Croydon’s grassroots arts and culture groups get cash boost


More exciting arts and cultural projects have received cash boosts from a council fund set up to expand Croydon’s cultural scene by helping grassroots organisations attract major investment.

Crystal Palace Overground Festival and an immersive, site-responsive dance project called OX are the latest events on Croydon’s summer programme to receive awards from the council’s Cultural Partnership Fund (CPF) Meanwhile this week saw Turf Projects bring a contemporary art festival to the borough, with CPF funding. Turf Gallery in Keeley Road will also open Paul Schneider’s ‘Ways of Seeing’ on 14 April at 5pm-9pm (with a curator’s tour from Tom Ellmer at 5pm plus free refreshments), which continues until 27 May.

Noreen Meehan, organiser of the Crystal Palace Overground Festival said: “We are delighted to have received Arts Council funding for the 2017 Crystal Palace Overground Festival programme. It will support our work with partners such as Grounded Movement, London Mozart Players and Fantasy High Street to deliver high quality artistic content for the festival. These projects will engage and delight our community not just at the festival on 12 – 18 June but also in the months running up to it with workshops and activities.”

Launched last year, the CPF invited arts organisations to apply for up to 50 per cent of their costs for a project up to a maximum of £10,000, provided the project fits the criteria. The cash is released once they have secured match funding from another source. This pledge puts them in a much stronger position to secure external funding – for example, it has helped all three of the projects above to secure funding from Arts Council England. This aim is for local arts organisations to benefit from major investment from national organisations, helping them to launch new projects and events.

Founder and Director of Turf Projects, Alice Cretney, said: “Turf are very thankful for the continued support of Croydon Council and Arts Council England. This funding will enable us to continue our innovative work in Croydon, impacting on artistic development locally and nationally, whilst providing a welcoming space for the Croydon community to experience and take part in pioneering contemporary art on their doorstep.”

The dance project from OX is an immersive site-responsive piece from choreographer, director, filmmaker and regular Punchdrunk performer Vinicius Salles. The aim is to introduce young adult audiences to new possibilities of dance and theatre. Auditions will be held in Croydon this month, with three weeks of research, development and sharing sessions taking place in July, including opportunities for anyone who would like to collaborate in this kind of production. For more information email info@oxproject.uk.

Councillor Timothy Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “The Cultural Partnership Fund is already making a real difference to the local arts scene – we have some fantastic and diverse community arts groups with some great events lined up for this summer. We are giving them grants which they can use as leverage to secure funding from national organisations like Heritage Lottery and Arts Council England, resulting in major investment into Croydon’s cultural offer for residents and tourists. We pledged to be ambitious for culture. We are now delivering. Innovative projects like this, along with our investment in the new Fairfield Halls, will help us to grow and expand Croydon’s cultural scene now and for the future.”

Croydon’s CPF has £100,000 available for arts organisations to bid for. For more information or to apply visit the CPF page on the council website. CPF will accept completed applications to another funder with just a cover sheet to Croydon, reducing the amount of time applicants have to spend writing bids.

Source: Your Croydon