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Step Up, "the longest schools' arts festival in the world", takes place in the north west, July 1-9. It includes music and dance shows at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall and a major exhibition, showcasing the region's best young painters, sketchers, sculptors, photographers and multi-media artists.

Tel: 0161 273 8858

The sixth Big Draw takes place October 1-31 and Big Draw Day is on October 14. Schools, youth groups and museums planning events should register by August 11 to receive a free CD full of activity ideas.

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