Giving centre stage to London’s less well known creative communities…

You know of amazing projects happening in your own backyard, perhaps you even run one or attend a group that inspires you to reconnect with yourself after a hard day, unwind after a long week and more importantly feel a sense of connection to where you live or work…

Seeking out such groups on some of the more well hidden nooks and crannies of London has been at the heart of co-curating Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014 – and now June is finally here do take the many opportunities we have cooked up with The Dragon Cafe, Mental Fight Club, Mind and Soul Choir, Friends of Cathja, Cooltan Arts and Lambeth Addiction recovery just to name few… blink and you will have missed so many treats!

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Communities programme – Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014

When thinking about what could a Communities programme look like as part of Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014

London as a body came to mind and that each of use who live, work and visit here at any given time make up that body and the roads, buildings and green spaces form the structure, the web we all co-exist in…

And what if when you as a festival goer come to a festival event you get to really challenge yourself and what you think is ‘community’ or not…

Much is written about the ‘fractured’ self or ‘split’ self and in much of my own experience of being able to come ‘home’ to myself is just as much about how I am feeling as much about where I live and  who I live with and around. And how I choose to frame this… and that community exists even if and when I say “I don’t do community” sitting hidden away in my flat…

You are invited to go into new spaces such as The Anatomy Museum and Theatre at Kings College (a hidden gem of London’s), see  supposed ‘old’ societal anxieties in new light given that many of yester year’s problems maybe seem like they have not gone away i.e. Horace Ove’s film Pressure and to see new theatre and writing that brings those real everyday anxieties such as the decline of loved ones in later life into reality through lived experience with tenderness and humour i.e. Julie McNamara’s Let Me Stay

So I hope we’ve managed to do this in our programming not just within Communities but across the whole festival – we have each played with making new collaborations with groups not usually included in festivals such as patients in locked wards, prisoners, recovery addicts and community mental health service users…

You’ll be the judges of whether it has worked… do tell me/us… @anxiety2014 #anxiety2014

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How can a festival inspire you to re-examine your relationship with community and what this means to you?

Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014 – festival director shares on BBC Loose Ends

Aired on 31st May to celebrate the launching of Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014

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In great company… Clive Anderson, Kathy Lette, Errol Francis…