AN AMBITIOUS arts festival featuring a variety of performances, exhibitions and events will get underway in east Durham tomorrow (Wednesday).

Beamish Museum, arts commissioner Forma and East Durham Trust have collaborated with leading artists, musicians and producers for the first East Durham Creates Festival – planned to continue as biannual event until the summer of 2016.

The festival has been inspired by the communities, landscape, history and culture of East Durham.

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Programme manager Nikki Locke said: “Our ambition over the next two years is to act as a catalyst in creating an appetite for future activity through providing positive experiences for local residents, encourage more visitors to this beautiful part of the world, attract

investment and leave behind a lasting legacy.”

Specially-commissioned projects include an animated film by Dryden Goodwin based on his encounters with 12 people all with different skills involving their hands – from a tattoo artist, to cake decorating and horse handling.

It will be screened outdoors at the shopping centres of Castle Dene, Peterlee, from 4.30pm to 7pm tomorrow (Wednesday) to November 10 and at Byron Place, Seaham, from November 6-15, as well as at inside venues across east Durham.

Tickets are free but booking is recommended. Games for Places will see a series of games installed in parks, near buildings and in other surprise locations around the district.

Inspired by east Durham’s maritime heritage, local stories and the George Elmy lifeboat disaster in 1962 that claimed nine lives, Ed Carter’s FI10: False Lights Seaham combines sculpture, light and sound in a specially commissioned large-scale installation and performance. It will be on display at St John’s Church in Seaham, from November 1 to 13.

Other Festival projects include Walker & Bromwich’s Art Lending Library that allows residents to lend one of 50 artworks for three days, by artists including Jacqueline Donachie and Roderick Buchanan, Ciara Phillips, Bill Drummond and Graham Fagen.

The festival is supported by Durham County Council through East Durham Area Action Partnership and funded with Arts Council England Creative People and Places cash.

Programmes are available to download at eastdurhamcreates.co.uk or for more details contact 0191-5185073.