WAF Grants 2024: 15 new projects for our 15th year!
Our annual festival of arts and culture turns 15 this year – a rich, diverse offer of high-quality art and a foundation stone for Wandsworth’s London Borough of Culture bid for 2025.
Returning 7-23 June, WAF's audiences are encouraged to leap into the undiscovered with an eclectic programme of art, music, dance, theatre, comedy, film, circus and street performance. Watch this space for our full programme launch, going live Wed 24 April.
As part of our commitment to supporting artist development, and creating meaningful experiences for local audiences, the WAF Grants help artists and organisations to make a positive impact in Wandsworth, working with our inspiring residents, communities, and places.
Many of 2024’s funded projects explore and support health and wellbeing, recognising the impact that the arts can make on positive mental and physical health. A Piece of Mind uses interpretive dance to follow the story of Picasso’s painting, The Weeping Woman. Brought to you by Energy Beans, a dance company made up of adults with learning disabilities, A Piece of Mind celebrates the power of unity, the joy of movement, and the rich tapestry of life.
"I am very proud that Energy Beans are putting their show on stage again after performing it at Putney Arts Theatre earlier this year. Receiving the WAF 2024 Grant gives us a second opportunity to perform our amazing show and give a new audience the experience. Bring on Summer 2024!" - Louise Hodson, Energy Beans Dance Tutor, The Baked Bean Charity
In Tooting, All Saints Church will host The Golden Tent, an immersive sensory installation and space of refuge and contemplation. Unity in Motion, a partnership project by Hallomai Dance and Nine Elms Arts Ministry, will offer free wellbeing dance sessions, and On the Clouds Kids’ yoga story sessions will take young people and their families in a range of age groups, from babies right up to teenagers on an adventure and bring them the health benefits and mindfulness that comes from yoga practice. Group 64 Theatre for Young People also celebrate positive mental health in their show, Spreading the Joy, an exciting interactive journey through space!
“Group 64 are passionate about the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. We are thrilled that due to funding from WAF we can reach out to even more children and be part of such an exciting and innovative festival!” Nicola Sterry, Company Director, Group 64 Theatre for Young People
Discovering the shared histories of Wandsworth’s migrant community is another exciting theme for WAF’s funded programme this year. Multimedia production, Engelchen, by musician Alison Cotton, will use her music, talks and a poem read by local poets to explore the lives of Ida and Louise Cook, local residents and opera fans who rescued 29 Jews from the Nazis, focussing on the relevance of this story to refugee experiences today. Home is Where the Art is by creative tour guide History Speak and poet Hilaire will follow the artistic process of Kenyan-born artist, poet and civil servant Khadambi Asalache, who drew inspiration from all over the world to transform his home at 575 Wandsworth Road with intricate hand-carved fretwork and paintings. The project will include a guided walk from the Battersea Power Station Tube to the National Trust property 575 Wandsworth Road for a tour of the house and a workshop. On the walk participants will document their impressions through stories, sketches and gathered texts. Swallow's Wings Puppetry are bringing to WAF their Offie-nominated puppet show, Anansi & the Lost Sun, telling traditional West African stories. The performance is a springboard to learn about the journey of the Anansi stories from Africa, following enslaved African people to the Caribbean and then the migration of their descendants to the UK with the Windrush generation. Windrush Day, on 22 June, falls on the final Saturday of the festival this year. Caff Pictures’ Full(y) English documentary considers what it means to be migrant-British, in the context of the Great British Caff. Whether Turkish, Italian, Greek or Caribbean, these ‘Fully English’ spaces become sites of assimilation for the people who run them. Join Caff Pictures for a slap-up screening of Fully English, followed by a Q&A and a workshop.
“We’re so thrilled to have the funding to document and explore this aspect of London and Wandsworth that so many interact with and enjoy, but few take seriously as places of real cultural importance. We can’t wait to see where the journey takes us” - Ferdie Simon, Caff Pictures
An ongoing focus of WAF’s grant funded projects is on bringing the community together. Back by popular demand after winning the WAF 2023 Audience Choice Award with their inaugural event last year, Furzedown Pridestavaganza 2024 is set to be another evening filled with neighbourhood fun, music, drag acts and LGBTQ+ comedians, celebrating Pride Month in the borough. G23LAB’s latest mesmerising laser-light sculpture and soundscape, The Everyperson, will be an acknowledgment of our shared humanity. The sculpture will go on a pilgrimage, starting at St. Mary’s Church Putney during WAF, before visiting places of worship associated with the different major world religions. All Saints Tooting Arts Festival, building on previous successes, will delight us with a diverse programme embodying community cohesion including dance, visual arts, music and spoken word events.
