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A new era at Spark

  • Date: 22 December 2011
  • Area: Midlands

The Spark Children's Arts Festival is bidding farewell to director and founder Ellen Bianchini who will be leaving the festival at Christmas. Ellen founded the Leicester-based children's arts festival which is due to celebrate its tenth birthday during 2012.  The organisation has appointed Adel Al-Salloum as her successor.  Adel is currently Associate Director of Curve and will take up her new post in the New Year.

Ellen Bianchini established The Spark in 2003 and the festival features some of the best national and international artists creating work for children. Last year The Spark was attended by nearly 13,000 people and the 2012 festival will run from 28 May to10 June.

Ellen Bianchini comments: 'The Spark has some security of funding for the next three years as it was given National Portfolio status by Arts Council England this year, so this is a good time for a new director to come in and take the festival forward.  The Spark has an outstanding and dedicated small team behind it, and many fantastic partners in the city and region. I'm immensely proud that together we have created a thriving and high quality arts festival for children in Leicester. And with its 10th birthday coming up in 2012 there is much more to look forward to!'

Peter Knott, Regional Director, Arts Council England said: 'It's been a pleasure to work with Ellen as she's developed The Spark into the largest independent children's arts festival in England and Wales. The festival is a major part of the cultural scene locally and has a well-deserved national and international reputation. I would like to wish Ellen all the best for the future.'

For more information about The Spark visit