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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Well done . . .

I read this at this this year:

London Word Festival team honoured with award for ‘exceptional cultural entrepreneurs’.

Sam Hawkins, Marie McPartlin and Tom Chivers, founders and co-directors of the London Word Festival, are one of the five recipients of the 2009 Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Fund, announced today.
The three producers will receive a grant of £141,000 over the next three years to develop the festival’s vision and their careers.

Founded in 2007 and inspired by the popularity of their early experiments in mixed-bill live-literature, Sam, Tom and Marie came up with the idea of an annual multi-arts, multi-venue festival with a focus on literature, poetry, comedy, music and audience interactivity. Now in only its second year, it aims to push the boundaries of words in performance across art-forms and in predominantly non-traditional venues throughout East London.

The Breakthrough Fund is a Special Initiative that exclusively supports exceptional cultural entrepreneurs. These are individuals identified by independent nominators as each holding a pressing and persuasive vision, a drive and a strong track record in making things happen. It aims to support these individuals in their determination to make a difference to the cultural landscape in which they work.

On the decision to give the award to the three producers, the PHF Arts Programme Manager Régis Cochefert said: “London Word Festival has established a reputation for pioneering innovative new approaches to cross art form programming. After two successful years on a shoestring budget and without a secure financial base, the Breakthrough Fund grant will give the Festival a more solid and sustainable footing on which to develop creative cross-genre programming and engage new audiences.”

On receiving the award, Sam, Tom and Marie say: “As independents, the measure of our success can be difficult to gauge, particularly when programming and producing a festival that exists in the spaces between artforms: it's not theatre, it's not music, it's not literature. Since beginning the Festival we've often burnt the midnight oil over a pint with "wouldn't it be great if..?" and "they’re definitely on my list” conversations.

We have always dreamt big, but you're quickly brought back to earth when you're sat in Rough Trade East sharing one coffee between three so you can plunder the Wi-Fi and work from a real table. A guitar string breaks in the soundcheck and you've broken the budget. Now we can stop for a second and think - not only about survival but how to develop artistic ambitions that are challenging and progressive. We can't wait to get stuck in!”

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