Eltham Arts was founded by Gaynor Wingham in Aug 2013 following a successful community poetry competition ‘Celebrate Eltham in Verse’ which highlighted what a proud and creative community lives in Eltham and the SE9 area.
The aim was to connect the community through the arts. It has been a huge success and it is a good time to reflect and celebrate the last five years of Eltham Arts. A small team of unpaid volunteers have achieved all of this with the support and love from the local community.
Creative Community Challenges
- 2013 A Celebration of Eltham in Verse – Local writers invited to write poems to celebrate Eltham, Awards event for all ages on World Book Night. A published book with a book launch. An exhibition of entries:
- 2014 Tales of Eltham – Local writers invited to write short stories on the theme of ‘Eltham’ Awards event for all ages on World Book Night. A published book with a book launch. An exhibition of entries:
- 2015 Postcards from Eltham – Local artists invited to design a postcard about Eltham. Awards event for all ages on World Book Night. Published postcards. An exhibition of entries:
- 2016 Eltham Arts Song Challenge – Local singer/songwriters invited to write and perform songs on the theme of ‘Winter’. Album produced and launched ‘Aspects of Winter – the Eltham Collection’.
- 2017 Eltham Arts Song Challenge – local singer/songwriters invited to write and perform songs on the theme of ‘a culinary nature’. Album produced and launched ‘A Plateful of Songs – the Eltham Menu’
- 2018 Writing on a Wall – Local writers invited to write poems and short stories on the theme of WALLs in our lives. Awards night for all ages on World Book Night
- 2018 Eltham Arts Song Challenge – Songs Across a Wall. Local singer/songwriters invited to write and perform songs on the theme of ‘WALL’ All day live music event in Passey Place, Eltham High St
Eltham Arts Winter Festivals
- For 23 days in November 2015 and 2016 produced two wonderful festivals with involvement of a huge number of local groups and individuals from Eltham and SE9. In 2015 there were over 120 events and over 150 in 2016. With music, theatre, exhibitions, an art trail, roving poets and many other events.
- The Winter Festival involved thousands of local people in organising and attending events in their local area and to feel part of a thriving community
- Terrific opening events in Passey Place and closing events in the White Hart pub. A great success.
- Eltham Arts organised a wonderful professional opera evening in 2016 as part of the Festival
Eltham Music Festival in Passey Place and July is … Eltham Music Month
- 2014 Eltham Music Festival – Four Saturdays of live music in July by local musicians and choirs. Eltham Arts designed and publicised the programme with Royal Greenwich Regeneration staff
- 2015, 2016 and 2017 Three Saturdays of live music in July by local musicians and choirs. Eltham Arts designed the programme with Royal Greenwich Regeneration staff and provided most of the publicity!
- 2016 and 2017 ‘July is … Eltham Music Month’ programme drawn up and promoted with music events organised all over Eltham, including in the parks, pubs, heritage buildings and churches. The 2016 programme was supported by Eltham Ward Councillor funding.
Xmas Festive Fun
- 2015, 2016, 2017 Charity Carol singing in the Eltham Centre
- 2014, 2015 Charity Carol singing in the White Hart Pub
- 2014 Step in Christmas musical event. A first Xmas event for the newly reopened Severndroog Castle with Eldorado Extra.
Arts talks and conference
- 2014 Eltham Entertains – Five evenings of excellent talks and discussions on arts topics in Eltham Library
- 2014 to date Linked authors to talk at Eltham Library and promoted local authors.
- 2014 ‘Developing the Arts in Eltham. Free conference for the community with speakers and workshop groups to develop the Five Big Ideas.
Wall project 2017/2018 – multi media project involving all the community
- Over the Wall and Far Away – mural on vacant shopfront in New Eltham which became the focal point for their Xmas lights celebrations
- The Acting Class films. Organised a showing of an award-winning film at Bob Hope Theatre about class barriers in the acting profession
- Writing on a Wall – creative writing competition. Poetry and short stories all ages. Awards night
- Songs Across a wall challenge. Invited singer/songwriters to write songs on a WALL theme. All day event July 2018 in Passey Place Eltham
- Bricks on the Wall – inviting the community to be part of a community wall project. Bricks produced in all types of media by all ages. Organised first Arts Award for y1 pupils at Haimo School.
