A LOCAL arts festival is calling for creative people and organisations to be part of this year's line-up.

Now in its seventh year, the Darlington Arts Festival will run across the town from Friday, May 17 to Monday, May 20.

Under the theme of 'Follow Your Art', this year the festival aims to highlight the range of creative activities and clubs in Darlington for locals to take part in.

As a brand new feature, the festival welcomes the addition of a performance space in the Market Hall – called 'Spotlight on…' – which provides groups with the opportunity to promote their events for free and attract new members.

Darlington For Culture (DfC), who organises the annual event, said they want to help the arts scene thrive even more in 2019 and encourage local societies to get involved in promoting themselves.

Helen Devonshire, Darlington Arts Festival Co-ordinator, said: “The festival will be a snapshot of different types of arts activities that take place all year round but will focus on encouraging people to try something new; from watching bands and plays they don’t know, to joining a music group or choir, learning to dance or starting to write a novel."

DfC are sending a callout for people who have, or are planning, creative events for those dates to be included in the festival programme and publicity material.

The event can be any creative endeavour from music, visual art, dance, theatre to writing groups.

To be part of the festival, societies and individuals have until March 18 to contact Darlington for Culture with the name and organisation name, title of the event, date and time, venue, price of admission, plus any age restrictions and contact details.

Darlington for Culture are also offering a small number of grants up to £250 for those who would like to organise an event specifically for the festival.

Those who wish to apply for the grant can contact DfC to discuss their idea.

The Darlington Arts Festival is an annual event which takes place across a number venues in the town including Darlington Hippodrome, The Forum, Head of Steam Museum and Crown Street Gala.

Last year's festival featured a series of comedy gigs, performances from local theatre groups and an exhibition of Tibetan art created by A-level student Adam Plumb.

It also hosted a 12-hour Literary Day consisting of writing workshops, author talks and readings, an open mic night and stalls ran by local independent publishers and bookshops.

More information about the festival and grants, including contact information, can be found at darlingtonforculture.org