East Street Latin Festival
Saturdays August 1, 8 and 15 will see the Elephant and Castle, Walworth and Old Kent Road areas at Nursery Row Park enjoy the local Latin American ‘Latin Quarter’ cultural heritage through the joy of dancing to cool bands usually tucked away in the community, to accompany the range of authentic Venezuelan to El Salvadorian food, fine arts and crafts.The money raised will pay for local London based artists to perform such as Papayera, Lokandes so people may enjoy dancing in the park with local Latin Americans and make new friendships and learn new dance skills and perhaps make a piñata. Music will include cumbia, bachata, salsa, vallenato and the true, traditional instruments such as the gaita will be seen. The Southwark High Street Challenge has paid for us to build our own wooden stalls and pay for infrastructure costs. However, the music and dance makes up the full fiesta so the money pledged will ensure a variety of countries are represented musically and special workshops too
What we’ll do:
- We will get local East Street market shoppers and residents happy, dancing and identifying with Latino rhythms
- Local residents will welcome the Latin American community into the East Street world
- South Londoners will be happier for the experiences and participate in new Latino activities planned for East Street
- Introduce new East Street Latino Carnival Centre to wider community
- Reveal Latin American cultural heritage as a key catalyst in bringing vibrancy and wider community spirit to East Street
Why it’s a great idea:
The Latin American population is traditionally based in the elephant and Castle area, often hidden and very much inward looking, often with many newly arrived people. This is changing as the impact of regeneration and its luxury buildings is pricing Latinos out of the area. The East Street and Walworth Road are to be preserved and invested in so that opportunities will be created for local people in this street market area. There is no Latin American presence in the market or street and we would like to change this as the Latino community, representing 19 countries has so much to offer culturally and through entrepreneurship and with its wonderful uplifting music and dance will bring uplift to the area and as people become established in shops and businesses and become stall holders the whole area will benefit. To kick start this Carnaval del Pueblo will develop this activity in shops given to us by a housing association and this will all be showcased annually in Nursery Row Park.
How we’ll get it done:
- Contract the bands, workshop leaders, Dj’s, dance instructors and workshop leaders locally
- Set up a Eventbrite on line page to announce the quality performances
- Leaflet the local area and estates and talk with residents so they know they are welcome and much to participate in
This will kick start and launch the presence of the Latin American community in the area and with it will come a good vibe and lots of commercial activity through our shops and people taking stalls in the market for Latino products and this ‘niche’ market will attract many new people into the area who enjoy the music, food and culture and will be more accessible and cheaper than going up town and create a community cohesion as local stall holders and businesses begin to benefit economically too and through the ripple effect of a good cultural atmosphere. This will add to the projects that we are beginning to deliver with the help of the Southwark High Street Challenge and the Mayor of London High Street Challenge and Neighbourhood grant funding too. The team is mostly working in a voluntary basis so the success of this event will attract more fundng and hopefully salaries for the team as they work towards delivering a big Carnaval del Pueblo event next August in Burgess Park.