- This is Croydon will feature 15 exciting flagship events taking place across the borough from April 2023 to March 2024. The full programme will be revealed in 2023
- A series of projects created with local cultural organisations will be delivered as part of the Ignite Fund and more than five heritage engagement projects will be delivered as part of the programme
- Discover how the local community can become part of this landmark year for Croydon
- Get a taste of what’s to come from This is Croydon via www.culturecroydon.com and follow @CroydonCulture on social media
This is Croydon, The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s, London Borough of Culture 2023, has today launched its striking look and is inviting the local community and audiences across London to get involved now with its programme of upcoming events.
London Borough of Culture is a Mayor of London initiative in partnership with local authorities and cultural organisations.
This is Croydon will be a big, bold and cross-cultural celebration of the borough’s unique identity, heritage and character. It will celebrate Croydon as London’s most innovative and dynamic borough. From 15 flagship events with international headliners and emerging home-grown talent to over 20 projects funded via This is Croydon’s Ignite Fund, plus hundreds of grassroots activities led by organisations in every corner of the borough, the programme will showcase the very best of Croydon.
The programme is being delivered through a unique collaboration between the cultural organisations and people of the borough in partnership with Croydon Council. The full programme will be announced in spring 2023 ahead of the opening event in April, Oratorio of Hope at Fairfield Halls.
The Creative Leadership Team is led by Croydon Council’s Director of Culture and Community Safety, Kristian Aspinall; Councillor Andy Stranack, Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities; Daniel Winder of Stanley Arts, Chair of the Culture & Creative Steering group, and the Vice Chair, Carolyn Forsyth of Talawa Theatre Company. The delivery team also includes Vicky Olusanya, Community Producer at Stanley Arts, and Charlotte Young and Demelza Watts, Community Producers at Turf Projects.
The core delivery team and steering group is supported by seven additional advisory groups focused on access, amateur arts, music, queer arts, youth arts, marketing and evaluation, representing nearly 100 Croydon-based organisations and individuals.
There are many ways that residents and visitors can get involved with This is Croydon ahead of the launch next year.
Now and into the future, This is Croydon is encouraging everyone to share what they love about Croydon culture across social media using the hashtag #ThisisCroydon.
- Croydon is the borough of Samuel Coleridge Taylor and Stormzy, Leona Lewis and Loyle Carner, the birthplace of dubstep and home to a wide variety of music venues. Now, Museum of Croydon and Apsara Arts invite the local community to share their stories of Croydon’s rich and diverse music history to form part of a Music Heritage Trail that will be created in 2023. Residents and visitors are encouraged to submit stories about their favourite musical hero and/or musical venue at museumofcroydon.com.
- London Mozart Players (LMP) will present Oratorio of Hope, the opening event of This is Croydon, featuring a new composition to be premiered at Fairfield Halls. They are currently seeking volunteers to be part of the opening festival on 2 April. From amateur choirs and musicians to dancers to artists and performers, to budding stage managers, producers and technicians; they are seeking talented people and community groups to join the team. LMP is also seeking amateur filmmakers who would like to join a team of camera people, directors and editors creating a brand-new film about culture in Croydon to be shown on the opening weekend. Those interested in getting involved with the opening event, should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Schools and youth groups are invited be part of Croydon Stands Tall, which will see highly decorated giraffe sculptures popping up across the borough next year. Schools can apply to receive a giraffe to decorate in their own unique way, along with creative learning resources to use in the classroom. Schools, artists and youth groups interested in getting involved should visit croydonstandstall.co.uk for further information.
This is Croydon is part of an ongoing commitment to culture in the borough, which recently saw the largest single increase of funding for any local authority area in Arts Council England’s (ACE) National Portfolio (NPO) awards. The borough – designated an ACE Priority Area – gained three new NPO funded organisations – Stanley Halls, Turf Projects and Ignite Fund recipients Zoo Co, who join existing NPOs Talawa Theatre Company, Boundless Theatre and Eye Music Trust.
The Mayor of London has also invested in Croydon’s creative industries through the Creative Enterprise Zone programme, which creates opportunities and workspaces for young emerging creative talent. The Croydon Creative Enterprise Zone has launched an ambitious new cultural internship programme offering young people paid work placements (at London Living Wage) with leading national and local arts organisations. It has also delivered a subsidy scheme of artist workspace, covering up to 40 per cent of workspace costs for young people.
London Borough of Culture is a Mayor of London initiative, launched in June 2017. The award puts culture at the heart of local communities, where it belongs. It shines a light on the character and diversity of London’s boroughs and brings culture to everyone, so that all Londoners have the chance to be part of something extraordinary.
“We’re proud that This is Croydon will be a unique collaboration between the local authority and cultural sector – a truly community-led celebration of everything that is great about our borough. We are harnessing a wealth of local talent, skills and experience to deliver an outstanding year as London Borough of Culture, with the council acting as facilitator and enabler, and I want this to act as a blueprint for how the council and cultural sector can work together in future. It’s going to be a fantastic year for Croydon, an opportunity to bring investment to our borough and restore local pride, and I want to encourage everyone to get involved.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I created the London Borough of Culture to celebrate creativity at the heart of our communities. As Lewisham’s incredibly successful year draws to a close, I am proud that Croydon will be picking up the baton in 2023. This is Croydon will be a thrilling year showcasing great culture and using the power of creativity to bring communities together, helping to build a better London for everyone.”
Carolyn Forsyth of Talawa Theatre Company said “This Is Croydon will be a celebration of everything Croydon has to offer – created, directed and presented by the people and cultural organiations of the borough. Our aim is to deliver unforgettable moments that celebrate Croydon’s unique identity and culture. At the heart of Croydon are its people and this community-led programme will really show the very best of our borough to the world.”
See This is Croydon’s new style on its new mini website where audiences and organisations can sign up to keep in touch with plans for the year. For a taste of what’s to come ahead of the full programme launch in 2023, visit www.culturecroydon.com and follow @CultureCroydon on social media.