Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019: The Gift of Togetherness

The season of giving back is upon us.

What better gift to give then spreading awareness and culture across the city! Waltham Forest, an initiative by The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, will be the first ever Borough of Culture.

Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 will highlight the character, diversity and cultures of the borough, the things we have in common and the things that make us different, in a year-long celebration of the real cultures of London by the people who live here.

Waltham Forest has a strong culture-led diverse community with a history of makers and creators whose creativity, radical thinking and shared sense of purpose has helped drive innovation and progress across the borough.

The award from the Mayor of London will ensure arts and culture is placed at the heart of our communities. The year will explore the theme Radicals, Makers and Fellowship in a collaboration between local residents, artists and creatives producing a once in a lifetime celebration of the place we call home. 

The London Borough of Waltham Forest is north of the River Thames in north-east London and is made of five key centres: Leyton, Leytonstone, Chingford, Higham’s Park and Walthamstow.

The event includes The Mayor’s London Borough of Culture Award which is a major new initiative launched by the Mayor of London in June 2017 and inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture programmes.

The Mayor’s London Borough of Culture award brings Londoners together. It puts culture at the heart of local communities, where it belongs, illuminating the character and diversity of London’s boroughs and showing culture is for everyone.

Now more than ever, the Mayor wants Londoners to get to know each other and feel part of our great city.

Some of the events that will take place:

Ears in the woods

Sat 7 December 2019 - Pimp Hall Nature Reserve

Come to Pimp Hall nature reserve to tune into sounds of the woods from a listening station in the Dovecote: one of Chingford's oldest buildings

A sound installation will mix live streams from the local environment with field recordings gathered onsite over the last year.

Dawn Scarfe will be there to make hot drinks, share stories from her Bivvy Broadcast project, demo recording techniques and how to make an off grid broadcast using a mobile phone or laptop.

Ears in the Woods is part of The People's Forest season - a series of events exploring our relationship with Epping Forest, interrogating the deep bond we have with forests and woodland, and how this relationship is culturally determined.

Venue: Pimp Hall Nature Reserve, Near Kings Road Recycling Centre, off Kings Road, London E4 7HR

By bus: 179, 212, 397

By train: Chingford (London Overground) is 0.5 miles away

Times: 1pm-2pm

Tickets: FREE, just turn up

Big Community Chill Out

Sunday 8 December 2019 - Great Hall, Leyton

Over the last 9 weeks, your local grassroots, mental health arts, music and well-being charity has been working with our family of local community spirited professional artists, musicians and performers to build the confidence of people aged 18-100 from across our diverse community.

Many of the people who have enjoyed Wiilma’s workshops deal daily with significant mental and physical challenges or are carers do so much for others but never for themselves. Many have never been on the stage or have never shown their art, music or dance on show to the World.

Come along to the Big Community Chill Out to see their work and cheer them on—and discover what exceptional things we can do when we come together.

We are celebrating the real people and diverse international cultures that make up our community.

All are welcome regardless of nationality, gender, age, race, sexuality, religion, ability, culture or background.

Venue: Leyton Great Hall, 1 Adelaide Rd, Leyton, London E10 5NN

By bus: 58, 69, 97, 158, N26

By train: Leyton (Central Line)

Times: 2.30pm-7pm

Tickets: FREE Event but any donations will be welcomed. Book a free place at wiilma.org/workshops, and clicking on RSVP Sun 8th Dec. Or email info@wiilma.org to confirm your name, postcode and names of anybody you are bringing.

Forest Uprising

13-15 December 2019 - Leyton Sports Ground

2019 and the world is at tipping point.

In December, when London is furthest from the sun and the holiday season is upon us – for many, thoughts go to friends and family, and to re-kindling the embers of relationships left untended as we race to keep up with the pace of modern life.

Forest Uprising is the finale of Waltham Forest’s year as the first-ever London Borough of Culture. Over three days in December, an illuminated installation of tree-like structures will grow into a beautiful urban winter forest at Leyton Sports Ground.

This outdoor winter show will see creatives from Block9 design, build and imagine a space where seeds of ideas can germinate, hopes and ambitions are encouraged, and the many voices of the forest can echo loud and clear for all to hear.

Venue: Leyton Sports Ground, 485 High Rd, Leyton, London E10 6PY

By train: Leyton Midland Road (London Overground), Leyton or Leytonstone (Central line), Lea Bridge Station (Greater Anglia)

By bus: 97, 158, 69, W16

Time: 5 - 10pm

Tickets: FREE, just turn up

Swing into Christmas

20-21 December 2019 - Mirth, Marvel and Maud

In what's fast becoming a Walthamstow Christmas tradition, band leader and E17 resident James Brady is once again bringing a team of London's finest jazz talent to Mirth, Marvel and Maud for an evening of classic Christmas goodness, featuring favourites like Baby It's Cold Outside, Winter Wonderland, Let it Snow and many more.

Featuring the dazzling vocal presence of Abbey Mordue (Ronnie Scott's, The Inbetweeners) and the deep, rich tone of Ray Estaire (Steve Nichols/Loose Ends, The George Michael Story) this is guaranteed to be a Yuletide evening to remember!

Full address: Mirth, Marvel and Maud, 186 Hoe St, Walthamstow, London E17 4QH

By train: Walthamstow Central (Victoria Line and London Overground)

By bus: 34, 97, 215, 275, 357

Time: 7pm

Tickets: £17.60

Home Project

December 16 - Borough wide

Home is where the art is in this project by Ashton John Films. Home Project will ask the residents of the borough to reflect on the past and look to the future as they answer the question - what does home mean?

A series of short films exploring the lives of residents both old and new will aim to paint a picture of the community that calls our borough home.

Home Project will shine a light on individual characters that show the broad spectrum of inhabitants, their contributions and how they have built their own legacies, how they have built a home, and what this has involved.

Artist and filmmaker Ashton John is an award-winning filmmaker, specialising in documentary films.

Ashton’s films are about people for people, aiming to inspire change and raise social awareness. In his latest project, Ashton aims to delve deeper into the fabric of the Waltham Forest community and shine the spotlight on our brilliant borough.

Part of the Make it Happen Fellowship Funding programme.

This event will take place in locations across Waltham Forest.


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