Arts and culture

Arts News, February and March 2021

Visual Arts

The Heseltine Gallery

New opportunity for artists and young aspiring artists to exhibit in the next online exhibition, Hands. Face. Space. Find Your Place: express your feelings through portraiture. Paint, draw or capture someone’s face, or your own and show us how they or you are feeling. ‘Find your place’ - express yourself through art, let off some steam and enjoy the therapy that art can bring.

The exhibition will go online between 22 February and 10 April for everyone to enjoy. Images of any medium and style of art accepted and if you know a budding young artist, please do tell them about the exhibition.

Images of the work must be good quality to be included on the website. Submit by 18 February for the launch or join in during the exhibition. Details for entries on the website (link in the title above); email queries to

In The Spotlight is the current online exhibition, showcasing abstracted landscape paintings by award-winning Rachel Cronin entitled The Future Has an Ancient Heart and ceramics by Sue Clayton, with designs influenced by the art of China, Japan and the natural world. The two artists were award winners of the 2019 South Northants and North Oxfordshire Selected Open Exhibition. Two more local artists are featured in the latest LOVEArt blog, where details can be found about engaging with the current Spark the Art theme. Announcements will be made about reopening the gallery as soon as arrangements can be confirmed.

Performing Arts

'Towcester's Got Talent' – Call for entries

Can you sing, or dance, perform magic, or read a poem? Has your dog or cat got star potential? Residents young and old, from Towcester and the surrounding villages are invited by the Town Mayor, Cllr Richard Dallyn, to submit a short video, no more than 3 minutes long, for a virtual variety show to be broadcast on Saturday 20 March on the Towcester MidSummer Music Facebook and YouTube channels. Entries must be submitted by 28 February. Be inventive, have fun, and give it a go!

Brackley Youth Theatre

On-line activities for minis, juniors and seniors on Zoom, Wednesday afternoons and evenings with Airlie Scott:book for weekly term-time

Royal & Derngate

16 February to 27 April On Hostile Ground
Shining a light on the communities who have come to call Britain home, On Hostile Ground is a compelling new musical drama, presented as a series of 14 music videos to be released online, for free. Based on jaw-dropping real-life testimonies and featuring a classically influenced score, it interweaves the story of the cabinet meeting that created the brutal Hostile Environment Policy and of the people whose lives were devastated by it.

Activities and resources for young people, lockdown and more.

NN12 Community Choir online

Directed by Gareth Fuller. Book for the next half term from 22 February:

The People’s Show Choir

The new choir for people who love musical theatre songs cannot start yet in Turweston. A free online taster session is offered for anyone interested on Tuesday 22 February from 7:30pm to 8:30pm. This will be run by the delightful Choral Director of the whole organisation, Ula Weber. It will be a good opportunity to see what sort of music we sing and to see what style of teaching is involved. Contact Rey Lear for further information about joining:

NMPAT – Northamptonshire Music & Performing Arts Trust

The Virtual Centre continues to meet until tutors are able to return to Saturday centres across the county. You can now keep up to date with all the latest NMPATVC news on the new Facebook page!

Literature and Libraries Plus

Towcester Library

is operating a ‘click and collect’ book service and offering a variety of online activities and reading suggestions for all ages, including the Winter Reading Mini-Challenge, Craft Club, Storytime, Rhymetime and more on Towcester Library Facebook.

Oundle Festival of Literature

Two online author events to enjoy without having to travel to Oundle. Book using the link above. Any queries call Helen on 07743988181 or email

Francis Pryor - The Fens: Discovering England's Ancient Depths

Thursday 18 February, 8.00 – 9.00pm, Zoom webinar. Tickets £6
This book is a personal, historical journey across one of the most mysterious regions of England, exploring its archaeology, history and landscapes by one of Britain’s most distinguished living archaeologists and the excavator of Flag Fen.

Children’s author Steve Cole presents Adventures with Words

Saturday 6 March, 2:00pm on Zoom. Author of Astrosaurs, Secret Agent Mummy, Magic Ink, Doctor Who, Young Bond and many more, Steve Cole will lead you on a laugh-a-minute, high energy, ukulele-accompanied master-class in "chucking imagination at words" (aka telling stories). He will teach children quick-and-easy ways to invent story ideas, share secret writing tips and reveal the origins of some of his own loopy characters. Children and adults alike will come away enthused and inspired to leap into new adventures in creative writing!


Northampton Filmhouse is currently closed but offering films through a streaming service.

Community advice and funding sources

The latest information can be found on South Northants Volunteer Bureau website and you can sign up for the regular newsletter.

Arts information, opportunities and funding: Arts Council England website. Sign up for the newsletter for updates so you don’t miss new grant opportunities which have short response deadlines.

More information can be found on the arts pages of our Healthy Communities web pages. Please have a look at our Building Stronger Communities Strategy, which sets out our plans for services for 2020-2024. It has been informed by national policy, local context, data and information about our local communities and in consultation with local stakeholders and residents. The evidence informing our strategy is in our downloadable factsheets. We have produced a delivery plan, which will be updated annually.

To receive updates on arts events and information about arts opportunities by email, contact Sue Carverhill, Arts Development Officer on 01327 322334 or email to, or post: South Northamptonshire Council, The Forum, Moat Lane, Towcester NN12 6AD.

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