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Funding announced for 19 creative projects to boost footfall across Lewisham's high streets

A catalogue of exciting cultural events will be coming to Lewisham’s town centres, thanks to the Creative Happenings Grant which is funding 19 creative projects up to £10,000.

Kicking off last weekend and running right through to the end of February, Create Without Borders and the Migration Museum are among the many local creative organisations to benefit from the funding, which aims to attract visitors to town centres across Lewisham.

The grants scheme is being funded through the Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ), a Mayor of London initiative which is focussed on supporting local digital and creative sectors, both of which are key to Lewisham’s recovery from the economic impact of COVID-19.

Creative Happenings supports local creatives, including freelancers, who have been impacted by national and local COVID-19 restrictions, with projects commissioned in the current New Cross and Deptford CEZ as well as in emerging creative clusters in other parts of the borough including Catford, Lewisham Central, Brockley and Forest Hill.

Embedding art and creativity into places that the whole community can enjoy will be a key theme when Lewisham celebrates its year as London Borough of Culture in 2022. And the selected projects will showcase a wide breadth of work from local creative talents while improving place making in the borough’s town centres.

Some of the projects being funded by the Creative Happenings Grants include:

Create Without Borders: Creating Sanctuary - Catford’s Winter Festival
Sunday 12 December 2021
A celebratory weekend festival of art, live music, food, and workshops in collaboration with local refugee artists and creatives. Hosted on Sunday 12 December at Catford Mews the event will celebrate Lewisham’s diverse and inclusive community.

Feet Off the Ground: Creature Comforts
Saturday 18 December 2021
A free afternoon of dance, arts, crafts and fun for the whole family which finishes with a performance of ‘Creature Comforts’ is hosted by dance collective Feet Off the Ground, on Saturday 18 December at Deptford Lounge.

Teatro Vivo: Christmas Sing-Along
Sunday 19 December 2021
Local theatre company TEATRO VIVO are bringing their sing-along to the streets and public houses of Forest Hill for a fun Christmas event. The Christmas Sing-along is the first in a series of events that Teatro Vivo will be presenting in Forest Hill over the next two months as part of the Lewisham Creative Happenings Programme.

Migration Museum: All Our Stories - Lewisham Artists
January – end of February 2022
A great opportunity for two to four Lewisham-based artists with migrant heritage to shine a light on the stories of people arriving in and leaving Britain. Work will be showcased in the Museum’s windows in the heart of Lewisham Shopping Centre.

Councillor Kim Powell, Cabinet Member for Business and Community Wealth Building, said:
“Our creative sector has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, so I’m really pleased to see how the Creative Happenings grants will support those organisations that we know will be a big driver of economic growth here in Lewisham. As we begin to transition into recovery I’m proud that we’re investing in our artists, makers and creatives with these grants. It’s especially pertinent as we look forward to our year as Borough of Culture in 2022, which is all about celebrating and supporting the incredible creativity we have within Lewisham.

“What’s even better about this programme is it will also breathe new life into our town centres, making them more appealing places to be and attracting more visitors, which also benefits our independent retailers. I can’t wait to see what these organisations will do with their funding!”

Keeley Mud, Create Without Borders, said:
“This project would not have been possible without the amazing support of Creative Happenings. With this funding we were able to offer paid roles, creative commissions, travel and food vouchers to support people who might otherwise struggle to attend the event and festive goodie bags for children and families. We brought together a host of amazing local organisations and creatives to showcase the rich culture in Catford and celebrate the people that make up our community.”

New Cross and Deptford was one of six Creative Enterprise Zones (CEZ) announced by the Mayor of London in 2018 and is a partnership between the Council and local arts and education institutions including Goldsmiths and the Albany. Learn more about the creative enterprise zone.

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