Local schoolchildren working with textile artist Lynne Stein have helped take the Victorian skill of rag rug making to new heights for Objects of Desire, an exhibition at Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire, until October 31. Old clothes have been transformed into beautiful tapestries, rich with colourful local images, and clothes donated by Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, Michael Palin and George Clooney have been incorporated. Tel: 01282 771004.

Festival of music and literature, Portsmouth Festivities 2000, running from June 20-28, is particularly focusing on young people and learning. The programme includes a gala concert of works by Mozart, Handel and Haydn in the cathedral, featuring the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Richard Steggal (horn), Portsmouth Cathedral Choir and Portsmouth Grammar School Choral Society, June 28, 7.30pm; and music for children by Debussy, Beethoven and Schubert performed in the city library, June 27, 1pm. Colin White will give a pre-concert talk on Nelson, Haydn and The Battle of the Nile at Portsmouth Grammar School, June 28, 6pm. Tickets from box office, tel: 023 9264 9000. Brochures from Portsmouth Grammar School, tel: 023 9281 9125; e-mail: Children can participate in a pounding community drum-circle, Javanese gamelan and dance workshops and a Javanese shadow puppet play at Rhythm Sticks, the annual percussion festival held at the South Bank Centre, London SE1, from July 15-23. The programme encompasses jazz, world, folk and classical music and rhythms from America to Asia, England to Egypt. Many events are free. Tel: 020 7960 4242;

Milnthorpe steel band, featured in the Spring Music and the Arts TES Curriculum Special, will be appearing at the Ntional Festival of Music for Youth at the South Bank, on July 8. In the International section the age limit is 19, so Milnthorpe's band of eight to 10-year-olds seem to be especially lucky. Milnthorpe is asking for prospective sponsors to step forward (Phone Andy Whitfield on 01524-388248).

World-class musicians including Joanna MacGregor, Diego Masson, Nicholas Clapton, Keith Tippett and Herbie Flowers are leading masterclasses and workshops at Dartington Hall's International Summer School in Totnes, Devon, July 22-August 26. Courses include: chamber music, advanced brass, African drumming, African and gospel choir, Balinese gamelan, choral conducting, composition for film, TV and video, electroacoustic composition and a two-week compositiondance project, directed by Sir Harrison Birtwhistle and Lea Anderson. Summer school choir members will perform new works in the Great Hall and Garrick's Shakespeare Jubilee is being celebrated. Tel: 01803 865988; e-mail:;

Experiment with the latest materials and techniques and learn from experts in seminars and workshops at The Artists and Illustrators Exhibition 2000 at Olympia 2, Kensington, London SW7, July 27-30. Admission: pound;8, pound;7 concessions on the door or pound;5-pound;5.50 in advance.

Tel: 020 7700 8548.

More than 600 performers are converging on the Royal Albert Hall, London SW7, for DanceFest 2000, September 30. Jazz, ballet, folk, ballroom, tap, salsa, contemporary, historical, latin and sports acrobatics are just some of the dance styles on offer. The event is produced by the Central Council of Physical Recreation's movement and dance division, tel: 020 7565 6281. Tickets from RAH box office: tel: 020 7589 8212.

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