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Exciting culture and events in store for Southwark residents, thanks to council funding

24 March 2022

Southwark Council has today published details of the many cultural organisations that will be awarded a share of a quarter of a million pounds in funding for a diverse programme of events, exhibitions and performances in the coming year*.

Through its Cultural Celebrations Fund, Culture Together Grants, and I Create sponsorship, an exciting range of local talent will be awarded funding to develop their creative ideas.

The new funding pots replace previous cultural funding arrangements, taking on board feedback through the council’s anti-racism programme Southwark Stands Together. Through our consultation with residents following the murder of George Floyd, residents told us that they wanted Southwark’s culture, art and events to better reflect the fantastic diversity of our borough.

Cllr Alice Macdonald, Cabinet Member for Equalities, Neighbourhoods and Leisure, said: “I am delighted to announce that we plan to award funding to an incredibly diverse, representative, ambitious and exciting group of 25 local people and organisations, who between them will help provide residents and visitors with a rich and engaging cultural experience. From a Latin American film festival to a Day of Dance in Peckham Square, the funding will support events for everyone, including familiar favourites like Bermondsey Carnival. Ten local theatres and galleries will use their funding to develop inclusive and ambitious programmes for local people, many focusing on engaging children and young people in the arts. I am also really excited by our new I Create initiative which will support up and coming talent to develop their ideas, with guidance from world-famous cultural institutions like Tate Modern. I can’t wait to see what they create together.

“The significance of this new approach to funding arts and culture in our borough should not be underestimated. For too long our diverse populations, especially those from Black and ethnic minority communities, have not seen themselves reflected in local events, productions and installations. We have committed to addressing that head on in Southwark, and so I am extremely proud to publish today this diverse, inclusive and exciting programme, selected with residents, for residents.”

John Whelan, Project Manager, Forward Newington Festival, said: "The Friends of Pasley Park are grateful to be funded from Southwark Council's Cultural Celebration Fund 2022-23. It will enable us to shine a light on one of our local unsung heroes Mary Seacole and the history of the Royal Surrey Zoological Gardens. It will animate our park with the Forward Newington Festival on the 3 July.  We are excited as this funding will enable us to move forward after the difficult couple of years we have all faced and celebrate the diversity of our local community with a free arts based festival for our community. All held in the splendour of Pasley Park the green lung of our community.”

Paola Melli, South Social Film Festival, said: “South Social Film Festival has always been working in South London and especially in Southwark and we have been supporting the Latin American community for a long time. To receive this funding means a lot to us. First of all to be appreciated, to be recognised as a community festival and it means also that we can focus all our energy in making a true one of a kind event and hopefully one that can be continued in the future. Thanks a lot Southwark Council and especially the Events team, you're a star!”

Full details of the three funds and the successful applicants can be found here:

*The reports published today are notices of decisions to be taken, and will be subject to a call-in period and formal agreement by the Cabinet Member in due course.

Page last updated: 24 March 2022

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