Ambitious science festival launching in Grantham

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AN AMBITIOUS project looks set to finally harness the proud heritage of Grantham – and use it to promote our town on a national scale.

Last night (Thursday) ‘The Gravity Fields Festival’ held a fitting launch meeting at King’s School – in the very building where Sir Isaac Newton formulated his world-changing theories.

The festival has the full backing of South Kesteven District Council, The National Trust and of course, the Grantham Journal and is actively encouraging suitable partners to get in touch and get involved in what it is hoped could be one of the biggest and best science and arts festivals in the country.

Leading the project is Rosemary Richards of ROSA Productions. She said: “The festival has been established to celebrate, build on, and develop the local area through a contemporary creative exploration of Sir Isaac Newton’s scientific discoveries and his life.

“The festival can be thought of in the way in which Stratford-Upon-Avon celebrates its links with Shakespeare, or the small town of Hay on Wye has built a reputation as the home of a leading literary festival.

“The ambition is to involve leading international scientists and science history academics with artists of international reputation in exploring both the scientific themes arising from Newton’s discoveries and explorations, and to offer an understanding of his life and times and relationship with Grantham, and how his lifetime affected the course of science and the understanding of his wider writings.”

In order to lay the foundations for the project, development days have taken place in Grantham with representatives of the National Space Centre, Royal Observatory Greenwich, Gulbenkian Foundation, The Mighty Creatives (the Arts Council East Midlands ‘Bridge’ organisation – the replacement for Creative Partnerships) and TV, theatre and outdoor event science producers, artists, composers and designers.

Organisers say the event will feature theatre and science shows which it is hoped will be geared up to engage all members of the community – from the young and inquisitive to the more seasoned science enthusiasts.

Also lined up is a ‘science and culture symposium’ at which leading academics will be invited to speak about the wider philosphies of science.

Weaved throughout the festival will be education and involvement activities where people can immerse themselves in Newton’s world, and in modern-day science, too.

Festival Director Rosemary Richards added: “We are planning to take over some of the unused retail space in Grantham during the period of the festival to transform town spaces into an apothecary shop, alchemy laboratory, Royal Mint, historic market stalls and potentially other experiences which will lead into a heritage/performance tour of the town and will lead into the educational programme.

“We hope as many as possible of town’s streets, public spaces, historic institutions, and buildings will be immersed and actively involved.”