Residents of Norfolk and Suffolk were treated to a weekend of arts and culture with the return of the annual DissFest.
The Norfolk town of Diss played host to three days of artistic performances and workshops. These include music in ranging from music in The Park, Shakespeare in the street, and a whole day of comedy performances and workshops in the Diss Youth Community Centre.
The event was organised by Unit Twenty Three, a social enterprise based in Diss, who decided two years ago that the area needed an event to bring people together in a shared experience of culture.
Unit Twenty Three also set up and ran the Young Associates, a team of 14-19 year-olds who live in the local area and were integral to the planning and running of the event. From very early on, the young people were brought in to help shape and inform the direction of the festival. Additionally, the team were trained in leadership and event management and delivery, acting as stewards across the weekend and aiding the venue managers.
Unit Twenty Three Director Emrys Green reiterated the success of the project.
"We certainly met our aims of bringing high quality artists in to Diss and reaching out to work with more businesses and organisations across the area. With a varied programme offering something for everyone in the community we are really pleased with the offer we made and I'm very proud of our team for their efforts in programming so many events & high quality opportunities"
Mr. Green continued to emphasise the importance of cultural participation in communities, especially in areas like Diss, where opportunities for such engagement are low. Diss has high levels of unemployment, and Norfolk was this year identified as one of the top 10 social mobility "coldspots".
DissFest was funded by Diss Town Council, Arts Council England, Norfolk County Council and the Taylor Hammond Foundation.
Planning has already started for DissFest 2017.