Curtain up for Interact 2012

The Millennium Forum's Youth Forum who have organised the Interact Youth Festival which runs from August 13-19. (youth forum)

The Millennium Forum's Youth Forum who have organised the Interact Youth Festival which runs from August 13-19. (youth forum)

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The fourth annual InterAct Youth Arts Festival opens on August 13 and will see a series of leading arts practitioners offering masterclasses, concerts, studios and workshops not only in the Millennium Forum but across several venues.

The six day festival hosts in excess of 43 events, so The Youth Forum have been busy. As well as masterclasses from Paul Casey, Ben Kelly, Tim McGarry and local actress Amanda Doherty, the line up features a range of free classes including, fused dance; DJ school; stage tech school; 35mm photography; modern and contemporary dance; acting for auditions; comic arts; games design, a tech lab; graphic design; actor’s studio; youth mural; melodicty; song writing; animation; musical theatre academy and circus skills.

The festival will have over 2, 000 young people involved hopes organiser Sinead Crossan.

“Last year over 1,800 people contributed to what was a great festival and the hope is that this year is bigger and better.

“The aim is to make the festival an international one in 2013 for the City of Culture year. We like a challenge,” said the Forum’s Education and Outreach officer.

“The festival already has a cross border dimension with schools from across Derry and Donegal participating. The Foyle Language School is also involved, so we do have a European dimension.

“These young people have achieved great results and are set to achieve even more in their careers,” enthused Sinead.

The Millennium Forum’s Youth Forum team are responsible for the programming and Sinead said managing their expectations is the biggest challenge.

“Funding is hard to come by and when we do get it sometimes the difficulty is managing the expectations of our young people.

“Their first question when we sat down to construct the 2012 programme was ‘Can we get Lady Gaga?’”

The festival is both about giving young people a chance to get involved in the arts but also to give them a realistic experience of work in the industry, explained Sinead. “The Youth Forum have been great but they know that hard work and commitment are the first ingredients to being successful.

“Creativity is putting your imagination to work but it is work. The festival is a reality check and I think that is as important as the sense of acheivement and general experience from Interact 2012.”

The Festival is already set to be huge.

Many events were sold out within two days of going on sale. There are tickets for the final showcase event still remaining. The Interact Showcase will be held in the Millennium Foum on Friday August 12.

In addition to the drama and musical performances on stage all the art work completed during the Festival will be on display at The Millennium Forum. Admission is free of charge.

In order to book tickets for the event or for information on the Interact 2012 schedule log onto www.millenniumforum.co.uk or to book any of the free workshops call 028 71 272788.

Interact is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and The Reconciliation Fund through the Department of Foreign Affairs.