ART enthusiasts could become the proud, albeit temporary, owner of a masterpiece as part of a festival in Darlington this spring.

The countdown has begun for the second annual Darlington Arts Festival, which begins in late April and runs throughout May and is being held at a range of venues across the borough.

Co-ordinated by Darlington for Culture (DfC), the group which speaks for arts and culture in the area, the festival has more than fifty events on its programme.

Loading article content

Many of the organisations and individuals supporting the event are reflected in the programme, which includes the lending library at Crown Street Art Gallery.

Members of the public will be able to borrow works of art and enjoy them at home or work.

Other highlights of the festival include:

• An arts showcase in the market place on May 11, including stalls, workshops and entertainment, including music and dancing, between 11am and 4pm;

• A series of music events, including the Darlington Jazz Festival at various venues between April 24 and 27;

• After the success of the first Jabberwocky Market last October, Battersea Arts Centre returns to Darlington during the festival with a raft of shows between May 15 and 18;

• Literary events at Café Create and other venues, featuring readings and writing workshops;

• A Black and White Film Festival to be run by Darlington Film Club at the Forum, in Borough Road, and Voodoo Café, in Skinnergate;

• Darlington Green Theatre presenting a reading of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas at Cantina/Voodoo Cafe, Skinnergate on May 18 and 19.

DfC chaiman John Dean, one of the festival organising committee, said: “Last year’s inaugural festival was tremendous and this year’s promises to be even better.

“It’s an exciting line up and just shows the sheer range and quality of the area‘s arts scene.”

Yvonne Preston, DfC’s artistic director and one of the team organising the showcase on May 11, said: “The showcase will be an opportunity to find out the kind of things going on in the borough. It will be a fun-filled day with lots to see and do.”

Kirsty Dunn, one of the organisers of the Darlington Jazz Festival, added: “Darlington Jazz Festival 2014 is excited to be at the start of what promises to be a fantastic, diverse Arts Festival for Darlington and our region.

“This is the third year the Jazz Festival has run and we are excited to raise the bar once again by providing a platform for both local and regional talent, yet again attracting incredibly talented national artists prominent on today’s jazz scene.”

Producer Caroline Pearce, whose Darlington-based company Luxi runs Jabberwocky Market said: “It’s fantastic that we are able to work with DfC more closely this time and bring to their programme some of the very best in small-scale theatre.

“We believe that by working together, we will be able to bring to the town the best possible opportunities to see and do arts and theatre.”

For full details of the programme, visit