Dr Janina Ramirez named as OFA Honorary Patron

Oxford Festival of the Arts has announced that historian, author, and broadcaster Dr Janina Ramirez is to become OFA’s Honorary Patron.

Dr Ramirez, who lives in Oxford, is a researcher, lecturer, and course director at Oxford University and is well known to television audiences for her many documentaries. Her most recent series ‘Raiders of the Lost Past’ has just aired on BBC2.

Dr Janina Ramirez said, “’I’m honoured and delighted to become an Honorary Patron for Oxford Festival of the Arts. There has never been a more pressing time to bring the Arts back to the public; we have been starved of our galleries, museums, events and performances for too long. I hope to support the excellent outreach work the festival has been involved in, and extend our audience throughout Oxford communities and further. Like our rich, diverse, multicultural and fascinating city, the Arts are for everyone and I hope to keep growing the festival’s commitments to widen participation and embrace new challenges.”

Janina Ramirez took part in last year’s online version of the festival, OFA Virtual, presenting a talk called ‘What Goddesses? Rediscovering Divine Women of the Past’. Viewed thousands of times, it was one of the festival’s most successful events.

Festival Director Dr Michelle Castelletti said of the appointment, “I am thrilled to announce the result of sparkling conversation with Nina.  Oxford Festival of the Arts is in this remarkable position to enjoy the most glorious setting in the grounds of Magdalen College School; but also defines itself as “your festival within your city” with the added privilege of our city being this wonderful, multicultural, diverse city of Oxford. OFA is therefore present in the marvellous spaces the city has to offer and on the streets themselves, reaching as many people as possible, together with brilliant partnerships and collaborations. Like Dr Ramirez, the festival shares the enthusiasm of bringing beauty, enrichment and excitement to all.  Situated just on Magdalen Bridge, the festival acts like the metaphoric bridge between the ‘town and gown’ bringing academia and creativity together. One could say the link with Dr Janina Ramirez was almost preordained.”

Magdalen College School founded Oxford Festival of the Arts in 2009 and the school remains the principal sponsor of the Festival.

Helen Pike, Master of MCS said, “We are honoured and delighted that Dr Ramirez has agreed to support the Festival this way. She brings a wealth of perspectives and energy from which we shall all benefit. This is a coup for us, and I am looking forward to working with her.”

This year’s festival will have a significant online element starting in April, as well as outdoor events that organisers hope will be taking place later in the year.