Inspiring the theatre-makers, writers and musicians of tomorrow and encouraging youngsters to think creatively is the driving force behind the Schools Festival section of the Tauranga Arts Festival.

The festival offers, for a nominal charge, performances and workshops to schools throughout the Western Bay with four options available.

Based in Christchurch, Rollicking Entertainment (David Ladderman and Lizzie Tollemache)offers three fun workshops – Slapstick and Physical Comedy (including falling safely and failing with joy) for Y4-6, Circus Skills (including juggling and acrobatics) for senior primary students and for Y1-3 Introduction to Performance (ensemble storytelling).

Internationally renowned Kiwi illustrator Craig Phillips is taking drawing workshops for Y5-6. His graphic novel of fairy tales, Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts, won the 2018 Russell Clark Illustration Award (NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults) and the 2018 Gold Ledger (Australian Ledger Awards). Craig has also made posters for bands such as Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters and illustrated Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

Karen McMillan comes to the festival fresh from the Frankfurt Book Fair and with her popular Elastic Island adventure series of books in early development for television. Karen will take writing workshops for Y5-6.

The Nukes ukulele trio from west Auckland will be based at Katikati Primary, Omokoroa No 1 and Pongakawa primary schools and Te Puke High School with schools in the surrounding areas invited to participate in workshops and performances.

In the main festival, youngsters can enjoy a performance of the silent movie homage Kaput (6pm, October 25, with child and family ticket prices), and the free A Call to Dance at Tauranga Art Gallery where choreographer Amrita Hepi will hold conversations on October 25 and 26 from 10am-3pm to talk about heritage and belonging. A final performance on October 27 at 1pm aims to capture the character and people of Tauranga Moana.

To download an information pack to book a workshop in your school, go to our Schools Festival page or contact the Festival office on 07 928 6213 and

The Nukes ukelele workshop in Gisbourne