Arts events

We demonstrate how interdisciplinary arts experiences enhance learning in authentic and meaningful ways, for students of all ages and from all backgrounds.

Essex provides rich cultural resources for schools, colleges and the local community, including our brutalist architecture and beautiful parkland. We utilize the arts to create innovative workshops and activities that grab people’s attention and have real impact.

Our facilities include:

University of Essex Mini Book Festival

Saturday 18 March - Sunday 19 March 2017

The University is a brilliant place to celebrate children’s literature. This weekend of fun activities for families includes storytelling with Grandma Sally and Auntie Angie, book making with artist Alison Stockmarr, story writing with the University's Writing Society, drawing, bringing your stories to life with the Theatre Arts Society, and children are granted exclusive access to the University Library.

If you have any questions please get in touch with Clare Ruffle by email or phone 01206 873883.

Programme of events

Places are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. All children must be accompanied by an adult and all adults must be accompanied by a child– make sure you both book onto the activity.

Storytelling with Grandma Sally and Auntie Angie

Grandma Sally and Auntie Angie bring Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s story, ‘Jeremiah in the Dark Woods’ to life brilliantly with props and drama. This interactive performance is suitable for all age with exclusive access to our extraordinary library.

  • Date and time: Saturday 18 March 2017 from 10.00am to 11.00am
  • Location: Silberad Student Centre
  • Book your place

Bookmaking with local artist Alison Stockmarr

Alison leads this session where you create your own artworks inspired by books. Also make your own blank books –take these along to your writing session and fill them up with wonderful words.

  • Date and time: Saturday 18 March 2017 from 11.00am - 12.30pm
  • Location: Ivor Crewe Seminar Room
  • Book your place

Creative Writing and Competition with the Creative Writing Society

With creative literary activities and current students on hand, children will be sure to invent their own wondrous stories. Selected stories will go into a printed book!

  • Date and time: Saturday 18 March 2017 from 1.30pm to 3.00pm
  • Location: Art Exchange
  • Book your place

Storybook Illustration

Let your imagination take over as you use imagery to create mystical creatures from far-off lands or test your technical drawing skills to illustrate a story. Our interative workshop is suitable for all children and is the perfect opportunity for them to explore their creative skills.

  • Date and time: Saturday 18 March 2017 from 1.30pm to 15.00pm
  • Location: Ivor Crewe Seminar Room
  • Book your place

Bring your stories to life with Theatre Arts Society

Join the Arts Education team and University of Essex’s Theatre Arts Society in this workshop all about life stories and bringing them to life through performance. Inspired by our current Richard Billingham exhibition at Art Exchange.

  • Date and time: Sunday 19 March 2017 from 11.00am to 12.30pm
  • Location: Silberrad Student Centre
  • Book your place

Family days

We also run regular Family Days free of charge - they're great fun and very popular. Please book to secure your family’s place by contacting or phoning 01206 873889. Places are filled very quickly and we'll always confirm a place after emailing.

Visiting our University

We offer tours of Wivenhoe Park and free hands-on sessions for school/college groups to inspire entries. Contact Kate Beckwith by email or phone 01206 873889 for further details.

Contact us

Our practical based sessions enhance critical thinking resulting from 'learning by doing'. Get in touch with the Arts Education Outreach team if you'd like to discuss working with us.