the most marginalised and at-risk members of society. Through our Arts For Everyone activities, we have forged links with the entire community and ensured those who experience economic and physical barriers to cultural inclusion are able to enjoy creative activities.

Our outreach work enables us to support the work of local community groups such as Cheltenham Community Projects, The Independence Trust and P3- and offer their clients inspiring and life enhancing creative writing sessions.

We believe art is for EVERYONE and we work throughout the year to take creative practitioners (artists, musicians, storytellers) out into the community to work with groups who may previously been excluded from artistic activities.

Our workshops are designed to foster community pride, improve health and well-being, and help participants to engage with literacy and feel empowered through self-expression.

Our sessions enable vulnerable and hard-to-reach clients to engage with art and literature and teach them tools that will improve health and well-being and offer them positive and life affirming coping strategies.

Our 2021 Outreach activities include:

Outspoken – empowering, spoken-word literacy-enhancing workshops with Abdul Ahad Patel, an ex-youth-boxing teacher, actor and poet. These sessions are targeted to young adults in schools of economic disadvantage.

Empower through Poetry – Jack Crowe, producer, poet and musician will work with adults with mental health issues at P3 to write spoken word poetry.

Dan Hartland, acclaimed singer songwriter will offer three Lyrical Song Writing workshops to teach pupils to craft poetic song lyrics. Dan will work with young adults to write lyrics drawn from everyday inspiration.

Dan Hartland

Creative writing workshops are scheduled with Rowan McCabe, the world’s first Door-to-Door Poet. Rowan also performs on stages and has appeared at Glastonbury Festival and the Royal Albert Hall. He was the winner of the 2015 Great Northern Slam and his work has been featured in the Guardian, on BBC Breakfast and was named ‘Best of Today’ on Radio 4.

Past tutors include storyteller Chloe — The Midnight Story Teller, Spoz, Al Hutchins, and Christine Whittemore.

At our inspiring Arts for Everyone classes we have worked with:

~ adults with mental health issues to relieve anxiety, increase self-esteem and self-confidence,
~ young adults to facilitate self-expression and empowerment
~ adults with age related issues, such as Dementia, to improve health and well being
~ young children in areas of economic disadvantage to improve literacy and encourage engagement with poetry and the arts
~ refuges and the homeless to facilitate a greater sense of community belonging. 

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