The Bertarelli Foundation initiated and sponsored the inaugural Creative Minds Festival. Held at the Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent (UK), the fantastic week-long festival of the arts was a major local event, bringing together 34 schools and community groups.
From mid-May to early July, the participants (more than 550 in total) involved worked on creating short films, new and reworked songs, music, visual arts and pieces of drama. They worked with leading, world-class arts practitioners who inspired performances and gave hands-on experience.
But there was even more: people from Stoke were also invited in to celebrate the region’s creativity of the region during the day and to take part in one of many artistic workshops.
After 4 evening shows during the week, participants were invited to attend an Awards Ceremony on Sat July 7. The jury tasked with judging the entrants was composed of Kirsty Bertarelli, Suzanne Collins and Ian Moore and together they had to select winners in each category: Best Choir, Best Solo Performance, Best Drama, Best Art Design, Best Film, Best Musician, Best Performance, Best Digital Artwork.
The last prize of the evening, The Bertarelli Foundation Award went to YMCA Hanley and their solo singer Liccy Lockitt.
Kirsty Bertarelli, who grew up in Stoke-on-Trent, attended the Festival and commented: « The inaugural Creative Minds Festival has been fantastic, beyond my wildest dreams. I really wanted to help and be able to put something back into the area – and it’s great I can do that through creativity. The schools have got right behind it and it’s great because it helps young children express themselves through all the arts – music, drama, film, art and design. It’s quite unique in the breadth of experience it is offering.”