Our year as London Borough of Culture aimed to deliberately blur the line between residents, professional artists, local businesses and community members.

It is a space where art, ideas and action come together. Our opening event, Welcome to the Forest, was no exception.  Here are the local artists, musicians and creators who were involved...

Forest Road

Gods Own Junkyard
Chris Bracey from Gods Own Junkyard has made, installed and collected signs that have appeared behind some of the world's most famous films. When films wrap, neons are often discarded like yesterday's newspapers, unwanted, unloved. Chris has collected these neon and bulb icons and salvages old neons and architectural advertising from the streets before they disappear forever. Repaired and resurrected, coupled with quirky art and powered up to shine like jewels of light, Gods Own Junkyard is where neon never dies.

MovE17 is a dance group for adults of all ages & abilities who want to have fun, learn new dance skills and be creative. The class learn contemporary dance works by major artists, such as Akram Khan and Anne Teresa de Keermaeker, as well as create their own dance works. The group was founded in September 2015 by choreographer Clare Farrow and is based at Gnome House in Walthamstow.To date, MovE17 have performed at City Hall, the Barbican, in Trafalgar Square as well as locally within Waltham Forest. Some of the group performed Jerome Bel’s GALA at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Tate Modern and Sadler’s Wells. MovE17’s most recent production was a mass community performance of Rosas danst Rosas by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker which was commissioned by the Barbican for the Walthamstow Garden Party 2018.

Clare's Dance Class
Clare’s Dance Class is a fun class for adults of all ages & abilities in Waltham Forest and Redbridge, teaching iconic routines from movies and musicals.

Natural Voices Choirs
Natural Voices are based around London, Woking, South Woodford, Walthamstow, Ashtead, New Barnet and The Isle Of Mull. They sing a fantastic mix of pop, soul, jazz, folk and much more in glorious original arrangements. It’s singing with a twist of fun.

Jay Kumar  
Jay Kumar has over 15 years of experience in entertaining audiences with his charismatic personality and unique ability to include and involve people of all ages and abilities in his fun to do Bollywood Dance routines.

Soul Picnic
Dom Mandrell presents a DJ led get-together in the form of Soul Picnic which explores the influence of soul in its many forms
Big Creative Education
Big Creative Education is a free school located in London, England. Established in 1999, BCE is for students aged 16 to 24 who want to pursue a career in music, media, gaming, events, film/TV or performing arts. Our mission is to transform the lives of young people through inspirational teaching, and by providing exceptional access to career opportunities in the creative industries. We want all learners to develop their creativity & progress on to a career in the UK’s fastest growing sector
Jacky’s Jukebox 
Jacky of Jacky's Jukebox is a complete Ballroom and Latin 'dance addict' and is part of a Same Sex formation dance group called the Pink Dancers. She has 12 years experience of organising and playing music for International Dance Competitions and is a foundling committee member of the UKSSDC (UK Same-Sex Dance Council). Jacky was also involved in forming the current ESSDA (European Same-Sex dance Council.
London School of Samba
London School of Samba offer dance and drumming classes for complete beginners to performer level. They parade every year at the Notting Hill Carnival, and their performance group travel the UK and abroad. Everyone is welcome at the school and there is a place for everyone.
Disco Shed 
The Disco Shed has been a huge hit with festival–goers wherever it’s been, which includes events such as Bestival, Leeds, Reading, Latitude, Camp Bestival, Shambala, the Big Chill, Cornbury, Thames Festival and many more. They play soul, funk, reggae, house, techno, punk, so much more including disco, of course!

Stow Film Lounge
The People's Cinema, presented by Stow Film Lounge, will be a selection of fine films and superb shorts created by filmmakers in Waltham Forest. There will be award-winning work from internationally acclaimed avant garde auteurs like John Smith, Antony Hett and Marcus Shepherd, as well as work celebrating this incredible borough from diverse groups and individuals like RAW, William Morris Gallery, The Limes and Vestry House Museum. Many more are being programmed. From superb shorts to premieres, this outdoor "silent" cinema is going to be a film feast for the eyes celebrating cinematic culture of Waltham Forest in 2019.

Yanire Sylva Delgado
Yanire Sylva Delgado is an Ecuadorian Artist settled in London. She studied Printmaking in Madrid, worked as a University Lecturer in Ecuador and has recently been awarded an MA in Book Design from Essex University. Her latest passion is Ceramics, she is a member of the Pottery Association and Blackhorse Workshop E17. 

Divine Company
Divine Company performs high-end entertainment at seriously amazing events. Founded in 1999, they are the largest company of its kind in the UK. All of their work is produced in-house and is unique, with an extravagant wardrobe of spectacular and innovative costumes and props, and an equally brilliant company of exceptional artists. 

Cirque Pyromantic 
Cirque Pyromantic  are a circus and entertainment company providing fabulous artists and bespoke shows for parties, nightclubs, corporate entertainment, weddings, festivals, television and other events

Apus Productions
Apus Productions have two main areas of activity; street theatre performance, and participatory outdoor live arts. They create and tour with high quality roving street theatre, and have been touring acts nationally and internationally since 2007. The two current touring works are The Birds and The Aristocrats.

Screaming Me Mes
The Screaming Me Mes are a small group of circus professionals based in the UK with over 20 years experience. They create engaging and interactive characters using a wide range of skills including acrobatics, roller-skating, mime, improvisation, statue and stilt-walking.

Rimski is forever touring with his spectacular inventions, creating timeless ramshackle pop up installation style spaces (Rimski's Yard) where all are welcome to drop by for a cup of tea, listen to old records (and see new ones broken!) on the Pramophone, be warmed by the Fire-o-pram, shelter among the umbrellas (or have one repaired)... perhaps wind up a dancing rodent or two, and of course be entertained by Rimski & Handkerchief's fabulous music and antics with the Bicycle Piano and Double Bassicle. . .  

Paka is an interdisciplinary artist who creates spectacular and engrossing performance from a mix of large-scale mechanical sculpture, digital media, special effects, dramatic characters, circus skills, puppetry, and audience involvement. 

Das Brass
Formed in an unnecessarily small lounge in North London in 2013, Das Brass are an 8-piece brass band, playing a melange of pop and funk favourites, balkanised afrobeats, twisted jazz standards, and few originals thrown in for good measure. Favourites on the festival circuit and in demand for private parties. Das Brass encompasses great musicians from all over the world who are notorious for spreading smiles and grooves across the party!

Drum Works
Drum Works is a music project based in east London that encourages social cohesion and improves educational and aspirational outcomes for its participants. Our vision is to build a community where every individual is empowered to make positive choices about their future, to aim high and to take responsibility for their role in supporting others around them.