The Big Draw Festival

The Big Draw Festival

The Big Draw Festival is for anyone who loves to draw, as well as those who think they can't!

It is an opportunity to join a global community in celebration of the universal language of drawing.

From 1-31 October, every year, thousands of enjoyable, and mainly free, drawing activities connect people of all ages with schools, galleries, museums, libraries, heritage sites, village halls, outdoor spaces - allsorts of places - artists, designers, illustrators, and each other.

The launch of The Big Draw Festival 2016 took take place at The Whitworth on 22 September. Here's what Kate Mason, Director of The Big Draw, had to say on the day.

Last year...

In 2015, the 16th Festival was launched by author Philip Pullman and Children's Laureate, illustrator, and patron of The Big Draw, Chris Riddell
The launch took place in 10 leading cultural institutions across Oxford and inspired events by more than 1000 organisers on seven continents, engaging around 400,000 people in the theme Every Drawing Tells a Story.

The Big Draw Festival 2016 theme

The 2016 theme was The STEAM Powered Big Draw Festival. 

Bringing together Science, Technology, Art, Engineering and Maths. STEAM recalls our Industrial past and the fusion of creative innovation, enterprise and the arts.

STEAM also represents our support of the campaign to give the arts parity with other subjects so that STEM, becomes STEAM.

Find out more about the 2016 theme here.

Organise A Big Draw Festival event

Whether you are an individual or representing an organisation, anyone can register an event as part of The Big Draw Festival. 

Once registered, event organisers have access to exclusive online event listings, resources (including logos, posters, stickers, mini magazines full of ideas) and offers, and benefit from extensive marketing and PR activity to promote the Festival’s events and organisers to targeted audiences.

Find out more about organising an event.

  • View events for the 2016 UK Big Draw Festival  here.
  • View events that took place around the world in 2016 here.

History of The Big Draw Festival

Launched in October 2000, The Big Draw Festival has encouraged over three million people back to the drawing board. It has notched up two world records – for the longest drawing in the world (one kilometre) and the greatest number of people drawing simultaneously (over 7,000).

The first Big Draw Festival in 2000 attracted 180 partner organisations. By October 2015, the number had risen to over 1,000, with over 400,000 people participating. What began as a one day celebration of drawing in October 2000 in the UK, is now an annual month-long festival of drawing across the world.

Read the full history here.