Arts and Mindfulness: NOW festival at Deptford Lounge

NOW arts festival starts on Monday June 23 at Deptford Lounge. Pic: Tania Dolvers

NOW Live Events are taking over Deptford Lounge from tomorrow for a week-long residency of arts and well-being activities including blind sculpture and sensory performance art.

Art events company NOW specialises in using art to achieve mindfulness: the idea of living in the here and now.  This event in Deptford is part of the London-wide Anxiety Arts Festival, sponsored by the Mental Health Foundation. The programme includes many free activities, from an improvisational song workshop to a pop-up poetry stall, as well as talks from various experts.

Creator and founder of NOW Live Events, Jana Stefanovska, 28, from Peckham explained the 2,500 year-old Buddhist concept of mindfulness, which is the theme of the festival:  “It empowers you to see where you are now… focusing our attention on the present moment makes life fuller, fresher, more enjoyable and interesting.”

Jana Stefanovska, creator and founder of NOW Live Events. Pic: Sarah Hickson

Jana Stefanovska, creator and founder of NOW Live Events. Pic: Sarah Hickson

Stefanovska said she hopes the local community of Deptford will get involved: “We are honoured to have more than 30 artists and participants creating events with us for our residency, all aiming to capture and savour the moment with the people of Deptford, thinking creatively about what it means to live in Deptford now.”

The itinerary at the NOW Festival of Arts & Mindfulness will be different from other festivals, Stefanovska said: “We are going to be offering everything from hand-sewing, craft, portraiture and sculpture to poetry, spoken word and even mindfulness flash mobs! All our artistic activities on offer are unconventional in their own way because they take something we may be familiar with – like, say writing – and put a new twist on it.”

Each day of the event features a new theme including Arts & Senses, Craft and Families and a series of workshops which include exercises and interactive talks that deal with wellness, mental health and self-expression through art.

The festival will feature a variety of specialists and community organisations including the UK’s leading lifestyle philosopher Roman Krznaric, local London-based poet Simon Mole, mindfulness expert Tessa Watt, and Mental health adviser Jessica Mackinnon of Bromley & Lewisham Mind Community Support Service.

NOW Festival of Arts & Mindfulness runs from Monday June 23, to Saturday June 28 at Deptford Lounge, in Griffin Square. Closing events include a “Mindfulness Meditation Flashmob” organised by youth group Wake Up London.

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