Join the next generation of Arts Producers, Critics and Reporters

14th March 2024
Wandsworth is London Borough of Culture 2025, and we’re calling out for Wandsworth’s young creatives to get ahead of the action and join our cohort of WAF Young Producers, Reviewers and Reporters this year!


WAF 2023 Young Reporters at Riverside Radio. Photo: Heather Sibly.

Applications are now open for our free creative industry projects for young people aged 14 – 19, who live or study in Wandsworth. This year we have expanded our offering for young people by running WAF Young Producers, a chance to learn the skills of how to produce your own event, alongside the WAF Young Reporters and Reviewers projects. The projects are a chance for budding producers, journalists, radio DJs or culture critics to gain work experience with creative professionals, get a feel for what it’s like working in the arts, and see festival gigs, comedy, theatre and more – all for free!

At last year’s Wandsworth Arts Fringe (WAF) launch we announced Wandsworth’s bid to become London Borough of Culture 2025, and on Monday 11 March Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, announced Wandsworth had been successful in its bid. Wandsworth’s London Borough of Culture year will build on the power of culture to change lives, connect people, and improve wellbeing.

WAF’s new Young Producers scheme offers the opportunity for young people to get into the heart of the action of Wandsworth Arts Fringe by learning the skills and tools to design their own event. In this project, they will learn what it takes to produce a great event and gain hands-on work experience in running a live performance by working with our Wandsworth Arts Fringe team. This project will give young people a chance to stretch their creativity, develop practical skills in event producing, and be inspired by the festival.


Kalungi Ssebandeke, WAF Young Reviewers mentor, celebrating his show ‘Meetings at Orange Tree Theatre’. Photo: Rebecca Need-Menear.

The WAF Young Reviewers project is returning for its fourth edition. Since 2020, Wandsworth’s Kalungi Ssebandeke, actor, writer, director, and critic has had a key role mentoring the WAF Young Reviewers and supporting them to write their reviews. This year, Kalungi is returning to the project fresh from winning the 2023 JMK Award and staging his full-scale professional show, Meetings by Mustapha Matura, at Richmond’s Orange Tree Theatre. The WAF Young Reviewer project will begin with a workshop session with Kalungi where the young people will explore how to write their own reviews. This will be followed by a chance to see The Great Privation: How to flip ten cents into a dollar at Theatre503, a profound play directed by Kalungi exploring Grave Robbing during the early 1800’s. Participants will then choose which events from this year’s WAF lineup they’d like to attend for free and review. This year, our Young Reviewers will have creative freedom with the format of their review, they could write it, or record it as a video or podcast, or come up with a completely new format. Once complete, the WAF Young Reviewers will have their reviews published to the Wandsworth Arts Fringe website.

Kalungi Ssebandeke, WAF Young Reviewer mentor says: Having lived in Wandsworth for the past 24 years it brings me great joy to continue leading the WAF Young Reviewers project I helped launch in 2020. It's incredible to have contributed to the creative enrichment of Young People in Wandsworth and I hope to continue to do so for years to come.”

WAF 2023 Young Reporters try their hand at broadcasting at Riverside Radio. Photos: Heather Sibly.

After the success of the inaugural WAF Young Reporters scheme last year, we will partner once again with Riverside Radio in 2024.  Riverside Radio are a Battersea-based radio station which prides itself on celebrating the vibrant culture of South West London by exposing the talent of the people who live here. Through the project, our Young Reporters will get the chance to step into the shoes of a radio broadcaster, learning radio and interview techniques before being assigned a WAF artist to interview. Their interview will be broadcast on Riverside Radio’s airwaves in the run up to WAF 2024.

Jason Rosam, Managing Director, Riverside Radio says: "I’m delighted young people across Wandsworth will be able discover the worlds of arts, journalism and broadcasting at the Riverside Radio studios in Battersea with the WAF Young Reporters scheme. As a community radio station, Riverside Radio is designed to maximise opportunities for local people to get involved and develop skills in the media and provide a platform for talent. We celebrate arts and culture in Wandsworth and working with local partners we’re developing a proud, integrated and supported community. I’m looking forward to working with our local young broadcast journalists of the future and hearing their reports on air.”

Councillor Kemi Akinola, Wandsworth Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for the voluntary sector, business engagement and culture says: “As we celebrate the announcement that Wandsworth is to be London Borough of Culture 2025, I’m proud to announce that Wandsworth Arts Fringe offer of free opportunities for young people to explore the creative industries, now also includes production. It's a new professional development scheme for the next generation of culture producers. These projects will accessibly support the creative development of our young people and open new career pathways for them.”

Find out more and apply by Monday 29 April