Looking for a family oriented event in West Sussex to bridge the gap between now and the Halloween party? Founded in 2000 by the Campaign for Drawing, The Big Draw Festival brings together artists, educators, and families from around the globe to participate in a month-long celebration of creativity and community, which is well worth a visit. With events ranging from virtual workshops to in-person exhibitions, The Big Draw Festival offers endless opportunities to inspire and engage your little ones in the world of art. One of the more interactive Chichester events on this October half term, So why not join in on the fun this weekend and get those creative juices flowing?

The Big Draw Festival

Since its inception, the festival has grown to include over 26 countries and has reached millions of people worldwide. Each year, The Big Draw Festival focuses on a unique theme to spark the creativity of participants. Past themes have included “Drawn to Life”, “The Drawing Experience”, “Make the Change” and this year’s theme is “Come Back to Colour”.

The Big Draw Festival offers a varied programme of events that cater to different age groups and interests. For younger children, there are interactive workshops and art activities that encourage them to experiment with different materials and techniques. Older children and teenagers can participate in masterclasses and exhibitions that showcase their skills and allow them to network with other young artists. Many events are also family-friendly, offering parents and children the opportunity to create together and bond over a shared love of art.

One of the unique features of The Big Draw Festival is its emphasis on accessibility. The festival’s organizers believe that everyone should have the opportunity to take part in the celebration of drawing, regardless of their background or ability. They offer a range of events that cater to people with disabilities and special needs and have even created a toolkit that provides guidance on how to organize inclusive drawing activities. This commitment to inclusion and diversity has made The Big Draw Festival and its events a beloved event for communities around the world.

The Event at Chichester Cathedral

This free entry event is returning to Chichester Cathedral for the October half term, with the Cathedral Nave being covered in blank paper, made from recycled materials, ready for artists of all ages and levels of artistic experience. The theme of this year’s event will be “Come back to colour”, with this event celebrating the beautiful Sussex environment. We’re hoping to discover artwork focusing on the South Downs and all the natural treasures of West Sussex this weekend. If you’re trying to find out what’s on in Chichester or West Sussex in general, then you can count yourself fortunate to find two excellent events in the Cathedral, with both the Big Draw Festival and Peter Walker’s Peace Doves exhibition sharing the space.

Peace Doves is an art installation created by Peter Walker, that is currently touring different cathedrals across the UK, having already graced Rochester Cathedral, Liverpool Cathedral, Lichfield Cathedral, Derby Cathedral, and Sheffield Cathedral. It is made up of 15,000 handmade paper doves, each containing inspirational and compassionate messages of hope and peace, written by local community groups, schools and members of the public. Of all the Chichester Cathedral events, this event truly captures the imagination and brings communities together, while pairing the arts with the icon design work of this West Sussex cathedral this October half term.

Why is drawing so important?

1. Drawing improves creativity and critical thinking

While it may seem that drawing is just a fun activity, it’s actually a valuable tool to enhance your child’s creativity and understanding of the arts. For children who may struggle with expressing themselves through language, such as in the case of a speech delay, drawing enables them to discover how to communicate their thoughts and emotions without having to rely on words. Also, drawing forces children to think critically and plan ahead as they figure out how to bring an idea to life on paper.

2. Drawing helps develop fine motor skills

The act of holding a pen or pencil and making marks on paper may seem simple, but it’s an excellent way to develop fine motor skills. Young children will initially use a fist to hold a tool and make marks, but over time, they will learn to use their fingers for more precise control. By using these small muscles in their hands, children develop better dexterity, which becomes essential for tasks like writing and cutting.

3. Drawing helps develop concentration skills

In today’s age of instant gratification and entertainment, developing concentration skills is critical for children’s future success. Thankfully, drawing is an excellent way to help kids focus. While drawing, children must pay attention to what they are doing, think ahead, and self-correct mistakes. This process requires concentration, patience, and persistence, which are all essential skill sets as children grow into adults.

4. Drawing increases confidence

For many children, the most challenging hurdle to overcome is self-doubt. But drawing can help boost their creative confidence, making them feel more self-assured and willing to experiment with new ideas. When kids draw, they see the results of their efforts and are proud of what they have accomplished. This feeling of pride can transfer over to other areas of their life, such as school projects or other extracurricular activities.

5. Drawing is a low-cost activity that can be enjoyed at any age

Parents often struggle to find inexpensive activities to keep their children entertained. But with drawing, all you need is a piece of paper and a pencil. Drawing can be done on a small or large scale, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Additionally, parents can participate in drawing activities with their children, fostering a sense of togetherness and bonding.


So, with drawing being such a crucial activity in a child’s creative development, as well as improving confidence, critical thinking and concentration, The Big Draw Festival is a must-see, free-entry, free-parking event for any west Sussex parent, especially those who are looking to nurture their child’s artistic talents and foster a love for art, or even if you’re just seeing what’s on in Chichester. From interactive workshops to masterclasses and exhibitions, there’s something for everyone at this month-long celebration of drawing. By participating in The Big Draw Festival, you’ll not only inspire your kids to think creatively, but also help them build their confidence, improve their motor skills, and develop lifelong friendships with other young artists, as well as taking part in an unforgettable piece of creative entertainment during October half term before the Halloween party. So visit while you can, and if you don’t there in time, this is one to keep in mind for next year!