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A Magazine for Sheffield
Shout Outs

Japan Now North / Festival of the Outdoors / SheFest / Art Battle / Surface at the Level Centre

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Japan Now North

17-21 February

You may not know it, but our city is home to one of Europe's leading academic centres on the study of Japan, the School of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield.

Over the last three years the school has become known locally for its co-hosting of Japan Now North, an annual celebration of Japanese art and culture, with events taking place this year at venues including the Showroom, the Crucible, Kommune and Site Gallery.

The 2020 programme will feature the likes of photography and performance artist Tomoko Sawada, acclaimed novelists Hiroko Oyamada (The Factory) and Tomihiko Morimi (The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl and Penguin Highway), and leading female poet Hiromi Itō with translator Jeffrey Angles, plus film screenings and Q&As with directors Chie Hayakawa (Ten Years Japan) and Naoko Nobutomo (I Go Gaga My Dear).

If you're interested in the fascinating blend of modern and ancient culture that Japan has to offer, visit for more details or keep up on Twitter @japannownorth.


5-15 March

In celebration of International Women's Day, the ten-day feminist festival SheFest returns with a vibrant programme of events in Sheffield, including art, comedy, film, music, theatre, workshops, celebrity guest speakers and more.

Founded in 2015 and made up of local volunteers, SheFest has grown exponentially since its inception. This year will see them expanding into Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham, and collaborating with Museums Sheffield, The Leadmill, BBC Radio Sheffield, She Productions and Anti-Diet Riot Club.

At the time of writing the full programme announcement is imminent, but in the meantime here are two big dates for your diary. SheFest Saturday takes place on 7 March on Tudor Square, with family-friendly music, performances and interactive activities on offer throughout the day. On 8 March transgender model and social activist Munroe Bergdorf will be in conversation at Sheffield Students' Union. It's sure to be fierce feminist fun. Don't miss it.

Festival of the Outdoors

Throughout March

A third of Sheffield sits within the Peak District National Park and being so close to nature is one of the many great attractions of living here.

The Festival of the Outdoors acts as an umbrella for many events happening in and around Sheffield at the beginning of the outdoor season, all of them organised by local people with a burning passion for running, walking, cycling, climbing and lots more. FOTO includes major events like the Climbing Works International Festival (CWIF), Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF), Sheffield Half Marathon, the Big Running Weekend, cycling race The Magnificent Seven and the first ever Sheffield Bike Fest. Beyond this there will be Q&A sessions, film screenings and plenty more, including an exciting collaboration with ShAFF to be announced soon.

There's so much to get involved in as a spectator, a participant or an audience member, whatever your age, interests or ability. More details coming soon at

Art Battle

Fri 21 March, 92 Burton Road

Art Battle is a global live art tournament which currently takes place in 50 cities across the globe.

Participating artists create pieces live, transforming blank canvas to finished works in 20 minutes as the audience experiences the act of creation firsthand. Audience members decide the winner of each round, with votes cast for their chosen artist, and the overall winner at the end of the night has the chance to win their way to the world championships in Tokyo in October 2020.

Why are we telling you this? Well, because Opus is bringing Art Battle to Sheffield next month with an inaugural event at 92 Burton Road, the home of Peddler Night Market.

There will be food and drink, an art market, tunes courtesy of turntablist and First Word Records co-founder Andy H, and a silent auction of art created on the night. Stay tuned for tickets and more info on participating artists.



17-22 Feb, Level Centre

The LEVEL Centre is a contemporary art space in the village of Rowsley, just outside Bakewell in North Derbyshire.

LEVEL promotes and creates interesting and engaging art. Their work focuses on the 'art that difference makes', challenging tradition and convention through a radical programme of installations and exhibitions. LEVEL's regular programme has been developed for people with complex needs, allowing them to create and experience contemporary art and culture in fully accessible spaces.

LEVEL's current installation, SURFACE, is an immersive audio-visual installation which invites visitors into an 'ephemeral light environment', with projections creating evolving 3D sculptures and cloud-like surfaces you can see but can't touch.

After a successful exhibition in December, SURFACE will run for a full week at LEVEL, from 17 to 22 February. For more about SURFACE and LEVEL's work, visit

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