What are the Arts if not a way of speaking, of reacting, of setting trends, and of communicating? Few things are more beautiful and intense than making music or sharing musical experiences together, than the exhilaration and emotion on stage and in the public just after the curtains close, the wonderful camaraderie of a community project, the sense of enrichment after an exciting, fascinating debate or an enlightening and intriguing talk, the awe at the wonderful world of the visual arts and remarkable artefacts, the indescribable sense of immense fulfilment after one creates something, and the adrenalin kick throughout the process, the recognition of what this does to all of us individually inside, as artists, as participants, as audiences, as visitors, and collectively as a society… the basic sense of well-being and of being together, and, to put it simply, just having fun!
Never before have the Arts been more important in my lifetime. Luckily (perhaps), unlike in previous generations, we live in a digital world that makes separation a bit less painful, and allows the Arts to speak in different ways.
We at Oxford Festival of the Arts have not yet cancelled our summer festival. However, we are following Government directives and health guidance at all times. We have suspended everything until after Easter, when we shall be in a position to make a better decision about the cancellation/rescheduling of the festival.
We are ploughing on, hoping to deliver our lavish feast inspired by the 500th anniversary of the Field of Cloth of Gold; but are looking for ways and means to maintain our wonderful relationships with our artists, partners and supporters, including all of you, our friends, should this not take place in the way it was originally intended.
Keep safe and take care of each other. Extraordinary, sad and uncertain times. May we all get through this safely and well.
Dr Michelle Castelletti
Director, Oxford Festival of the Arts
March 25th 2020