RWB Arts Festival and GDPR

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The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most important change in data privacy regulation in twenty years. It comes into effect from the 25th May, 2018 and even after Brexit it will remain domestic policy in the UK.

GDPR is an important amendment to individuals’ rights and every organisation, even churches and charities, have to adhere to its policies. Much of GDPR is already part of organisations’ business models and best practice, but there are some basic changes which are about safeguarding and securing your information, and about being transparent about how organisations process and manage your personal data. GDPR is a necessary and important step in this virtual twenty-first century world, but it is not just about compliance and policy, it is about protecting people and people’s personal information.

RWB Arts Festival GDPR Approach

RWB Arts Festival has always taken the management of your data very seriously, and we already have policies and procedures in place  which are designed to manage and retain only what we need to in order to run our Festival. As with many organisations, charitable or commercial, we are undergoing the expected GDPR alignment and audit activities at present to ensure GDPR compliance is achieved throughout our committee and our Festival systems.

Opt In rather than Opt Out

GDPR is very clear that an individual’s choice to say ‘no’ is paramount. Assumed consent is not good enough anymore, you need to be explicit about ‘opting in’. Fortunately, there is only a limited amount of personal data held by us, but please be aware that you may receive communications to ‘opt in’ over the coming days. You can of course contact us on RWBArtsFestival@gmail.com to provide your consent should you so wish.

GDPR Highlights

There is lots of information about GDPR on-line but below are some very basic highlights for you.

Privacy by Design
Privacy by design is not a new concept, but GDPR brings it into the forefront. Article 23 states that only the necessary data will be held and processed, and only those who need to access it to complete the task in question shall be able to.

Right to Access
Part of the expanded rights of data subjects (i.e. you) outlined by GDPR is the right to ask what data we (in this case RWB Arts Festival) hold on you, where and why. We also have to provide you that data should you ask for it. This is about transparency and is one of the key and most laudable changes to the way data is managed.

Right to be Forgotten
As much as you have a right to know what is being held about you, you can also ask for your data to be removed. The conditions for erasure, as outlined in article 17, include the data no longer being relevant to original purposes for processing, or a data subjects withdrawing consent. It should also be noted that this right requires controllers to compare the subjects’ rights to “the public interest in the availability of the data” when considering such requests.

May 25th

We at the RWB Arts Festival fundamentally support the enhanced rules of protecting personal data and with recent news stories it has become ever more apparent about how important these regulations are in order to protect people.

We will update you with any other relevant information as and when it is necessary. In the meantime, rest assured that we are on track to be GDPR compliant by the 25th May.

Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival

 

Volunteer Recognition Day

Today is Volunteer Recognition Day. Our Festival is run purely by volunteers, and it would not be able to take place each year without all the efforts of each and every one. Our many Committee members, helpers, and supporters make our Festival a joy each year for the many children who compete and the many parents who chart their childrens’ blossoming talents, whether that is in the Music Festival or the Speech and Drama one.

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Our volunteers take on many roles: from cleaning tables, arranging chairs, processing entry forms, contacting adjudicators, baking cakes, sweeping up, running Facebook pages, devising every class syllabi, writing minutes, liaising with community members and press, establishing safeguarding processes, improving best practice, as well as maintaining our own commitment of time, professionalism, and enthusiasm for our ever growing Festival. Each and every gift of time and action is valued, and it is often the smallest of jobs which make the biggest difference.

So a big and sincere thank you to all of our volunteers at RWB Arts Festival, whatever your role. Thank you.

 

Music Festival Deadline Looming!

**CALLING ALL MUSIC TEACHERS**

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Now the new term has started and the Easter holidays are a distance memory, DON’T FORGET, you have just 10 days left to enter the RWB Arts Festival Music sessions.

The deadline is Monday April 30th, and it is already proving to be a bumper year for Instrumental, Singing, Schools, Youth and Community Choirs and Piano classes.

The Music festival is held at the end of June with the exception of the Classical Guitar which is held alongside the Speech & Drama festival in November.

Any queries can be emailed to RWBArtsFestival@gmail.com

The full syllabus and entry form to download can be found here.

 

RWB Arts Festival Music Chair Retirement

It is with regret that we have to announce the retirement of our long-serving Music Chair, John Davies, and his wife, Committee Member, Jan Davies at the end of this Festival year.

Both John and Jan have given much time and energy to the Festival over many years and their energies will be much missed now they are stepping down. They were presented with flowers and awarded life-long ‘Friends’ status during our recent Spring Gala as way of thank you.

We thank John and Jan for all they have done and wish them well in their well-earned retirement!

RWB Arts Festival Gala Evening Reflections

Last Friday, 23rd February 2018, we had a wonderful evening at our annual Spring Gala event. The hall was full with proud parents, teachers, Committee Members, and of course, many excited child, young adult, and adult performers. There was an excited air throughout the Royal Wootton Bassett Memorial Hall and due to the overwhelming numbers in attendance we had to get more and more seats out to fit people in at the back!

Jill Collett, as she very generously does each year, provided everyone with a lovely buffet full of sandwiches and nibbles to enjoy prior to the performances starting. She has our warmest thanks. This was a lovely way to socialise and settle in for a wonderful evening’s entertainment.

The RWB Arts Festival Chair, Miranda Shirnia, kicked off by giving everyone a warm welcome and thanked everyone for attending.* We were sorry our President Sheila Harrod was too unwell to join us and we wish her a speedy recovery.

The performances were admirably compèred by both Miranda and another Committee Member Rhian Vaughan without either the evening would not have run half as smoothly! First up were St. Margaret’s Preparatory School,  who were the winners of the 2017 Primary School Choir of the Year and Winners of the Primary Schools Choirs Cup. They sang beautifully such lines as ‘Where people go to dance the night away…. To dance til break of day’! They were very professional and and all looked extremely smart. In addition to this, they all behaved impeccably at the back of the hall.

