Waltham Forest announces major open call for seven artists to join London Borough of Culture 2019 official programme

17 September 2018
Borough of Culture 2019 comes to Waltham Forest soon - here's how you can help out!

Today the London Borough of Culture 2019 announces an open call to artists from across the world to take part in a major new series of seven projects and be part of the creative programme that will be delivered across Waltham Forest.

In 2019 Waltham Forest will be the first ever London Borough of Culture. 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 themes ‘Radicals’, ‘Makers’ and ‘Fellowship’ in a collaboration between local residents, artists and creatives creating a once in a life time celebration of the place we call ‘home’. 

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

The exciting initiative for artists announced today is open to creatives across all disciplines – from the visual arts to theatre, dance to poetry  – and will offer people the chance to work with Waltham Forest’s local communities, helping shape the first ever London Borough of Culture.  

Each project will explore how culture informs identity in one of seven wards of Waltham Forest. One opportunity partners with Waltham Forest’s award-winning William Morris Gallery to offer a visual artist the opportunity to be Artist in Residence, exploring new responses to William Morris’s legacy and to the gallery.

The remaining six opportunities will be open to artists of any discipline. Three will be offered to artists based in East London and three to those based anywhere worldwide.  Successful proposals will work with our residents to co-create projects over the course of six weeks to three months, and receive an artist fee, project budget and full support from the London Borough of Culture’s creative and marketing teams.

London Borough of Culture 2019 would particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, and people are invited to apply as individuals or in collaboration with other artists.

Sam Hunt, Creative Director of London Borough of Culture 2019, said: “We are excited to be launching this open call for artists to help define the first London Borough of Culture.  We have not restricted this open call to art form but are really interested in working with individuals and groups who share our ethos of ensuring everything we do is in some way co-created with the communities of the borough.

“For us this is an opportunity to help shift how arts and culture is seen in London. This really is a once in lifetime opportunity for the borough, an opportunity to celebrate the diverse communities of Waltham Forest and to create an artistic programme that gives voice to this communities, the artist projects and residencies announced today are critical in that ambition”

Cllr Clare Coghill, Leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: “This is an incredible opportunity to tell the stories of Waltham Forest. If you have a bold, ambitious, imaginative idea for the London Borough of Culture programme, we want to hear from you.

“Whether you’re a choreographer, theatre maker, writer or musician, be a part of this epic celebration.”

Rowan Bain, Senior Curator of William Morris Gallery and Vestry House Museum, commented: “The team at the Gallery are looking for proposals that approach Morris and his legacy in new ways. The successful artist could take inspiration from any aspect of Morris’s life and work, from his approach to craft and design to his ideas about the environment and social equality. Resident artists are always encouraged to experiment and take risks – the bolder the better!”

The deadline for submitting all proposals is 11.30pm on Sunday 14 October and a selection panel will take place on 2 November.

Artists can find full details and apply at https://walthamforest.gov.uk/ArtistOpenCall

The artist projects are one of many initiatives London Borough of Culture 2019 is offering to enable organisations and individuals to tell Waltham Forest’s stories. Earlier this month, Waltham Forest opened the Fellowship Funding scheme, offering £500,000 to ensure London Borough of Culture 2019’s lasting legacy, and help the next generation of local talent find their feet and make their mark.

For more information on the call out for musicians, Fellowship Funding scheme and volunteering opportunities visit wfculture19.co.uk