Anti-racism in the Children’s Theatre and Dance sector Open Space event – 22 January 2021

14th January 2021

Let’s imagine a better future together. This is a call-out to participate in an open space event, for theatre and dance practitioners who identify as Black, People of Colour, from the African Caribbean Diaspora, Latinx, East Asian Diaspora, South East Asian Diaspora, South Asian Diaspora, West Asian Diaspora (including Middle East), Indigenous people, biracial or… Read more »

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A full shift to remote working

11th November 2020

Starcatchers’ management and administration team have shifted fully to a remote working model this month as we vacate our office space in Summerhall, Edinburgh. Face-to-face engagement remains at the heart of what we do, but the legacy of working together in a digital space over the past few months, as well as engaging audiences digitally… Read more »

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Magical, joyful experiences for kinship families

19th October 2020

  Two new team members join Starcatchers this month to develop Creative Kin, a three-year project bringing together artists and kinship families in North Ayrshire.     Anna Downie, Creative Kin’s Project Coordinator and Kirsty Pennycook, Early Years Artist will deliver weekly creative sessions for young children and their kinship families.    They’ll create magical, joyful and energising experiences with families through art and imaginative family play –… Read more »

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Artwork created by Expecting Something families unveiled at Fife Exhibition

2nd October 2020

A piece of art created by seven children aged between 4 months and 4 years with their parents is unveiled today at an exhibition in Glenrothes.   The children braved windy, wet weather to create the 1.3m x 1.8m canvas outdoors in the Lochgelly Centre’s garden using paint filled eggs, paint sticks, powders, prints, collage and pendulum art.   Due… Read more »

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Kirsten Hogg elected to the Starcatchers board

23rd September 2020

Delighted to welcome Kirsten Hogg, Head of Policy at SCVO, to the Starcatchers board. She was elected as the newest member of the team during the Starcatchers board AGM on Tuesday evening (22/09/20). Her extensive experience of children’s services, governance and policy and her passion for the arts has made her a valuable addition to… Read more »

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Creative Skills goes online!

14th September 2020

Creative Skills, Starcatchers Professional Development for the Early Learning and Childcare Workforce, has launched an online programme for 2020/21. The programme, which consists of five main elements, aims to help those who work in early years improve their creative confidence and spark inspiration for fun and creative ideas they can use in their settings.  … Read more »

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Children in Scotland’s 25 Calls and Up: here’s how to ensure the arts are truly at the heart of every child’s life

27th August 2020

Starcatchers is one of twelve organisations calling on the Scottish Government and local authorities to ensure arts and creativity are at the heart of every child’s life. We are a group of organisations and individuals who create arts experiences with and for children and believe that the arts and artists must be brought into the… Read more »

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2000 creative play packs

10th July 2020

2,000 Creative Play Packs are being distributed to babies, young children and their families across Scotland.   Each pack includes a set of 20 Wee Inspiration idea cards and supporting resources to encourage fun, creative play between adults and little ones.   Whether it’s painting with big sticks, creating a ‘love letter’ for distant family… Read more »

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Working with Articulate to support families

3rd July 2020

  We are delighted to be working with Articulate to deliver creative parenting online support to families in Scotland. The sessions will help build confidence and develop strong bonds between parents and their wee ones through regular creative play.   Starcatchers’ Creative Skills Manager, Heather Armstrong, and Expecting Something Artist Kerry Cleland will work alongside Articulate… Read more »

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Communal friendship bracelets

8th June 2020

“I hope to create a sense of intrigue, magic and inspire some fun and games, connecting families with their outdoor physical surroundings, with the history of our community, each other and also others in the community.”   A burst of colour is brightening up a Glasgow housing estate as local families with young children weave… Read more »

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Big inspirations artists announced

27th May 2020

  We’re delighted to have commissioned five new projects developed by early years artists in Scotland especially for babies, young children and their parents. As part of our Big Inspirations Commission, all are very different but all explore ways of connecting with and inspiring our youngest children whilst they’re at home playing and learning together… Read more »

