Wandsworth Arts Fringe Grants help artists, creators and community groups realize their creative vision for the festival and engage with Wandsworth communities. For 2022, Wandsworth Council has distributed £32,382 to eighteen creative businesses, including local community organizations and internationally renowned artists, for projects taking place during this year’s festival (Friday 10 to Sunday 26 June 2022).
Supported by the 2022 grants, we’re seeing the return of some WAF veterans, including learning disability-led theater group The Baked Bean Company, winners of last year’s WAF Audience Choice Award, with a street on Battersea High Street in conjunction with Riverside Radio; and Share Community, which will bring the glamor with an eco-fashion show led by disabled artists with support from students and alumni of the Royal College of Art’s MA Fashion programme. New to WAF, Windows of The Soul is a collaboration between visually impaired artists, sighted artists, doctors and patients, highlighting life with visual impairment through art.
Commemorating Pride’s 50th anniversary in London, Shed Project will feature a radical quilt-making workshop exploring the heritage of textiles in the queer community; and from fabric to fight club, playwright Gary Thomas presents his new play Wrestling for Pleasure, telling the story of a group of LGBTQ+ friends from the 1990s to the present, brought together by their love of wrestling.
On Saturday afternoons throughout Wandsworth Arts Fringe, artist and ‘Nan Kid’ Leon Clowes will welcome visitors to local libraries to chat and do what his grandmother did: darn socks, arrange flowers and paint watercolors, while the radio plays stories of people who were raised by Grandma.
Exploring our stories – personal, political and cultural – is an exciting theme for WAF this year. Back to the Beginning, a project by creative mental health charity Sound Minds of Wandsworth, reflects on our social and cultural heritage and how it influences our lives today. Local heritage heroes Black Heroes Foundation return with Stories of Windrush: The Story of Flip Fraser, who was the creator of the iconic show Black Heroes in the Hall of Fame; and in literature, award-winning poet John Agard and contemporary literature group Renaissance One present two spoken word events, placing curiosity center stage.
Local dance company Ballet Soul returns for 2022 with a live performance developed from their film Othello21 – a contemporary dance retelling of Shakespeare’s classic play – as part of the WAF Dance Showcase, a new programming strand for 2022 celebrating the wealth of dance talent and training offered in the borough. Ballet Soul will also offer free movement workshops to 200 young musicians from the World Heart Beat Music Academy. This will be one of many WAF grant projects providing opportunities for local people to get creative, including the Wandsworth On Da Beat recording studio, which is set to host a series of hybrid workshops in live/digital open studio with performances by up-and-coming local actors. artists, alongside established talent from across South London.
Marcus Megastar returns to the WAF with The Music Of The Night, a spectacular new show featuring Wandsworth’s Gemini Dancers, new music co-written with hit songwriter Michael Garvin (Waiting For Tonight, Jennifer Lopez), costumes from Haus Of Ra (whose creative director has worked with Dior and Lady Gaga), and branded prosthetics from Marcus.
Still in music, the streets of Wandsworth will be filled with Purcell, Handel, Schubert and Fanny Mendelssohn when Wandsworth Street Concerts arrive with a new series of free outdoor classical music concerts, staged outside St Anne’s Church in Wandsworth. And All Saints Church is going green with an eco-inspired music festival, featuring free concerts from classical to jazz and beyond.
There’s plenty of fun in store for the littlest visitors to WAF, too. After a fantastic tour of the Wandsworth estates in the summer of 2021, Jellyfish Theater returns with a new family-friendly outdoor adventure in their traveling Wagon of Dreams, taking up residence in the Wandsworth estates throughout the festival. And Vintage Vendetta’s Meg and the Magic Toysshop, an interactive theater performance for the under-5s, will delight young audiences in Wandsworth Libraries with storytelling, song and dance.
Wandsworth can experience art in its streets with Roehampton Resounded, an immersive art and sound journey through Roehampton and the Alton Estate; and Sol Golden Sato’s Happy Feet, a giant painting made by visitors’ dancing feet, which appears at Alton Arts Hub.
“I’m so thrilled to see the arts get back on their feet and to have the opportunity to bring ‘Meg in the Magic Toysshop’ to Wandsworth Fringe 2022. Theater can be such a wonderful creative outlet and I’m so passionate about the opportunity to share with children who have been deprived of the experience of live theater for the past few years.” -Merrilyn Greer, Vintage Vendetta
“I am thrilled to have my project ‘Nan Kids’ part of WAF 2022, this will be my first time at this amazing festival. I am really looking forward to meeting the local families and the conversations that will take place with everyone who comes to the facilities. .” – Leon Clowes
“Settling in Wandsworth has been such a blessing, so it is with immense gratitude that On Da Beat joins the Wandsworth Art Fringe 2022 to celebrate our borough and our fourth summer. We hope our contribution to WAF can continue to ignite the fire in the next generation of sound engineers, producers, beatmakers, artists and music directors.” – On Da Beat
“We at Shed Project are delighted to include Queer Lives and Art: Radical Quilt Making as part of WAF2022, especially given the significant moment, marking 50 years of Pride in London. We look forward to celebrating and reflecting on the history and experiences of Wandsworth’s LGBTQIA+ community.” – Shed project
“We are thrilled to return to WAF with our brand new show this year. We are truly grateful for the support of Wandsworth in enabling us to provide free family shows in public spaces across the borough.” – Jellyfish Theater
“We are very pleased to have Wandsworth Street Concerts part of WAF2022 and grateful for their support.” Chris Jeanes – Founder and Artistic Director of Wandsworth Street Concerts
WAF grants are funded directly by Wandsworth Council, primarily through the Wandsworth Grant Fund, which sets aside £20,000 to support WAF activity each year, with a maximum grant of £2,000 per project. This year WAF was able to award an additional £12,382 to successful applicants as part of Wandsworth Council’s commitment to support cultural ecology in the borough to get back on its feet after COVID-19 limited cultural life and community for many Wandsworth residents.
Councilor Steffi Sutters, Wandsworth Council Cabinet Member for Community Services and Open Spaces, says:
After two years of digital, hybrid and socially distanced festivals, we are delighted to bring the WAF safely back to our theatres, pubs, schools and galleries, as well as to our streets and screens. WAF grants support some of the most exciting and ambitious projects taking place in the borough in June, including inspired collaborations between our creative communities and established artists. This year, we are once again welcoming creatives working internationally, alongside local talent and WAF veterans – and I can’t wait to see them transform our borough for WAF’s thirteenth year.
Tickets for Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2022 go on sale Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
Learn more about the 2022 festival: www.wandsworthartsfringe.com