A key element of Lichfield Arts’ organisational objectives is the provision of educational projects in an outreach programme which encourages local people to participate in the arts by learning new skills and performing at community events. It is this that sets us apart from being just another event organiser.
We have delivered a wide range of creative and educational outreach projects over the years. Examples include art competitions and installations, young people taking over the running of a Fuse marquee, a music performance and workshop featuring patients from local mental health hospitals, an ‘I See Jazz’ project for children to link the creative processes of art, music and performance, a creative songwriting course and competition, ‘slam poetry’, circus skills, junk instrument making, puppetry, giant sculptures and a showcase by local primary schools of dance, drama, singing and art featuring various decades from the 1920s through to the 1990s. Three further projects were so successful that they have since gone on to have a life of their own: Wildfire Folk, Blast Off and the Lichfield Lighthouse Company…
Wildfire Folk was formed by Lichfield Arts as a Youth Ensemble to play music as it should be played – with enthusiasm, energy and style. Created as part of the Lichfield Arts Folk Arts project, Wildfire started off as a one off workshop and was so immensely popular that it quickly developed into a band in its own right with regular rehearsals and performances all over the country.
Since then, the band have gone from strength to strength – they have a demanding and varied repertoire and are performing across the country at a range of events such as Chester Folk Festival, Upton Folk Festival, the Acoustic Festival of Great Britain and more! The group consists of over 20 members between the ages of 10 and 25, and offers a unique chance to play folk music in a contemporary way, learning to arrange, write, and perform.
Wildfire Folk have produced 4 EPs, recording a selection of their most recent compositions and arrangements every few years. Their debut EP was recorded in 2010, followed by ‘Sound Signals’ in 2013 and ‘Prime Numbers’ in 2015. Their most recent EP ‘DECADEnce’ was recorded in 2019 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Wildfire. The band are always writing and arranging new material, so there is more in the pipeline to feast your ears on!
Wildfire Folk have appeared at concerts and festivals nationwide. Performances include Acoustic Festival of Great Britain, Warwick Folk Festival, Wirral Folk on the Coast, Chester Folk Festival, Upton Folk Festival, Lichfield Fuse Festival and many more.
Originally set up as a one off project to play at the Fuse Festival in July 2014, Blast Off was such a success it carried on, and continues to grow from strength to strength.
Made up of local musicians of all ages from a wide variety of musical backgrounds (Classical, Brass Band, Blues Bands, Rock & Pop), Blast Off plays a selection of Family Friendly Funky and Groovy Jazz – and features some tight ensemble playing and some sizzling solos! The band has regular performances around the Lichfield District.
Still supported by Lichfield Arts, and led under the musical directorship of Nick Dewhurst, Blast Off continues to grow both as an ensemble, and as a community project.
Lichfield Lighthouse Company
Lichfield Lighthouse Company is a sea shanty singing group which was originally formed by, and has ongoing support from, Lichfield Arts. The group has performed across the Midlands and bring their sea shanty’s to the city of Lichfield.
If you have any ideas for a good outreach project that you feel we should get involved in please do get in touch. We are always looking for exciting, creative ways to empower the community, offer a fresh perspective on what we do and utilize new ideas.