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Big Inspirations: opportunities for artists

9th April 2020

Starcatchers has launched two new opportunities to support early years artist development and explore new ways of connecting with and inspiring young children when face-to-face engagement is not possible.     Bursaries worth £200 will support professional development for early years artists that can be undertaken within the limitations currently placed on all of us.    … Read more »

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An online community of creators

6th April 2020

Rainbow-coloured creativity packs delivered to our Expecting Something families kick-start a new block of artist-led sessions for this Spring.   Full of open-ended materials to help fuel imaginative play and creativity, the packs will be used during Expecting Something sessions facilitated remotely by Starcatchers artists – live and interactive as well as pre-recorded.   Expecting… Read more »

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26th March 2020

Starcatchers is launching a new series of Wee Inspiration idea cards for parents at home with young children.   These are fun, creative ideas to engage little ones without a lot of kit, stress, nor pressure to ‘achieve’ anything.   They are inspired by artists who work across Starcatchers’ different areas of work including Creative… Read more »

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Updates in extraordinary times

23rd March 2020

23rd March 2020 A message to all our friends and supporters from Starcatchers Chief Executive Rhona Matheson     I hope you are all staying safe and well during this difficult time.   I just wanted to share an update with you about how we at Starcatchers are responding to the Covid-19 situation and what… Read more »

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Every step we take together

16th March 2020

  Kinship families in North and South Ayrshire have worked with music and movement artists to create a music video in celebration of their kinship community.  Sound Kinnection was an 8-week community engagement programme that began with a Burns Supper in January 2020. Over the following 4 weeks, during artist-facilitated sessions with musician Fraser… Read more »

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An explosion of dance, colour and sound

4th February 2020

  Bring together a dancer, some music, brightly coloured paint with the fearless imaginations of very young children. Mix them up and what do you get?   “Something that’s unique, probably chaotic and unpredictable but bright, bold and very beautiful in its own way” says Starcatchers Associate Artist Katy Wilson. As part of her research… Read more »

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Arts strengthening intergenerational bonds

4th December 2019

An intergenerational arts project enabling care home residents and nursery children to work with professional artists and be creative together has been resoundingly positive for both groups, strengthening community bonds, improving wellbeing and raising staff expectations about what participants are capable of.   ArtFelt, a unique collaboration between Starcatchers and Luminate, Scotland’s Creative Ageing Organisation… Read more »

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Introducing arts from birth in Aberdeen

8th November 2019

Starcatchers is delighted to be working with Aberdeen Performing Arts in the run up to Christmas giving babies, young children and their families in Aberdeen the opportunity to engage in artist-led creative play sessions. The initiative extends Aberdeen Performing Arts’ hugely popular Music Hall Babies project, which introduced arts from birth to a group of… Read more »

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Never too young to be a sculptor…

16th October 2019

“Taking part in artistic and creative activities together is protected time for parents and their children… Quite often you’ll find that adults are surprised by what their children are capable of.”    They may not yet be 3 but armed with natural materials foraged from the beautiful grounds of Jupiter Artland and a little help from their parents,… Read more »

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Bounce awarded funding from PRS Foundation

27th September 2019

BOUNCE will be an interactive performance for babies aged under 24 months, with an original score by Stephen Deazley, developed with and for clarinet soloist Pete Furniss.

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P1s unveil playground ‘nest’ with Minister

10th September 2019

Nests unveiled by P1 pupils at Canal View Primary as part of a project with artists to help ease their transition from nursery garden to P1 payground

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Children’s rights – the voice of under 5s

28th August 2019

Babies and children under 5 must be a central focus in the Scottish Government’s efforts to progress children’s rights in Scotland.    In our response to the consultation about incorporating the UNCRC into Scots law and embedding children’s rights in public services, we highlight our concern that the voices of very young children, in particular… Read more »

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Making their mark through art

14th August 2019

Over the next few months Starcatchers’ new campaign Making My Mark will celebrate the role that arts and creative experiences can play in helping children learn about their rights during their earliest years.     Watch our short film, download our information resource and get involved by joining us @StarcatchersUK on social media #MakingMyMark.     We want to inspire grown-ups to put arts and creative… Read more »

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The Stripy Nest

10th June 2019

Pre-school pupils will have the chance to work with artists to co-design and create an interactive playground installation that will help improve their experience of the playground as they make the transition into P1. 

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Creative kin ‘brought us closer together’

3rd June 2019

Our two-year project providing artist-led, creative respite for kinship families had a significant impact on improving participants’ confidence, wellbeing and relationships, an independent evaluation has found.   Children and their carers in Moray and Ayrshire – many of whom were dealing with complex issues – explored music, visual art, drama and other artistic and creative… Read more »

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Little Top part of Made In Scotland Showcase

22nd May 2019

We are delighted that Little Top has been selected to be part of the Made in Scotland showcase this year – one of 22 innovative shows by Scottish artists and companies at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019.   Little Top, a magical first circus experience for babies 0-18 months and their adults, has been created through… Read more »

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‘My daughter wants to dance…’

15th May 2019

The expressive arts are still viewed as an add-on in our society instead of an integral part of our humanity, and that’s why it’s still far too easy to take them away, according to former Director of Imaginate and Creative Producer of Lyra, Tony Reekie.   Responding to Starcatchers’ call to ensure every baby and… Read more »

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Creative Kin film premieres in Kinship Care Week

18th March 2019

To kick off Scotland’s Kinship Care Week (w/b 18th March 2019) we’re delighted to launch a new film celebrating the positive impact of Creative Kin, a two-year pilot delivered in partnership with Children 1st offering artist-led, creative respite for kinship families.   Creative Kin 2019 (Short, captioned) from Starcatchers on Vimeo.   Watch the full length… Read more »

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Spirited Minds

11th March 2019

“During the five-day laboratory, I’ll be pushing the artists to take nothing for granted and really reflect on their view of the child. In the creation and delivery of artistic experiences for children the approach must always be the child’s needs first, and then ‘how do my artistic ideas fit with that?’” [Dalija Acin Thelander]… Read more »

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Magical circus experience for babies

15th January 2019

We are delighted to announce our new Spring tour for 2019 – a magical first circus experience for babies and toddlers age 0-18 months and their adults.   At a time in their development when young children are discovering their own physicality and the pleasures and perils of gravity, Little Top invites babies and toddlers… Read more »

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Pioneer to lead Lab for early years artists in Scotland

25th October 2018

We’re delighted that Dalija Acin Thelander, an award-winning Swedish artist of Serbian origin and pioneer of installation-based performances for babies, will visit Scotland next year to lead a five-day laboratory for experienced and emerging early years artists from across disciplines. Dalija has been a pioneer of installation-based performances for babies since premiering The Book of Wandering in… Read more »

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‘No ordinary playgroup’

18th October 2018

Young parents and their little ones 0-2 today (18th October) attended a special screening of Expecting Something: ‘This is no ordinary playgroup’ – a short film they have helped create to celebrate their group, working with artist Becky Manson and musician Rory Clark.   The film was shown on a big screen set up at WHALE Arts, Edinburgh,… Read more »

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Access to arts from earliest age

12th October 2018

Our call to ensure every child can participate in high quality, innovative arts experiences from the earliest age is one of 25 calls for action to improve children’s lives – part of a campaign led by Children in Scotland as part of the organisation’s 25thanniversary. You can read the full article here.   Our Chief… Read more »

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ArtFelt – bringing generations together

11th October 2018

An exciting new arts project is bringing together young children from an Edinburgh nursery and older people from a local care home to explore and celebrate their creativity.   This unique collaboration between Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing organisation and Starcatchers, Scotland’s National Arts and Early Years Organisation, recognises the positive impact that strong intergenerational partnerships can have… Read more »

