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Rachel Feldberg to step down as artistic director of Ilkley Literature Festival

After 16 amazing years as Artistic Director Rachel Feldberg will be moving on from Ilkley Literature Festival this December.

Rachel joined the festival in 2002 and since then has grown the event to a thriving 17 day festival, welcoming leading authors, poets and writers from across the world to the town each October, as well as initiating a year-round programme of innovative education and outreach work, the much loved children’s festival and Words in the City poetry and spoken word weekends. In 2012, she secured the Festival prestigious National Portfolio funding status from Arts Council England.

Reflecting on her time as director, Rachel said: “It has been a privilege to work for the Festival and I have enjoyed my time enormously – from our ground-breaking work with young writers, to inspiring children in schools across Bradford and Leeds and bringing incredible authors like Maya Angelou to Ilkley, I am extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve.

“Ilkley Literature Festival is a very special organisation and I will miss the wonderful community of staff, volunteers, authors, audiences and supporters that have been a part of my time here, but I will look forward with great anticipation to watching the next chapter of this creative and ground-breaking Festival.

“I am now looking forward to taking on some exciting new projects as well as pursuing my other love, 18th century history, with a MA at York University.“

Festival chair Nigel Walsh praised Feldberg as a “dynamic and innovative leader”.

“During her time as Artistic Director, Rachel’s passion and creativity have driven the Festival forward, firmly cementing our reputation as the leading literature festival in the North. Rachel is leaving a legacy of work that reaches far beyond Ilkley – from establishing our thriving Young Writers groups, to supporting the career development of new writing talent such as Andrew McMillan, and working with Simon Armitage to create the ambitious Stanza Stones trail across the Pennine Upland – not to mention leading a Festival team that presents the hundreds of amazing events that engage and inspire audiences each year.”

We will begin the search for Rachel’s replacement in the new year, with the new director taking up the appointment from spring 2019.

If you have any Festival memories you would like to share with Rachel, or have a message you would like to pass on please email: info@ilkleyliteraturefestival.org.uk or write to Rachel at Ilkley Literature Festival, 9 The Grove, Ilkley, LS29 9LW