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Seun Kuti announced for Walthamstow Garden Party as Creative Citizen Fellowship programme launched

Story by Jack Foley

FOLLOWING the recent launch of the fifth Walthamstow Garden Party, The Barbican, working in partnership with Waltham Forest Council and Create London, has announced additional acts performing across the weekend, as well as more information on the festival’s community offer and a taster of Waltham Forest’s plans for London Borough of Culture 2019.

Barbican Music Stage

On Sunday, July 15, 2018, Seun Kuti performs alongside rapper, singer and actor Lil Simz. Seun Kuti is the son of afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, who now leads his father’s former band Egypt 80, and will be performing music from across his career including his new album, Black Times.

Creative Citizen Programme

This year, two key areas of the Walthamstow Garden Party will be planned, programmed and produced by eight local creative leaders through the Creative Citizen Fellowship programme. The Creative Citizen Fellowship is made up of eight local artists and community leaders who also run their own creative organisations in the borough.

This year will see them collaboratively launch community and sustainability initiatives on Fellowship Island, alongside local produce in the Appetite Food Market, spoken word, workshops and demos on the Dreamers & Diggers stage and debate & discussions in the Forest Lounge.

The Creative Citizens have also worked together to programme the News from Nowhere Stage presenting dance performances from Company Wayne Mcgregor, making their Walthamstow Garden Party debut with excerpts from two dance works by multi award-winning choreographer and director Wayne McGregor, Old Men Grooving and Khyal Arts alongside work from their own companies MovE17 and X7eaven.

Alongside this, they have invited a host of gravity defying aerialists and acrobats to join Layla Rosa and the Walthamstow Youth Circus.

Louise Jeffreys, Artistic Director at the Barbican, said: “We’re delighted that the festival is increasingly powered by the incredible network of local people, groups, organisations and businesses that are at the heart of the event’s continued success. We are committed to ensuring that the festival provides a platform for these partners to showcase their work and we’re passionate about making sure the weekend acts as a catalyst for new ideas, ambitious thinking and innovative collaborations in the borough.

“This year, thanks to our new Creative Citizen Fellowship programme, we have been working with eight local creative leaders to support their continued development and embed their expertise and passion into the fabric of the festival. We can’t wait to see all their hard work come to life over the weekend and look forward to sharing it with the Walthamstow Garden Party audiences.”

Cllr Clare Coghill, leader of Waltham Forest Council, added: “Waltham Forest is delighted to be working with the Barbican to support our local creative networks through the Creative Citizen Fellowship. We are committed to supporting artists and arts organisations from across Waltham Forest so they can build and develop their creative capacity whilst providing opportunities for others in the borough. This is something we will be shining a light on even more as London Borough of Culture 2019. I can’t wait to see what our first Fellows bring to the Walthamstow Garden Party.”

Delivered by The Barbican and London Borough of Waltham Forest (LBWF), the Creative Citizen Fellowship was made possible by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England through the Great Place Scheme. The purpose of the programme is to ensure local people in Waltham Forest can access the arts and input into the creative delivery of the Walthamstow Garden Party.

The return of the popular Earthly Paradise Tent, showcasing local talent, both young and more experienced, has also been confirmed. The programme includes Samba from Greenleaf Primary, Choir 17, Frederick Bremnar Choir and Natural Voices. On Saturday there’s an evening of young creatives’ work including Urban Flames, Barbican Young Poets and Drum Works. Closing the stage on Sunday will be music sets from Danalogue and Philou Louzolo presented by local record label Byrd Out.

Art Road Show

Waltham Forest’s creative talent will also be showcased in an all travelling exhibition of art submitted by community members and budding artists from in and around London. Curated by local arts organisation Mehraj Arts and the William Morris Gallery Young Curators, The Art Road Show will be visiting all of the Waltham Forest Get Together events across the summer.

Festival goers will be able to pick their favourite art pieces, with cash prizes awarded to the winners.

London Borough of Culture 2019

As Waltham Forest steps up to be the first Mayor’s London Borough of Culture in 2019 visitors will be able to find out more about exciting plans for the year ahead. There will be sneak peeks of some of the incredible events set to take place, with lots of opportunities for everyone to get involved. Come and discover more about our amazing programme and opportunities for residents, businesses and artists to be part of the year.

Keep It Free

This year, Walthamstow Garden Party is encouraging visitors and local businesses to donate to Keep It Free, a fundraising campaign asking people who enjoy the festival to help invest in local artists and organisations, attract the best talent from around the globe and build a sustainable, locally powered future for the festival.

Beyond Barbican

Walthamstow Garden Party is part of the Beyond Barbican programme which aims to inspire new and diverse audiences to discover and love the arts. The programme uses the expertise and knowledge of the Barbican to embed ambitious programming into events and support local communities to develop and deliver their own work.

Walthamstow Garden Party is a Waltham Forest Council festival, produced by the Barbican and Create London in partnership with key local organisations in Waltham Forest.

Support for Walthamstow Garden Party comes from Arts Council England.