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Aberdeen’s Music Hall Babies

2nd October 2018

Starcatchers is delighted to be delivering artist-led workshops for babies and their adults in Aberdeen this month – part of Aberdeen Performing Art’s programme of events leading up to the reopening of the city’s new Music Hall in Winter 2018. The series of five workshops will focus on music, movement, sensory and visual art, nurturing… Read more »

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Playspace – Starcatchers’ artist development programme

16th August 2018

“Playspace is an invaluable and essential necessity for all artists to share their practice, connect, collaborate, learn and most of all to have a lot of fun without the pressure of time, space, finances or performance. It felt incredibly good and inspiring to just play with each other and get out of our comfort zone…. Read more »

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The Art of Human Connection

29th May 2018

MamaBabaMe – Starcatchers’ and Curious Seed’s unique dance, physical theatre and live music experience for babies and young children 0-3 – has been announced (24th May) as part of the Made in Scotland showcase 2018. Following its critically acclaimed tour in 2017, we are delighted that tickets are now on sale for MamaBabaMe at The Pleasance… Read more »

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TiSS extends reach to include nursery children for the first time

3rd May 2018

A ground-breaking project to introduce more children to high quality theatre by taking productions into school gym halls and other community settings across Scotland is reaching pre-school children as young as 2 for the first time. 

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Children’s book created by local mums delights children in Fife nursery

22nd March 2018

A group of young mothers who have written and published a children’s story about their experience of being new parents delighted youngsters Sunflower Family Nurture Centre, Lochgelly with a reading of their work. The group are part of Expecting Something, a project run by Starcatchers to connect artists with mothers under the age of 25 and their babies. 

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Hup Tours to the Lincoln Center in NYC

6th March 2018

Our five star show Hup will cross the Atlantic this month to give Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, USA, its first live classical music and theatre experience for babies. 

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Our Creative Journey featuring Starcatchers projects officially launched

8th February 2018

Our Creative Journey, a resource exploring how expressive arts benefit children, was officially launched by Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Maree Todd, on Wednesday, 7 February. Published by the Care Inspectorate, in collaboration with Starcatchers and a number of other partner organisations, Our Creative Journey aims to promote good practice in all types of… Read more »

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RFO Funding ‘recognises value of arts for babies and young children’

25th January 2018

We are delighted to receive confirmation that Starcatchers will become one of Creative Scotland’s Regularly Funded Organisations for the first time in 2018.

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Proudly presenting the Sprog Rock 2017 Tour film!

9th January 2018

We are delighted to present a new film documenting the creative journey of the children, musicians and visual artists involved in our Autumn Sprog Rock tour.

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New Winter & Spring Tour of The Attic

13th November 2017

Starcatchers and Hazel Darwin-Clements present new production of The Attic for 2 – 4 year olds and their adults, playing in Fife and Edinburgh over Christmas 2017/18, with a full Scottish Tour in Spring 2018.

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Starcatchers Celebrates 11th Birthday

13th November 2017

On 1st October 2017, Starcatchers celebrated its 11th Birthday

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Starcatchers wins Sunday Herald Culture Award

14th July 2017

We are delighted to be able to report that Starcatchers was awarded a Sunday Herald Culture Award, at the Culture Awards ceremony held in Glasgow on 13th July 2017. Chief Executive Rhona Matheson received the ‘Judges Choice’ award, for absolute stand-out prominence in the Scottish arts, at the end of the evening from BBC Scotland’s Janice… Read more »

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Dance, theatre & live music production set to tour Scotland

20th April 2017

Scottish baby theatre pioneers and award-winning dance company join forces to create exciting new performance for very young babies and their families   This captivating new collaboration between Scotland’s National Arts and Early Years organisation Starcatchers and award-winning dance theatre company Curious Seed, MamaBabaMe is designed especially for babies aged 18 months – 3 year olds, combining dance and physical… Read more »

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Making theatre accessible to families in need across Scotland

10th April 2017

Today we launched a new fundraising campaign, Forward for Families, to provide theatre seats for very young children and their families in need across Scotland.   A recent study suggests more than 200,000 children are growing up in poverty in Scotland. Scottish Government Social Research consistently evidences that access to theatre and cultural experience enriches lives… Read more »

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Audition call for new Spring 2017 show MamaBabaMe

16th January 2017

Curious Seed and Starcatchers are looking for an experienced female professional dancer for their new co-production MamaBabaMe

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What an amazing year… what an amazing 10 years!

