ACE announces Friendship Festival cultural program

01 March 2002, United Kingdom

The Arts Council of England (ACE) has announced the program for the arts and culture strand of the Spirit of Friendship Festival, being held in the lead-up to this year’s Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Multicultural projects will be a particular focus of the festivities, including a collaboration between the Notting Hill Carnival and the Royal Opera House, visits by Jamaican artists, a version of Handel's Messiah celebrating the multitude of faiths in contemporary Britain, a touring UK/Australian interactive pyrotechnic display, and a literature project involving socially excluded young men. Taking place across England between March and August and funded collaboratively the Regional Arts Boards and ACE, the festival will feature work by new and established artists in music, literature, theatre, film, visual arts and dance. The other aspects of the Friendship celebrations, running alongside the cultural program, will be sport, education and community events. ACE's CEO Peter Hewitt, commented: ‘Spanning performances from international artists through to new talent and innovative work with local groups, [the festival] will help foster cultural understanding and appreciation of the richness and diversity of the modern Commonwealth.’ Further information is available online at: