Voluntary Arts FestivalVoluntary Arts Festival 2017 took place from 5 - 14 May and saw over 200 events take place across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Since its inception in 2011, Voluntary Arts Festival (formerly Voluntary Arts Week) has grown from a pilot week in Scotland to a huge celebration of creativity across all of the UK and Republic of Ireland. 2017 has been another big success with thousands of people getting out and getting involved with community-led creative activities (see photo highlights on Facebook and video highlights from Paisley). Over 200 events took place from 5-14 May this year, adding to thousands of events hosted by local creative groups over the past seven years. The initial idea for Voluntary Arts Week was borrowed from our friends in Belgium, who have been enjoying the 'Week of Amateur Arts' since 2007. We've always sought out collaborations with partners in the UK and further afield in promoting our call for people to get involved and get creative. The Get Creative campaign has allowed us to work in partnership with a whole range of new organisations and media contacts, promoting opportunities for people to try something new and creative in their community. So in 2018, we'll be merging Voluntary Arts Festival with the new Get Creative Festival to build an even bigger and better celebration of creativity. All year round, Voluntary Arts supports groups in promoting their events and sharing our Briefings on planning events to help them be as welcoming and accessible as possible and get the word out online and through local media. Follow Voluntary Arts on Twitter and Facebook or sign up to our enews to stay up to date about plans for next year! Some highlights from Voluntary Arts Festival 2017 AboutOrganise an EventMedia ToolkitContact Voluntary Arts Festival Voluntary Arts Festival takes place in cities, towns and villages across the UK and Republic of Ireland. It’s a chance for people to get creative – share what they already do, or try something new for the first time. Creativity comes in many forms, from music and singing to visual art and craft, digital art and drama to cooking and gardening. However you choose to express yourself, taking part in Voluntary Arts Festival is a great way to share what you do and learn from others in your community. Hundreds of groups and thousands of participants celebrated everyday creativity in 2016. Watch our short film to find out how you could get involved and read on for details of how you can be part of the action: If you’re a creative individual or want to try something new, Voluntary Arts Festival is a great way to find out how to ‘get creative’ on your doorstep. In the run up to May, groups and organisations of all shapes and sizes will be adding their events to the festival website so be sure to check back and put a creative date in your diary! If you’re a creative group or organisation, we'd love to have you on board! Taking part is a great way to share your creativity and invite new people to join you. You could hold a taster workshop, open day, pop-up event or simply advertise your regular activity and make it welcoming to new people. List your event on our website and we’ll help you spread the word. Visit the Organise an event page for more information including event ideas, guidance and free resources to help you organise and publicise your event. Voluntary Arts Festival in Paisley and Renfrewshire For the 2017 Festival, Voluntary Arts Scotland joined forces with local partners, including Paisley 2021 and Renfrewshire Council, to spotlight the wealth of creative activity in Paisley and Renfrewshire and help organise and promote events locally. From photography exhibitions to ceilidhs, workshops and open rehearsals; from craft, music, dance, painting and digital arts - there’s so much to discover on your doorstep, so join in the fun! The What's On Guide is available here and the map of Everyday creativity in Paisley is available here.A plain text copy of the Guide is available here. This map of central Paisley shows a variety of groups and organisations who meet locally. So whatever you’re looking for - whether it’s to talk about your favourite novels at a book club, join a choir, learn to salsa dance or share embroidery with other crafters - there’s a local group for you. And if you’re looking for more groups in Paisley and in Renfrewshire, then check out the amazing digital map created by Alison McCandlish as part of the campaign bid for Paisley 2021: www.paisley2021.co.uk/news/welcome-to-the-renfrewshire-cultural-map/ See our festival infographic for a taster of what happened in May 2016. Want to speak with some one about your Voluntary Arts Festival idea? Visit the Voluntary Arts contact page to locate your nearest Voluntary Arts team and get in touch.