31st December 2016

Rhona Matheson, Chief Executive of Starcatchers looks back at the past 10 years:   2016 has been a year of reflection, celebration and sharing. Reflecting on what we have achieved over the years, celebrating these achievements and sharing our work with audiences in communities across Scotland as well as to new audiences across the world…. Read more »

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2017/18 Funding secured for new Creative Kin project

22nd December 2016

We’re delighted to be able to announce that we’ve been awarded funding by The Scottish Government’s Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund.

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Creative Skills goes to South Korea

20th December 2016

At the start of December Starcatchers’ CEO Rhona Matheson and Creative Skills Manager Heather Armstrong spent a week in Korea running training for teaching artists and spreading the word about Starcatchers are our approach to the arts and creativity for very young children. Here, Heather reflects on their experience.

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CEO Rhona Matheson featured in Product Magazine

19th December 2016

Product Magazine is an independent arts and culture magazine established to showcase innovative work by new writers and artist from Scotland beyond. In the lead up to Christmas they have published a campaign 10 things we can do for children in Scotland with contributions from experts across sectors in Scotland working with and for children…. Read more »

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Free Christmas storybook for Shape of Things audiences

13th December 2016

As a special festive treat, audiences who come to see The Shape of Things at Dundee Rep will receive a free Christmas themed storybook called Snow Business!   Following our characters Cubert and Triantán as they travel through the sparkly circle into a winter wonderland, finding shapes along the way.   If you didn’t make… Read more »

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Expecting Something awarded Big Lottery funding

9th December 2016

The Expecting Something project has been awarded 2 year funding from Big Lottery to continue the innovative programme of creative activity in communities in Scotland

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Help us this #Giving Tuesday

29th November 2016

Today is #GivingTuesday – a global day of giving! In a milestone year, where we  turned 10 years old we undertook a huge amount of work across our 3 strands of activity. Starcatchers a charitable organisation with very limited core funding we rely on the generous support of individuals, businesses and trusts and foundations to help… Read more »

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The Shape of Things sets off on it’s Scottish & Irish tour!

19th October 2016

New show for 6 months – 2 years touring Scotland & Ireland in 2016

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Scottish & Irish collaboration secures funding from Creative Scotland

7th June 2016

We’re delighted to announce that a new production for babies aged 6 months to 2 years made in collaboration with Branar Téatar do Pháistí (Galway) has been awarded Open Project Funding from Creative Scotland.

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Starcatchers SQA qualification registration open

6th June 2016

This qualification is designed for Early Years practioners working across the sector, including staff in nursery and family care setting, health workers, childminders and out of school and play workers.

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Competition time!

6th June 2016

Have you ever played spot the dragon on a long car journey, or pretended the trolley was a train as you dashed round the supermarket?

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Hup receives Made in Scotland funding

6th June 2016

We’re absolutely delighted that Hup has been successful in securing funding from Made in Scotland to perform at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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Hup’s international adventure 2016

26th May 2016

We can now finally reveal ALL of our plans for Hup in 2016. It’s been a long time in the pipe line, but we’re really excited to announce that Hup will be touring internationally from Canada to China before returning to premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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Starcatchers 10th Anniversary @ Imaginate

26th May 2016

During this year’s Imaginate Festival Starcatchers held a reception to celebrate 10 years of creating innovative work for under 5s. It was a chance to reflect on all of the achievements made in the past 10 years and celebrate!

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