Today, Friday 28 January, sees the long-awaited start of Lewisham’s year as London Borough of Culture. There will be celebrations across the borough, from music to drama and dance performances – giving a flavour of the exciting year ahead.
It is recognition of the wonderful creativity this borough has to offer. This pocket of Southeast London has long been a hub for creatives and community-minded people, and residents and visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to cultural institutions here – from the Albany arts centre in Deptford, to the Migration Museum housed in Lewisham Shopping Centre and Horniman Museum and Gardens in the west of the borough. Lewisham is a truly exciting place to live, work and study.
Here at Goldsmiths, we are proud to call the borough home. We have been part of the cultural life of this area for over 100 years, and so it feels only right that we are playing a central part in this milestone year for the borough.
We will be involved in a range of projects across the Borough of Culture programme, as heritage partner for the event.
Later next month, colleagues at Goldsmiths will launch In Living Memory, an initiative exploring local people’s stories of post-war Lewisham. Seven community-led projects are receiving support from our students and staff, helping them to share their histories with the world.
We are part of Creative Futures, working to demystify the creative industries and give local young people more information about the rewarding careers on offer in this sector. We’ll be working closely with local partners to deliver this too.
And we have also partnered with Lewisham Council to offer a range of support to help high street businesses in the borough to engage with the 2022 Borough of Culture programme. Led by Goldsmiths ICCE, this project will support businesses to collaborate and generate creative projects, as well as supporting their recovery from Covid-19.
The Borough of Culture year is a great chance for Lewisham communities to reconnect after the difficult few years we’ve all endured. The varied programme of in-person events will bring people together to dance, sing and enjoy art and culture in neighbourhoods across the area.
I’m also pleased to see such a strong focus on climate action throughout the programme. Organisations across Lewisham are doing important work to take on this challenge, and I hope this year will raise awareness of the need for urgent action – including on cleaning up our air and supporting better biodiversity.
I’m looking forward to seeing Borough of Culture unfold over the coming months. The Goldsmiths community is ready to support its legacy in our local community for many years to come.
Find out more about Lewisham’s year as London Borough of Culture: https://www.wearelewisham.com/