Your Barnaby volunteer
Name: Sylvia Reeves What is your role as part of Barnaby festival?: This is my third Barnaby so for 2016 I have been involved in a variety of roles. In addition to my main role as artist liaison with the Street Treats performers, I also helped as front of house at the Space School on the site of ‘La Lune’, stewarding a visual arts display and assisting with marketing the festival to areas outside Macclesfield. How did you first get involved with the festival?: A chance meeting with Lynne Jones, the festival Chair and an ex-work colleague, encouraged me to become involved. I realised that volunteering for Barnaby offered a great opportunity to learn new skills while being part of an amazing community event. Even the bad weather in 2013 did not deter me and I have been keen to be part of Barnaby ever since. Tell us more about the events you were involved with this year?: Street Treats: Two days of street entertainment over the first weekend around Market Place with Street Treats including comedy, street dance, acrobats and quirky children’s theatre. Space school: Part of ‘La Lune’ at Christ Church aimed specifically at families, including hands-on activities, space stimulations and experiments, and also humanoid robots on the agenda. Visual Art: Barnaby commissioned works from four critically-acclaimed artists and four local artists which were displayed at various locations throughout the town. Sculpture, drawing, photography and digital animation were but some of the features of the ‘Space’ themed visual art programme. What’s been the biggest challenge so far?: The biggest challenge for me has been trying to engage the interest of surrounding areas and the wider community of Cheshire East. The message is clear – Barnaby is for everyone so come and support us and share the vibrancy of the town during the festival. What did you enjoy most about last year’s festival?: At the last Barnaby I enjoyed managing the events that took place in and around St Michael’s Church, liaising with the performers and working with the wonderful staff and church volunteers. Also I should mention the weather, which was wonderful too. What were you looking forward to the most this year?: The parade, which is the one event that brings everyone to the town centre. This year’s theme ‘Out of this world’ included all kinds of weird creatures as giant puppets, floats and costumed Maxonians. In line with the Space theme everyone was asked to bring a star. What’s the best thing about the festival?: Barnaby is a great showcase for local talent which shows the town as a vibrant place to live or visit. As a community event it offers something for everyone and is a chance to celebrate and have fun. What do you think the festival has done for the town, and what would you wish for the future?: The festival has put Macclesfield on the map, recognised and supported by so many sponsors, partners and local business and now attracting headline acts to the town. My wish for the future is that Barnaby will continue to flourish and attract the help of the many volunteers who play such an important role in making it happen. What have you learnt from your experience as a volunteer?: My experience as a volunteer has taught me many new skills such as event management, logistics and scheduling. It has shown me that volunteering is a very rewarding and positive experience. Above all it has enabled me to make new friends and have a lot of fun. Visual Art – At various venues until Sunday, June 26, 10am-4pm. Part of the Festival Walking Trail.