“All Saints is delighted to be able to participate in celebrating the diversity of our borough through visual arts and performance.” Reverend Professor June Boyce-Tillman, All Saints Church
Finally, there’s plenty of fun in store for all the family! Don’t miss BrainFools’ Community Circus Day, filled with circus taster sessions, giant soap bubbles and delicous popcorn! Your Bay, My Bay, Our Bay will invite children aged 6 - 11 years old to shape vibrant streets through creative workshops, fostering a community where every child's voice transforms our shared spaces, and The Grow Roehampton Street Band, made up of talented young musicians from local primary schools, will bring brass, wind and marching drums to the streets of Roehampton.
Wandsworth Council has distributed £24,785 among 15 recipients, for projects taking place over this year’s festival. The WAF Grants are funded directly by Wandsworth Council, with a maximum award of £2,000 per project.
Councillor Kemi Akinola, Wandsworth Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for the voluntary sector, business engagement and culture says:
“Wandsworth Arts Fringe is celebrating its 15th anniversary, and I am delighted that through the council’s WAF Grants we can support creatives to bring such a high standard of cultural projects again to areas throughout Wandsworth for another spectacular festival. At last year’s WAF launch we announced Wandsworth’s bid to become London Borough of Culture 2025 and in March 2024 we’ll find out the outcome, if successful we hope this will allow us to build on the power of culture to change lives, connect people and improve wellbeing.”
meet The WAF 15
Engelchen is a multimedia production based on the lives of Ida and Louise Cook, local residents and opera fans who rescued 29 Jews from the Nazis, focussing on the relevance of this story with refugees of today. The event comprises of a performance of Alison Cotton’s compositions inspired by the lives and dangerous journeys of The Cooks, a poetry reading about them by poets Hilaire and Joolz Sparkes and short talks by Professor Angela Smith (who has researched the sisters’ lives), and Jeanne Rathbone (who has written about their link to the local area). Following a series of workshops, local refugees will participate in the event by reading letters they have written back home. A gramophone will play opera music of the time as the audience arrive and leave the venue.
All Saints Church, Tooting
All Saints Tooting Arts Festival
All Saints Tooting Arts Festival, building on previous successes, will provide a diverse programme embodying social community cohesion including dance, visual arts, music and spoken word. A Community Concert with performers from the local community, schools and choirs will be the focus of the middle weekend of the festival and illustrate the diversity of the local community. The festival will start and end with a jazz concert and include the Arts of Sanctuary Open Day – a day of exhibition with music and visual arts reflecting diverse cultures combined with the Golden Tent installation and practical and exploratory activities.
All Saints Church, Tooting
The Golden Tent
The Golden Tent, by Dr Jill Goodwin, is an immersive sensorial installation, originally designed as a space for non-disabled adults to spend time simply "being" together with children with learning disabilities. It is an aesthetic space of refuge - a sensorially-rich yellow satin enclosure with a reflective golden floor. It will be erected within All Saints Church, Tooting. On Friday afternoon, the space will be visited by local school groups, including children with special educational needs and disabilities, where the invitation will be to spend time without talking and just experiencing the qualities of the space in an embodied way.
Community Circus Day
Join BrainFools at Wandsworth Arts Fringe for a unique Community Circus Day! Featuring two engaging circus performances, interactive circus taster sessions for all ages with the stars of the show, mesmerizing Giant Soap Bubbles, and delicious popcorn. It's a day of fun, learning, and community engagement, perfect for families and circus enthusiasts alike.
Nothing could be more English than the Full English, surely? The team behind ‘Goths’ Own Country’ are turning the camera on that most trad and typical of institutions: the Caff. This documentary will be an exploration of what it means to be migrant-British, seen through the unique prism of the (Wandsworth) café. Whether Turkish, Italian, Greek or Caribbean, these spaces become sites of assimilation for the workers and proprietors who run them.
Join Caff Pictures for screenings and accompanying activities to scratch beneath the greasy, eggy surface of our hybrid national identity.
Dr Krity Gera and Dr Caterina Villani
Your Bay, My Bay, Our Bay
The imagination of our youngest community members at WAF 2024 is beyond borders! The exhibition showcases the creative outputs of two workshops empowering children (6 - 11 yrs. old) to shape vibrant streets through imaginative expression. Join in with Your Bay, My Bay, Our Bay as the project builds playful, accessible neighbourhoods, fostering a community where every child's voice transforms our shared spaces. Let’s create a future inspired by our children's dreams!