Next up were the Marlborough Academy of Dance & Drama who were the Winners of the Devised Drama Class for Children 11 Years and Under. They did a wonderful spooky performance… “Don’t go near the ghost house!”

Next up was Isabella who achieved 2nd Place in the Novice Verse 9 & Under Class. She was a delight, although her poetry recital suggested teachers shouldn’t be let out on a Saturday night! I know a few who may disagree!

Neil, our youngest performer, was our 2017 Pianist of the Year and Winner of The Debbie Lovell Cup. He played beautifully! We are grateful for WBLOS for the loan of the keyboard.

He was soon followed by another very talented young man, Aaron who had won Classical Guitarist of the Year in 2017 and was Winner of The Dreambase Studios Senior Cup. He played a couple of songs which had a balmy summer evening quality to them.

Grace, Winner of the Verse Speaking class for Children Aged 12, then recited a lovely and lively poem about “‘Bog snorkelling’! Before Harry very thoroughly, and professionally presented his impressive collection of pieces for the Senior Recital Class he won in 2017.

A strong wonderful performance from Finn as Winner of the Novice Verse Speaking for 13 Years and Under, was followed by some group acting. Tanwood Seniors, who were Winners of the Group Acting 14 years & Under Class and the Chairman’s Cup for Excellence gave a fantastic performance of a scene from Lord of the Flies. They cried “Savages” at each other, declaring “You had no right to steal our fire!” and protesting they “didn’t come to start a war!” (Thankfully!)

The evening finished off with some beautiful adult voices and sparkly outfits: Bel Canto: Adult Choir of the Year for 2017 and Winners of the Robert T. Elliot Trophy. They sang Billy Joel and created a varied but lively feel to end the evening on.

After many much applause, and many thanks, Miranda our Chair announced the retirement of our Music Chair, John Davies. Both John and his wife Jan, have given much time and energy to the Festival and their energies will be much missed. They were presented with flowers and awarded life-long ‘Friends’ status. We thank them for all they have done and wish them well.

Miranda, for whom the Committee is very grateful for all her hard work, also announced our new Festival website, new Twitter and Facebook account and informed everyone about the new syllabus which was available on the night, and can also be found here for Music, or here for Speech and Drama.

The evening was concluded successfully and we hope everyone enjoyed themselves! Thank you to all who supported us, to all Committee Members who helped and continue to help, and to all of those who performed.

You can see more photos here.

*There was an announcement about photography taking place, and further consent forms were issued.

RWB Arts Festival Calling All Musicians, Performers, Students, and Teachers!

Budding performers can start practising their festival pieces as the new syllabus for both the Music, and the Speech and Drama Festivals 2018 is now available.  The syllabi are packed full of information about the festival including the types of classes available, how to enter and details of our experienced adjudicators.

The Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival, which takes place annually (with Music in June and November and Speech & Drama in November) is now in its twelfth year, giving people the opportunity to perform and get invaluable feedback from expert adjudicators.

Music

This year, each section of the new music Syllabus has a ‘First Timers’ class to encourage those less experienced to come and perform. They will receive a constructive adjudication and certificate without the pressure of a mark or competitive element.  There are also classes available for singers, choirs (including school choirs), pianists, instrumentalists and guitarists. The music festival takes place between 22nd June and 1st July with the guitar section on 17th November. The music adjudicators are Jane Wilkinson, Rebecca Moseley-Morgan, Ruth Gerald and Andrew Hansford. Closing date for music entries is 28th April 2018 and for guitar entries, the 30th September 2018.

Drama

The new Speech & Drama syllabus for 2018 sees some changes due to the increase in number of festival entries last year, including the recruitment of an additional adjudicator. After the success of our new recital class introduced in 2017 we are now expanding to THREE recital classes where entrants can perform a selection of poetry, prose, acting and mime under one theme. In addition, in 2018 we will offer FOUR Novice Verse Speaking Classes, TWO Novice Solo Acting Classes, a Choral Speaking Class and Shakespeare class for younger performers. The festival will continue to film those entering its news reading class as entrants enjoyed this more realistic experience in 2017. The speech and drama festival takes place on 17th and 18th November. The closing date for entries is 30th September 2018.

In addition, The Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival has launched its new website, www.RWBArtsFestival.com. Here you will find all news, events, syllabi, dates, and other information about our Music, and Speech and Drama Festivals.

Miranda Shirnia Chair of the Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival said: “2017 was a truly exciting year for us. The Speech and Drama section of the festival grew enormously – we had 38% more entries than in 2017 with over 100 trophies and medals being awarded to the top performers. We want to continue to build this momentum and so urge performers to look at our new music and speech and drama syllabi and choose a class to try. With novice classes available in both festivals, beginners, as well as those more experienced, are being encouraged to take part. With the launch of our new website www.RWBArtsFestival.com it’s now easier than ever to find out what’s going on this year. Do have a look it is updated frequently with exciting news and blog posts. You can also contact us on RWBArtsFestival@gmail.com or on twitter @RWBArtsFestival, where we look forward to hearing all about your musical and dramatic achievements!”

New RWB Speech and Drama Arts Festival Syllabus Launched for 2018

The RWB Arts Festival 2018 Speech and Drama Syllabus is now available for download!

The programme includes many possibilities for exciting performances at this year’s upcoming Festival. Thank you to all those who took part, their teachers, their friends and family, in the 2017 Festival and we look forward to seeing you all again later this year to show case your talent.

 

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