Croydon is lining up an exciting summer programme packed with cultural activity following a funding boost for community arts groups.
Highlights include an international festival of live performance and visual arts; a high-impact theatre production inspired by young people from Croydon; the return of the hugely popular Crystal Palace Festival; a new Festival of Peace; and another series of LMP on the Move, a ground-breaking project bringing classical music to new audiences.
All are beneficiaries in the latest round of awards from Croydon Council’s cultural partnership fund (CPF), set up to encourage the growth and development of grassroots arts organisations locally. The CPF offers match funding up to £10k for cultural community projects, helping small groups to lever funding from national organisations such Arts Council England (ACE) which they might not otherwise achieve.
The new theatre production from Maya Productions, The Croydon Avengers by Oladipo Agboluaje, was created working with young asylum seekers and refugees from the borough. Using martial arts and a comic book visual style, the play challenges preconceptions about refugees. Funded by the CPF and ACE, the production will tour local schools and also Harrogate, Ovalhouse and Blue Elephant Theatres in June.
Also in the summer, radical art festival Tempting Failure will be held in and around Croydon 9-22 July. Also funded by the CPF and ACE, this international event promises to be a highlight of Croydon’s cultural calendar. Organisers are now seeking applications from paid artists from all over the world, at any stage in their career, to get involved and particularly welcome local applications. More information is available on their website.
After a spectacular event in June 2017, the Crystal Palace Festival will return 11-17 June 2018, with Stereo MCs and Polarbears headlining at the free Crystal Palace Park event on 16 June. With 28,500 visitors to the 2017 park event, organisers are expecting even bigger crowds as they return with a fantastic line up of music, spoken word, theatre, visual arts, family and community activities and amazing food and drink. This is funded by Croydon Council’s CPF, ACE and Bromley Council.
The Festival of Peace will be a vibrant multi-cultural, cross-arts week of events 16-23 June. In the year where the world remembers the centenary of the end of WWI, the festival will invite Croydon to celebrate peace through a participatory arts programme, including live music, dance, visual arts, spoken word and film. The centrepiece will be an inclusive Anthem For Peace commissioned by Croydon’s resident chamber orchestra, London Mozart Players (LMP).
The CPF has also funded the LMP for two more years of the highly successful LMP on the Move. This is a series of five concerts in different venues – not generally used for classical music – around the borough each summer, bringing the genre to new audiences. Last year venues included Matthews Yard; the Roof Top cinema (with a live score for a Charlie Chaplin film); and the central Library (a family friendly performance of Little Red Riding Hood). For the season finale LMP performed at Boxpark with London DJ Shift K3Y in a ground-breaking collaboration streamed live by Spotify.
The Festival of Peace and LMP on the Move have both received funding from the CPF and ACE.
“Croydon’s summer line-up is already looking fantastic. By funding community arts projects through the cultural partnership fund we are helping to create an environment where creativity can thrive. Also, by offering match-funding, we are helping local grassroots organisations to secure significant investment from national organisations. Croydon is getting a deserved reputation as a borough that embraces art and provides opportunities for local talent to grow.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport