News

A celebration of humanity. A celebration of our world.

Inspired by Magellan’s visionary expedition, this year’s festival is a celebration of everything around us: our planet, its peoples, its creativity and ingenuity, its aspirations, and its determination to succeed… just like those who boarded that first ship which circumnavigated the world for the first time 500 years ago. Everything in this programme is linked to humanity, to freedom, to nature, to the exhilarating richness of cultural diversity, to the (subjective?) Truth, to journeys, and Read more…

Around the world in 80 ways!

Commemorating the 500th anniversary of the first ship that circumnavigated the world, OFA 2022 will be a celebration of the world in a multitude of ways – and of Oxford’s scientific, literary and creative achievement, too. We welcome distinguished performers ranging from Joseph Calleja and Brian Blessed to Phil Wang – and we look forward to your return to the Rose Garden. Come to the University Church of St Mary the Virgin to see Gaia: Read more…

An Evening with Fran Lebowitz at The New Theatre Oxford

We are delighted to reveal one of the first events for this year’s Festival – an evening with Fran Lebowitz at the New Theatre Oxford on 27 June 2022. “In a cultural landscape filled with endless pundits and talking heads, Fran Lebowitz stands out as one of our most insightful social commentators.” An American original, and purveyor of urban cool, the cultural satirist and author is pointed, forthright, unapologetically opinionated, and known for her hilariously Read more…

COMING SOON: Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers

We are delighted to announce this thrilling event for the 2022 Festival, performing at The New Theatre Oxford this summer. Experience the power of heart-pounding rhythms on huge taiko drums, sharp synchronisation and high energy, in a spellbinding performance from Mugenkyo’s tribe of performers from across the globe. Following their landmark 25th year, the UK’s original touring Taiko pioneers return to the road with their latest show of skill, stamina & red-hot rhythms to stir Read more…

‘Inspirational Oxfordshire’ campaign launches

Oxford Festival of the Arts is delighted to be part of a new campaign celebrating the wealth of arts and culture across Oxfordshire. The campaign, which runs until October 2021, involves 32 cultural organisations ranging from museums and art galleries to theatres and festivals. The campaign promotes the county to both international and domestic visitors, as a welcoming and accessible place to visit, bursting with amazing culture and talent. Experience Oxfordshire will highlight the world-renowned Read more…

Tried and tested, activity bags are a hit!

Thank you to Lilley Mitchell and Radio Oxford for the feature they ran today which you can hear in the video above. As part of our work with the MCS Partnerships Team, we have put together 100 free activity bags for children to enjoy during the summer holidays. Designed with arts and creativity in mind, the bags will encourage children away from screens, out into the open air, and will stimulate hungry minds and imagination! Read more…

The Phoenix Art Project goes live

In April as part of our collaboration with Oxfordshire Artweeks we invited artistic responses on the theme of The Phoenix, rebirth and resurgence. As the world slowly emerges from lockdown and the arts begin a period of renewed activity, we wanted to know how it prompted people to respond creatively. The project was open to everyone. We received over 50 entries from keen amateur artists, seasoned professionals and we were delighted that many children also Read more…

‘The Door in the Cellar’ winners announced

Today OFA and MCS Partnerships announce the five young writers who have triumphed in this year’s short story competition for 7 to 11-year olds. Since its launch in 2009 the Festival has been running a creative writing element as part of their learning and engagement work with the MCS Partnerships team. This year it took the form of a 250-word short story competition. The theme ‘The Door in the Cellar’ was set by award-winning children’s Read more…

Brendan Ball performs 'Call to Arms' by Darren Fellows

Our final trumpet world premiere

We are pleased to present another premiere as we release the film of the last of our five winners in the ‘Say it in 60 seconds’ composition project. Congratulations to Darren Fellows composer of ‘Call to Arms’. The piece is played by trumpeter Brendan Ball who has done an outstanding job of interpreting and performing these new works. Our thanks also go to film director Emma Tranter, filmmaker Jean Paul Caruana and AGM Digital Arts Read more…

Gaia – Gaian Thinking is not a Luxury

As part of the Global Dance Film Project in partnership with Dancin’ Oxford, Oxford International Links, Mandala Theatre and Ashtar Theatre’s International Digital and Live Festival, OFA has commissioned a dance piece called ‘Gaia – Gaian Thinking Is Not A luxury’ that has been performed by Contact Dance Company around stunning locations in Malta. Dr Michelle Castelletti, Director, Oxford Festival of the Arts explains how the commission came about: As soon as I started discussing Read more…