East London Community Events (Day 1 of 2) – Toronto Road, Ilford Art Festival


East London Community Events – Toronto Road, Ilford Art Festival : DAY 1 of 2

FISHINABOX set a weekend aside to get involved, help out and join in on East London Community events

Day 1 was spent on the Toronto Road Arts Festival. Our task, to create some street art to engage the people visiting the event. After a little brainstorming with some of the event committee we constructed a bill board from wood ends we pulled out of skips along the street of the actual event site (Toronto Road) cut all the pieces to size, nailed it all together put it in the street, and invited the community members of all ages to add a little art to the billboard to build up.

This event still in it’s infancy but appealed to all ages and all ethnicities with some clever and ground breaking ways to play with junk, Paper Presses for furniture making, crab apple sculptures (also swept up from the street where the event was held). The event also had members of Para carnival arrange a carnival parade including learning a routine. this paired beautifully with a Zumba Bollywood style dance class, an open mic, street lounge / cafe,.  painters corner, red carpet and the obligatory face painting and food (V) and cake stalls (V) to feed the hungry. As the event is focused heavily on recycling, CleanUpUK were on the event as well to help change behaviour over littering, They formed two litter pick teams of volunteers as fast as snapping your fingers from the people at the event to keep the street spotless.

If you were interested in arranging your own Litter pick or simply just wanted to run a care in the Community campaign then here is the link:  http://www.cleanupuk.org.uk

For more info about the Toronto Arts Group and if you were interested in supporting the event then here is the link: https://www.buzzbnk.org/TorontoRoadArtsFestival2015

Just when all that was dying down as night fell and we thought we would be done for the day, the festival threw up a pop up Cinema having has a licence to screen on the street. A day on the community festival ended with putting our feet up to Rowan Atkinson starring in”Johnny English”.

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What did we make of Day 1 on the Community Festival trail ?

Highs – An amazing an engaging experience for everyone, great fun, fantastic use of resources literally from recycling on the street. No causalities and no tears. The Carnival workshops and Dance workshops had even the Supporting Met Officers, who had been assigned to the event, (who also painted on the Bill Board) beaming from ear to ear. Definitely not short of Ideas.

Lows – No Toilet…(knock on a door), Where was the local  newspaper”rag” and reporter ? A Community event on their patch you would expect them to be there no ? Definitely Short of a bob or two (funding) for an education and community well being event. We were surprised not to see Jack Petchey Foundation or the Redbridge Community Fund not jumping up and down to fund this. Talk to them.


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