Deptford X festival wins vital recovery fund to stage 10-day event in the summer

Festival goers parade at Deptford 2019. Pic: Tim Bowditch

Deptford X, a 10-day festival set to take place from July 9-18, 2021, has won £30,000 from a fund set up by the government to help alleviate the loss of income caused by the pandemic in the creative industries.

The festival is one of many institutions in Lewisham to receive vital funding from the Governmental Cultural Recovery Fund. Supported by associations such as Arts Council England and The National Lottery, Businesses in Lewisham have received up to £1.8 million in funding through the fund

With the money, the festival aims to support Lewisham’s creative community, helping to fund online support network sessions allowing mentoring for artists early on in their career.  

The contemporary visual arts festival is one of London’s longest-running, launching in 1998 as a free artist-led festival in and around the community in Deptford. 

Sarah Umar, Deptford X’s Festival Manager, told East London Lines that the festival has expanded “for the first time ever”.

For this year, Deptford X have opened an opportunity to commission an artist to create temporary artwork in the public realm that will both serve the purpose as a stage and a prompt within this year’s festival. 

The open call is an opportunity for residents of London who have lived experiences of migration, prioritising their lived connections with Lewisham.

The appeal teams up with the Migration Museum UK, I am Lewisham & #TheWalk with Amal project to help raise awareness of the lived experiences of migrants.

Deptford X festival will welcome The Walk with Amal project, an incentive represented by a large scale puppet of a refugee that will walk 7,000 kilometres through Europe and the Middle East, stopping by in Deptford, with her final destination in Manchester. 

The Walk with Amal project. Pic: Bevan Roos

The Deptford X festival also raised £4000 through the festival’s crowdfunding efforts, which originally took place to help enable a festival this year. 

Deptford X festival are accepting an open call for venues to participate in the festival this year, giving an opportunity to people who live in SE8 and SE14 to showcase their art. For more information, visit Deptford X’s ‘get involved’ page here.

The news of the festival proceeds news that Lewisham is investing in its local community through bursary funding schemes to promote local, cultural engagement.

The large scale event of Deptford X only solidifies the London Mayor’s claim to name it as the 2022 candidate for the London Borough of culture. 

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