Kirsty Bertarelli to help find stars of the future
BRITAIN'S richest woman is hoping a new community arts festival will help talented youngsters on the road to stardom.
Former Miss UK Kirsty Bertarelli, who was born in Oulton Heath, near Stone, has vowed to support the inaugural Creative Minds Festival taking place in Stoke-on-Trent this summer.
The week-long showcase of drama, film, music and arts is being run by The Regent Theatre's Creative Learning department with sponsorship from The Bertarelli Foundation.
It will be held from July 3 to July 7, and was officially launched at the theatre last night.
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Acclaimed song-writer Mrs Bertarelli, whose family runs Churchill China, said: "I am so pleased to be supporting the event.
"I used to live in the area and Staffordshire is the place where music, dance and theatre was first introduced to me.
"I am thrilled the festival is taking place and hope it will play a part in the future of many people from my home area. It is important to encourage talented people to fulfil their dreams. I'd urge anyone with a love of performing arts, like me, to take part."
Mrs Bertarelli is married to Swiss-Italian biotechnology tycoon Ernesto Bertarelli, who created the Bertarelli Foundation which oversees the family's philanthropic contributions.
More than 45 community groups are expected to present their work at the festival.
Creative Learning will appoint 12 creative arts practioners, who will work with the community groups to put together 15-minute performances to be premiered at the festival.
Mike Keane, general manager at The Regent theatre, said: "The Creative Minds festival is a great way to showcase the huge talent across North Staffordshire.
"It is not just about young people, it is about people of all ages and this is a celebration of that.
"It was very special to have Kirsty with us at the launch, it is the first time we have had any relationship with the family.
"It shows the Bertarelli Foundation is behind us and we are very grateful for their support."
Festival co-ordinator Ian Moore said: "The vision for the festival is to help aid the regeneration of Stoke-on-Trent.
"It will offer a platform for schools and community groups who can play an instrumental part in the joining of communities.
"The festival will engage with people of all ages, faiths, gender and ethnicity in the creation of short pieces of music, song, drama, film or artwork.
"We want to bring everyone together under one great event."
The festival is open to people of all ages and any groups who aspire to perform and see their work at The Regent can apply.
Interested groups should email firstname.lastname@example.org for an Expression of Interest Form. The deadline for applications is Friday, May 18.