About Us

Stroud Arts Festival is a charity promoting and supporting all types of artistic activities throughout the Stroud District. Founded in 1946, it’s the ‘grandparent’ of all the wonderful festivals this area has to offer.  It brings the best of music, poetry, drama, art and dance to Stroud and the Five Valleys.

In its earlier years Stroud Arts Festival gained a national and even international reputation for the calibre of its events, sponsoring a poetry competition in the 1960s and ’70s which drew more than 900 entries from over 35 different countries!


Opera Up Close

We encourage home-grown talent and involve children and young people in the arts with our recently established Children’s Festival.  We developed that into a full-blown creative event called PLAYGROUND in 2019 and will continue to work with our partner SVA in that venture through 2020.  But we’ll still bring some well-known performers to Stroud so that we can all enjoy world class performances on our doorstep. Our annual visit from Ballet Cyrmu always plays to a full house and we have developed a following for the touring opera companies we bring every few years.


Printmaking Workshop

Each year, the charity distributes funds on behalf of the Margaret and Netlam Bigg Trust – local patrons of the arts whose legacy was a bequest to promote education in the arts within the District of Stroud.  Many local arts organisations have started with the help of funds from this Trust.  Over the years we have supported new ventures and even new festivals, which then go on to be independent.

Organisations and individuals can apply for a grant to support artistic projects within the Stroud District. We favour projects which are aimed at involving or educating children and young people so you should specify how your project will achieve that.  Grant applications are discussed at the regular Stroud Arts Festival Committee meetings and decisions taken swiftly.  The next committee meeting is scheduled to take place on 11th December.

Funds have already been allocated for this financial year so projects seeking funding should be taking place during 2021.

Come and join us!

We are always keen to see new faces at our committee meetings and on our team of dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in helping to promote the arts in Stroud and would like to come to a meeting to see what we are about please email info@stroudfestival.org

Tribute to Festival Organiser Rick Vick 

Our Festival Organiser for many years, Rick Vick, passed away at the end of 2019.  Rick was a prominent member of the arts and culture scene in Stroud and some of his achievements can be found on our Tribute to Rick Vick page here.