The charity behind Kingston’s biggest art festival has announced a new festival director.

Trevor Blackman will take on the organisation for this year’s International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) run by Creative Youth.

He follows in the footsteps of former director Aniela Zaba, who stepped down at the end of 2014 after six years leading the project.

Mr Blackman is the former director of the Festival of Youth Arts that showcased London’s talented young people in venues such as the Roundhouse in Camden, the Tate Modern, the National Portrait Gallery and Trafalgar Square.

He also founded media company APE Media, and was awarded the London and Europe-wide runner-up for Enterprising Britain.

Mr Blackman has also headed up It Doesn’t Have to Happen, a Government anti-knife crime campaign, which won best youth campaign in Marketing Magazine.

The new IYAF director said: “This is Kingston’s festival – get behind it, support it and come out and collaborate with it.

“I am very excited to be looking at all this wonderful art and one of my biggest things is to get the college, universities and schools involved.

“I am excited to see what we can do together. I want to create that sense of togetherness going forward – this is your festival.”

Robin Hutchinson, chairman of trustees at Creative Youth, said: “I am delighted to announce that Trevor Blackman has agreed to become our new festival director and is perfectly qualified to take the festival forward and build upon the success of the past six years.”

The festival, which will include music, dance and drama among other performances will run from July 3 to July 19.

Creative Youth has extended its deadline for submissions to get involved in the festival until February 14. 

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