T100, Thurrocks Festival of Walking, Talking and Making awarded significant funding by National Lottery Reaching Communities to activate future plans
Thurrock-based outdoor arts festival, T100 has recently been awarded a substantial grant by the National Lottery Reaching Communities Fund which is to be utilised over the next three years starting from September. The funds will be used to help deliver more activities in the region as well as engage with more people within the community, while preparing for T100 to becoming an independent organisation.
T100 was established in 2015 by renowned arts organisation, Kinetika, based in Purfleet-on-Thames as a walking festival. T100 was created to be a unique cultural project which aims to strengthen the area’s shared identity and foster pride in its heritage, building a programme of physical and creative activity that will contribute to healthier and happier communities living and working along the Thames Estuary.
The funding received will go towards bringing people together as well as building strong relationships in and across communities, improving the places and spaces that matter to local people, and enabling more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage.
The aim of the festival is to become an independent organisation in the future, realising sustainability by increasing community leadership whilst decreasing dependency on Kinetika and the Reaching Communities funding. Once T100 is an independent, community-led organisation it will aim to provide an organisational framework which links grassroots activities to larger initiatives, mechanisms for local people to access and shape place-based strategic narratives and ensure a spatial framework which literally connects people and places together. Furthermore, the support from Reaching Communities will enable T100 to build a sustained programme across the year and to build on its work training and mentoring local children and young people to shape and take on more leadership of the festival activity.
Ali Pretty, Artistic Director of Kinetika said, “I’m incredibly proud of our communities in Thurrock and the dedicated team of T100 Volunteers who have all contributed to the development of this pioneering model of walking, talking and making. I’m very excited that we have received funding for the next three years, as it will enable Kinetika to leave a lasting legacy in Thurrock by establishing T100 as an independent organisation.”
Since 2015, T100 has held walking events across Thurrock which encourage the sharing of local stories. What began as a walking celebration of the area – 10 miles, 10 walks, 10 days, has developed into an outdoor arts festival stretching along and across the estuary into Southend and Kent. T100 continues to grow each year, gaining new activities, new volunteers, new events, new walkers, new routes, and new partners to support the programme.
With the help and support of local people, so far it has mapped and explored 67 local walks covering 327 miles across two counties, made 137 silk flags, run a dance programme, published a book of 100 local stories, commissioned a beautiful set of costumes and new theatre performances as well as engaged thousands of people.
This year’s festival is already underway; T100 Sounds launched on 21 June and will run until 9 July with a series of free walks, talks and community celebrations across Thurrock, with all activities revolving around the theme of ‘sound’ and exploring the unique audio character of the local area.
This year’s programme also includes a newly commissioned soundscape, created by filmmaker, researcher, educator and artist, Fotis Begklis alongside the local community. The soundscape will be available to experience from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 July in St. Clement’s Church, Purfleet.
The T100 Sounds finale will be held at High House Production Park, where attendees can enjoy music from local musicians, family-friendly activities, the new natural dye community garden, plus try out Colourscape – an inflatable walk-through sculpture of colour and light, combined with musicians from across Thurrock.
Fore more information on T100 Festival, please visit: www.t100festival.co.uk