Community Arts

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Community Arts is our drop in space where you can create, experience, discover and play! Everyone is welcome to be creative – you just need to have a go, and our supportive volunteers and tutors make that easy. We have free all-day activities listed below. If creative sparks take you elsewhere, speak with our supportive and talented Community Arts Volunteers.

Free All Day Activities

Just come see the friendly Community Arts Volunteers for some guidance and supplies:

  • National Folk Festival mural painting
  • Working with paper
  • Parade lantern making
  • Jewellery making
  • Weaving wool and paper
  • Card marking
  • Origami paper folding
  • Wool working


Get inspired below with our great value paid workshops, where you can learn some amazing new techniques and leave with great skills and memories and your own piece of art. Prices range from $8 – $80. Please visit the Community Arts Office for further details and bookings.

Wooden Toymaking
Take home your own handcrafted wooden toy, constructed from pre-cut components under the direct guidance of an ACT Woodcraft Guild member. Construction time is approximately 15 minutes, so drop in anytime during the session once you have booked in.
Friday 11am, Saturday 9:15am, Sunday 11:30am, Monday 11am

Prayer Flags
Prayer flags can be as simple or complicated as a person wishes. They may be a single flag with a quote, or several on a string with aspirational sayings. Taught by the amazing Joy from Willo Press.
Saturday 1:15pm, Monday 3pm

Spirit dolls
Spirit dolls are made with intent, to encompass the maker’s dreams and hopes. Lovingly made with a wire armature, dressed, and decorated to reflect their maker’s feelings, these are spirit filled art classes.
Friday 11:15am, Sunday 9:15am

Felt making – Flower brooch, small pod, picture frame
Manipulate the fibre into a flower brooch, a small pod or a picture frame under the guidance of Terry Nash from the Canberra Felt Markers. Walk away from the workshop with new skills to make your own projects for friends and family.
9am every day of the Festival
Limited to 5 people each morning making small objects with the felt markers. Please see the Community Arts Staff to see if there are any places left.

Felt marking – Hat
Working with the most wonderful natural fibre, wool, you will be carefully guided by passionate Canberra Felt Makers – Terry Nash to make a felt hat over 4 days (4 x 2 hour sessions)
9am every day of the Festival
Limited to 5 people only for the whole Festival. Please see the Community Arts Staff to see if there are any places left in this program.

Botanical illustration for beginners
Easy and simple botanical illustration for beginners. Create a fresh and vibrant artwork to take home and develop drawing and watercolour skills with illustrator Quince Frances.
Friday 12:45pm, Saturday 11:15am, Sunday 9:15am, Monday 1pm

Jewellery Making – Kirsten Cloutier
Participants will learn to carve pendants from soapstone blanks. Kirsten will teach you how to turn the finished carving into a necklace, bracelet, keychain, or whatever you prefer! Everyone will leave with a memento of the Festival and something to show off to friends and family.
Friday 2:45pm, Saturday 11:45am, Sunday 11:30am, Monday 9am

Basket marking- Coiling
Join Adrienne for coiled basketry making workshops. Learn some of the traditional technique, sustainable environmental practices and stories that go along with the skills of basket marking.
Friday 12pm, Sunday 2:15pm

Bush Toys
Join in the stories and learn how to make bush toys. This workshop is aimed at those young at heart, teenagers and young children with their parents. Adrienne Kneebone leads this workshop.
Saturday 11am Monday 11:30am

People keep bees for different reasons. Obviously, producing honey is one of the main reasons, but some people would still keep bees even if they did not get any honey. Natural Beekeeping is a holistic approach, which focuses on the health and well-being of the animals, more than just merely producing honey. In this workshop, we will compare the different methods of beekeeping and discuss what you need to know to get started.
Saturday 9am only

Portrait Drawing
Learn the basics of portrait drawing in this two hour workshop. Create your own portrait drawing from a model or photo to complete a black and white portrait sketch with a believable likeness. All skill levels welcome and catered for under the guidance of artist Janet from
Sunday 9am, Sunday 1pm, Monday 9am, Monday 12:45pm

The Art of Henna
Whether you are a beginner or looking to develop existing skills, join us to learn the traditional art of henna. This workshop, with an experienced tutor, is designed to give you the necessary knowledge, skills and control to create henna body art for friends and family!
Friday 9:30am, Saturday 2:30pm, Monday 1pm

Expressive Wire Figures – Elyssa Sykes-Smith
Learn how to create the human form in wire using simple structural techniques that build complex and detailed figures. Consider things like posture, pose and movement to shape different bodies and create a series of characters that display different personalities and actions.
Saturday 2pm, Sunday 1:30pm

Book Community Arts Workshop:

Join the Parade

Join in the fun when we light up the night with colour, lanterns and music! Lantern Parades will wander through our Festival Entertainment Zone on Friday and Saturday nights.

Sunday night features the big Festival Parade that takes to the streets in a riot of colour and sound, showcasing the marvellous sculptures, lanterns and wild face painting developed on Community Arts and KidzFest.

Watch the spectacle unfold or, better still, be part of the action by creating your own lantern or becoming a character underneath a wild face paint look.

Join a workshop or simply drop into Community Arts between gigs to get making. Create lanterns and costumes of strange mythical creatures, imagined or true. The possibilities are as endless as your own imagination with lots of help provided by our Community Arts team. To find out more visit the Community Arts Precinct at the Fitzroy end of the Entertainment Zone.NFF2016-BPHEASANT-Parade-12