- WALL exhibition planned Sept/Oct at SE9 Container Gallery
Support for local groups / individuals /regeneration
- Set up a large arts network all over Eltham and SE9 for individuals to make links
- Provides venues and information and a platform to enable musicians to showcase and build a business.
- Social Media support to celebrate and promote what’s going on in Eltham and the SE9 area, Eltham arts local network members and businesses. Over 3200 twitter followers and active Facebook account. Newsletters, leaflets and posters.
- Raised money for local and national charities and supported local fundraisers.
- Eltham Arts awards 2016 to the White Hart, Eltham Library and SE9 Container Gallery.
- ‘Life in Eltham’ monthly arts column in the Greenwich Visitor by Gaynor Wingham since Dec 2013 and features by Gaynor and others.
- Partners in the redevelopment and regeneration of Eltham High St. Supported the development of Passey Place for community use.
- Partners in community projects (e.g. Age Uk B&G Silver Sunday Yarnstorming )
- Worked with the local police to organise the Eltham Park Festival in July 2017, bringing arts and music to the festival
- Links with Eltham New Zealand since 2013. Hosted guests Sept 2017 and they have also organised similar projects inspired by us in their community to celebrate Eltham in Verse and the WALL project. Linked the two libraries in the UK and NZ.
- Membership of GAVS, South Greenwich Forum and Eltham Town Centre partnership.
- Set up stalls with free activities at local festivals
- The Eltham Arts team attend many events provided by local partners, using social media to promote.
- Help individuals to set up social media and support their initiatives
- Encourage fun and creativity in Eltham and SE9
John Paul O’Neill
John Paul is a poet, writer, broadcaster, lecturer & founded & runs Farrago Poetry. He ran, the first poetry slam in the UK in 1994, the longest running in Europe and hosts regular SLAM poetry events. He has performed in Europe and USA. He has also had poetry, short stories and articles published extensively, as well as producing spoken word projects and presenting and setting up community radio shows.
A Further Education lecturer, he runs workshops for adults and children in creative writing and performance, as well as teaching English.
He has run two creative writing workshops to support the competition and inspire people to join in .
Lee Stuart Evans
Lee is the author of ‘Words Best Sung’, a novel set in Nottingham and London set in the 1960s. This was published by Arundel Books in 2017.
Originally from Nottinghamshire, Lee has lived in the Eltham area since 1998 with his wife and two sons, who go to local schools
Lee is a full-time TV and radio comedy writer. He has written for many well known and popular programmes including 8 out of 10 cats, Little Big Shots, The Jonathan Ross Show, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and a League of their Own
Jo is an actor, comedian and writer. She was brought up in Eltham and attended Middle Park Primary School. She studied Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths University and The Drama Studio, London.
Jo has written, produced and performed five, four star, Edinburgh Festival shows and was a ‘So You Think That’s Funny?’ Finalist.
In 2015 her debut comedy book/autobiography ‘iScream’ reached No.17 on the Amazon listings . In 2016 she entered the exciting world of children’s books. Her books ‘Standing on Custard’ and ‘A Squirrel’s Tail’ are a huge hit with, children, parents and teachers
Russell comes from South Wales, but has lived and worked in South London for many years . After gaining a first class honours degree and later a B Ed in Education he worked extensively in Secondary Education winning the most innovative teacher in the UK in 2004. He was the Director of Performing Arts for Ark Schools until 2012.
Russell has also worked extensively in theatre both in Regional Repertory and West End. He was the Artistic Director of Soapbox Community Theatre for ten years directing and writing over 20 professional touring productions.
Russell has been the proprietor of Biscotti’s coffee and sandwich bar in Eltham for the last four years, which has a remarkable selection of movie posters on the walls. He is a great business supporter of Eltham Arts and his café has been a venue for Eltham Arts Winter Festival arts trails. Russell is delighted to have been asked to be a judge in this exciting competition.