Furzedown Pride / Furzedown Community Network
Furzedown is a diverse community in the heart of South London where LGBTQ+ individuals are an integral part of the neighbourhood's fabric. June is Pride Month, so let's celebrate together. Pridestravaganza is an evening of music, drag acts, LGBTQ+ comedians and all-around neighbourhood fun. In 2023, Pridestravaganza! won Wandsworth Arts Fringe's Audience Choice Award for Best Event.
Following on from last year’s What Dreams May Come? at Battersea Power Station, G23LAB’s latest mesmerising laser-light sculpture and soundscape, The Everyperson, is going on a pilgrimage, starting at St. Mary’s Church, Putney during WAF, before visiting places of worship associated with the different major world religions. Hosting and visiting the work is intended to be an acknowledgment of our shared humanity. In line with mediaeval pilgrimage traditions, those who come to see The Everyperson will receive a token confirming their visit.
Group 64 Theatre for Young People
Spreading the Joy
Spreading the Joy is a theatre show for children and their grownups celebrating positive mental health. Through an exciting interactive journey through space, Group 64 explore what makes us happy and how we spread the joy to those around us! An exciting and silly show full of puppetry, music, aliens, and lots of surprises!
Hallomai Dance, Nine Elms Arts Ministry (Partnership)
Unity in Motion
Unity in Motion is an inclusive community dance project located in the vibrant Nine Elms area, welcoming members from the local SW8 and SW11 communities. In collaboration with experienced Hallomai Dance practitioners, they will offer a series of free wellbeing dance sessions that culminate in a joyous and inspiring performance. Drawing inspiration from the themes in Hallomai Dance's Joy is Ours, the project revolves around celebrating the power of unity, the joy of movement, and the rich tapestry of life.
History Speak x Hilaire
Home is Where the Art is
Join History Speak and Hilaire this summer for a guided walk from the Battersea Power Station Tube to the National Trust property 575 Wandsworth Road for a tour of the house and a workshop. On the walk participants will document their impressions through stories, sketches and gathered texts. 575 Wandsworth Road was the home of polymath Khadambi Asalache, a civil servant who expressed his creativity through writing, painting and interior design. We will draw inspiration from his process of engaging with the outside world and bringing it inside to create a new world through poetry and craft.
On The Clouds Kids
On The Clouds Yoga Stories
Izzy Sutherland from On The Clouds Kids will host ten free yoga story sessions for children and their families. The sessions are all about bringing stories to life through yoga. With an emphasis on fun, imagination and play, these yoga stories will take you on all kinds of adventures, from an enchanted forest to an underwater world! Participants will achieve all the healthy benefits and mindfulness that come from a yoga practice with an extra sprinkle of magic and creativity!
On the Clouds will host six yoga story drop-in sessions aimed at different age groups ranging from babies right to teenagers. Alongside this, they will run four Bedtime Yoga Stories for early years and primary school children (aged 6 months - 11) and their grown ups.
Swallow's Wings Puppetry
Anansi & the Lost Sun
A puppet show using traditional West African stories about Anansi the spider. The Offie-nominated show celebrates African and Caribbean culture by mixing puppetry, spoken word and West African music. The performance is a springboard to learn about the journey of the Anansi stories from Africa to the UK via the Caribbean. This journey follows enslaved African people to the Caribbean and then the migration of their descendants to the UK with the Windrush generation. This will be an intergenerational event for elders and young families and after the 45 minute show accompanied with tea and cake, the audience will have the option of making a puppet together in a puppetry workshop celebrating cultural diversity.
The Baked Bean Charity
A Piece of Mind
A Piece of Mind is an interpretive dance piece that follows the story of Picasso’s well-known painting, The Weeping Woman. As the art gallery comes to life in her dreams, watch as The Weeping Woman steps out of her painting into others, exploring her own emotions and learning how to express herself through art and movement. Brought to you by Energy Beans, a dance company made up of adults with learning disabilities.
Grow Roehampton Street Band
The Grow Roehampton Street Band will be rehearsing and hitting the streets of Roehampton near you soon for more vibrant, joyous procession performances from talented young musicians in the borough! Expect brass, wind and marching drums and music composed and inspired by New Orleans Jazz. These children attend primary schools in the heart of Roehampton and are coached by school music teachers, Wandsworth Music tutors and musicians from one of the most exciting live bands in the UK, the Hackney Colliery Band.
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