MyRaynesPark Festival is a community arts festival for local residents combining comedy, art, music, drama, poetry and family fun. In 2018 it runs from 29th June – 8th July.
MyRaynesPark started in response to the financial crisis in support of local restaurants and venues. Now in its eighth year, it stretches over ten days with 21 events. “Last year we reached our widest ever audience with over 1,000 people attending, 30 local groups partnering with us and a school’s programme reaching many more” – Tom Underwood, Chair of MyRaynesPark.
Organised by Raynes Park Salvation Army with support from local groups, they are a non-profit making organisation backed by two main sponsors, Merton Council and the Wimbledon Foundation Community Fund, as well as several local businesses.
The programme is developed around their five core aims: celebration, inclusivity, creativity, community and justice.
The festival prides itself on its commitment to inclusivity and justice. They believe the festival should be for everyone, with over 60% of events having a ‘pay what you can’ entry fee. They have previously linked with Refugee Week and this year are hosting more collaborative events including a Syrian cooking workshop from a local refugee.
MyRaynesPark attracts a mix of established acts such as Tim Vine, Yasmin Alibhai Brown and Prof Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch, as well as up and comers such as Inua Ellams, who since performing at the festival has had a big hit at the National Theatre with his play ‘The Barbershop Chronicles’.
This year they’re joined by comedian Dana Alexander (Russell Howard’s Good News), author Tim Finch talking about his book ‘The House of Journalists’ and a screening of critically acclaimed documentary ‘Summer in the Forest’.
For full listings on MyRaynesPark events please visit: MyRaynesPark.co.uk