The Mela is to return to Croydon later this summer, thanks to a £240,000 grant from the Arts Council.
Seven years after the last Croydon Mela in Lloyd Park – axed by the then Tory-run council in a first wave of austerity cuts – the Arts Council England announced today that Streets of Mela will tour four London boroughs, including Croydon, with the festival being staged in Wandle Park in September 2017 and 2018.
“The project will reach some of the largest South Asian population centres in the capital, offering arts engagement in meaningful, sustainable and accessible ways,” according to the Arts Council.
Croydon Council did attempt a town centre arts festival in 2015, but last year it gave away its £180,000 budget for the event by paying for the opening weekend at Boozepark.
The London Mela, which will also be staged in Hounslow, Brent and Ealing, will be produced by Remarkable Productions and Mela Arts International.
Julian Rudd, a director of Remarkable Productions, had worked on Croydon’s Mela in the past. The London Mela in Wandle Park is likely to be smaller in scale than the previous Croydon Mela, and have feature more arts than large-scale musical acts on stage.
“The Arts Council is pleased to support Remarkable Productions and this exciting new project,” said Joyce Wilson, Arts Council England’s London area director.
“We celebrate the different cultures that come from each community and every corner of our city. This tour gives voice to just one of them, and will reach many others, inspiring audiences across London.”
The funding comes from the Arts Council’s Strategic Touring Programme, which aims to give more people better access to quality work in a range of venues, targeting places with low levels of art engagement and those that rely on touring for arts and culture.
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