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Polish Cultural Festival Association

08 February 2018

For 11 days in October 2017, Summerhall, played host to Kite and Trumpet, a cultural festival of Polish design for children. Both young and old came together to participate in workshops, admire illustrated Polish Books, play games crafted in Poland and be inspired by fantastic theatre performances.

The event provided a great opportunity for local families to take part in fun, cultural activities whilst providing a platform for artists from the Polish community to showcase their work, network and create links between Polish and Scottish artists.

To ensure a wide audience, performances were delivered in both Polish and English, not only to make it more accessible, but to showcase the contribution of the Polish community to Scottish cultural diversity.

The festival was supported by a variety of funders including Foundation Scotland and the ScotRail Cultural and Arts Fund.

Organisers were delighted with how popular the events were with both the Polish and non-Polish communities. Polish parents were eager to bring their children to the theatre where they could appreciate and learn Polish outside of the classroom setting.

Ignacjo, a young boy born in Scotland to Polish and Spanish parents, spoke about the ‘’Kite and Trumpet’’ festival with enthusiasm. His mum, Kasia enjoyed watching him celebrating his Polish heritage while playing and having fun.

The theatre performances made a special impression on Ignacio. He could listen to the actors speaking Polish in a way he had never experienced before. He was entertained by the stories, often laughing aloud, but also proud to have understood them.

Ignacio also helped his mum run one of the workshops called “Jumping Languages’’. The workshops helped children and parents understand bilingualism and to celebrate it. Ignacio helped translate the story-telling part of the workshop into English for the non-Polish speaking participants. He could also share with other children his experience of switching between languages, and the fun and frustrations that come with it.

He had a great time throughout the festival, with his room now decorated with many of the artefacts he made during workshops.

The festival requires the support of volunteers to ensure its smooth running, so the organisers were keen to recruit a large number of volunteers, particularly those with a Polish background. The response from the young Polish community took the organisers by surprise, with them recruiting more volunteers than they had anticipated. The volunteers found the event a great educational experience, developing new skills, making new friendships and have a chance to speak Polish and English.

Kite And Trumpet 2ELIZA MARCINOWICZ – an artist and teacher based in Edinburgh, volunteered with the ‘’ Kite and Trumpet Festival’’. She was able to use her skills to help run fun-filled creative workshops, translating and introducing people to the Bawialina/Playroom exhibition.

The festival provided an opportunity for Eliza to promote her work, network with like-minded people, be empowered and inspired.

Eliza commented: "I benefited from taking part in the Kite and Trumpet Festival in every possible way. I gained valuable experience as an artist, as a volunteer and as a parent. I took on many new challenges, like running workshops in two languages, acting as a simultaneous interpreter or speaking in front of an audience. I also met an amazing bunch of like-minded people and I had an opportunity to share good practice with other artists. But most of all, I had lots of fun doing what I love – bringing a smile to people's faces by the means of art."

 

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