Monday, 24 April 2017

The City of Mandurah is gearing up for one of the most colourful and creative festivals of the year, the Stretch Arts Festival.

Everyone is invited to become immersed in creativity and all things arty at the 16th annual festival on May 6 and 7.

With a jam-packed program and attractions for all ages to enjoy, Stretch is Mandurah's premier arts festival which aims to promote, nurture and celebrate the talent and works of established and emerging artists in the local area.

During the weekend, Festival Square presented by Act-Belong-Commit, will come alive with a number of free events, performances, workshops, high quality arts and cultural experiences and learning opportunities that everyone is encouraged to join.

A highlight of the festival is The Big Draw, a fun, colourful and energetic event that has been held across the UK and in 26 other countries. This year, Mandurah will participate in this event by offering more than 10 free Big Draw activities stationed around Festival Square with the involvement of local businesses.

This year's Big Draw theme is 'Create like the Greats', combining arts and education to deliver drop-in activities based on the artistic styling of great artists and historical arts movements such as impressionism, post impressionism, cubism and pop art.

The Youth Area will be located near Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah, and will feature a pop-up skate park, urban art workshops, DJs and a dancefloor, a chill-out zone posca art with Ziggy York and more.

There will be a huge range of arts and crafts including the Mandurah Woodturners Association, Mandurah Arts and Crafts group and the Mandurah Men's Shed. Festival-goers will be spoilt for choice with interesting activities throughout the weekend including painting a car, tie-dye t-shirts, an environmental zone, roving entertainment, food vans, acrobats and entertainment stages throughout the Stretch footprint.

The main stage in Festival Square will be buzzing during the weekend with comedy acts, live music, a Yaburgurt public artwork panel discussion, Mandurah Concert Band and a morning yoga session.

Yaburgurt installation artist Peter Farmer will also be launching his new fashion range during the weekend. The range, 'Six Seasons, pushes the boundaries of storytelling, music and fashion and is a collaboration between some of the state's best Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal creatives. Their creations will be showcased at a fashion parade and then visitors can join in the Yarn with the Creatives.

There will also be a special performance by the Riptide Youth Performance Company titled Walk with Me. Audience members will join the actors in a moving performance piece created and performed by the company. Meet at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre and be led on a journey that shares the openness and excitement for the future.

Mayor Marina Vergone said Stretch was a highlight of the City's events calendar, and it had grown over the years to become a prominent arts festival.

“The local community and many visitors to Mandurah really embrace the Stretch Arts Festival year after year,” she said.

“Developing the creative arts is critical for us to be a vibrant community, and something the City of Mandurah highly values. Events and festivals such as the Stretch Arts Festival contribute to developing a sense of place which adds to our pride and enjoyment of living in Mandurah.”

For more information about the Stretch Arts Festival and associated workshops, go to Keep an eye on the website for the full Stretch program.