Eleanor lives in Dublin, but has spent time living in London and is a regular visitor. She is a researcher and writer who specialises in historical and current feminist issues. She has an MA in Women, Gender and Society from University College Dublin. In 2013 she was awarded the Keats-Shelley Essay Prize and was runner-up for the Biographers’ Club Tony Lothian Prize.
Her work has been published in a range of newspapers and journals including The Sunday Times, The Guardian, History Today and The Irish Times, and she is a regular radio and television contributor. Her book Wilde’s Woman was shortlisted for the Tony Lothian Prize in 2014 and was published by Duckworth Overlook on 16 October 2015.
Eleanor is working on a new biography of Edith Nesbit, which will be published by Duckworth Overlook in 2018. Edith Nesbit lived in Well Hall Eltham from 1899 – 1922 and wrote many of her famous books (including the Railway Children) in Eltham
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Check out the new page about our exciting latest community project for 2017 – and get involved!
With the great success of the Eltham Arts Winter Festival in 2015, everyone wanted one in 2016. From Sat 29 October to Sun 20 Nov Eltham invites everyone to come along and join into a marvellous array of events in the SE9 area.
With shows at the Bob Hope Theatre , many different music concerts from opera to folk and Jazz, walks, talks , exhibitions and lots more it will be a great 23 days . We have another Song Challenge , an Art Trail and for the first time Festival Foodie events. Eltham Lights Up , with the colourful lantern parade and live entertainment will take place on 17 Nov in Eltham High St and a great time will be had by all!
We will have the Festival Opening Event from 11-3 in Passey Place, Eltham High St where you can have a good time and find out about what’s going on and a Festival Finale event at the White Hart on 20 Nov.
Watch out for details of the programme . Greenwich Visitor will again have a pull out supplement with the entire programme and map, and there will be leaflets all over the place.
So put the dates in your diary now !
We will soon have our own CD. During the Eltham Arts Festival 2015 there was a Winter Song Challenge. Local musicians were challenged to write a song about Winter. The songs revealed the incredible song writing talent within our community. Many of these were performed at our Festival Finale event at the White Hart.
Ten of these have now been recorded and a CD is being produced. We are launching the CD at Capital Art Gallery 13 Well Hall Parade, SE9 6SP on Saturday 2 July. Call in between 3pm and 6pm to meet the musicians, hear some of them perform live, hear the CD and to buy a copy.
The tracks were recorded at a ‘pop-up studio’ in Eltham with technical services volunteered by Alex Wingham and Phil Saatchi,. The result is a fabulous CD capturing the original songs by ten local talented musicians who are passionate about their music.
Featuring contemplative songs on the winter theme, the CD focuses on a folk and blues style with both mellow and upbeat tracks. The artists on the CD include:
•Angela McCarron (guitar and vocals)
• Alan Cummings (guitar and vocals)
• The Gillies (Susan Turner and Mark Evans on guitar and vocals)
• John Handley (guitar and vocals)
• Terry Timmons (vocals)
• Zahira al Zahira (guitar and vocals) and Dave Kenningham (guitar and vocals)
• Keith Ferris (guitar, harmonica and vocals)• Stephen Brayne (guitar and vocals)
• Tony Clarke (guitar and vocals)
• Eltham AllStars (Dave Kenningham (guitar and vocals) plus, John Handley (harmonica), Zahira al Zahira, Gaynor Wingham, The Gillies and Alex Wingham)
A specially-commissioned front cover, seen here above, was kindly designed by local artist Himani Weir reflecting the winter theme of the lyrics and something of the wooded landscape in and around the SE9 area.
The CD (£8) can be purchased at the 2 July launch and after then by following details on the Eltham Arts website www.Elthamarts.org
“It’s a wrap!” Fabulous musicians and technical wizards
Left-to-right: John Handley, Susan Turner, Zahira al Zahira, Dave Kenningham, Gaynor Wingham (Eltham Arts Chair, seated), Alex Wingham, Phil Saatchi, Mark Evans
We are enormously grateful for all the many voluntary skills and talents donated to give us this marvelous CD, something of which we can all be proud. Above all, we think the CD is yet another great way of bringing the community together, showcasing the creative and artistic talents of Eltham and having fun! See you at the launch!
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