The Home Spun Festival

Footage from the community sharing event at Bethel Church, Spon End, during the Diamond Jubilee weekend.
Film by Jamie Gray.

The Home Spun Festival was a week-long festival 'for the people of Spon End by the people of Spon End.' The festival comprised 3 days of cultural workshops at the KOCO Community Centre and a one-day community sharing event at Bethel Church in Spon End, Coventry. The workshops had local residents from the community write and perform spoken word poems, dance Zumba, and play steel pans, Djembe and Samba drums. At the one-day community sharing event during the weekend of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations, local singers, dancers, and performers entertained the sold out crowd alongside members of the community who had rehearsed short performances during the workshops and were guided by the workshop facilitators on the performance day.

I was the Executive Producer for the festival. I recruited a team to deliver the project, which included a producer from the community, Fareed Siddiqui, to ensure the festival was community-led and co-created. Together, we brought together key community organisations - KOCO Community Centre, Bethel Church, the Oasis Community Cafe, Impact Steel Band - and local artists to showcase the talent and inspire other local people to participate in culture. The community sharing event brought out a community that had experienced considerable upheaval in recent times, including the displacement of residents. The festival reflected the cultural diversity of the new Spon End. Footage from the relaxed, community sharing event can be viewed by clicking on the video above.

Migrant & Refugee Ladies Steelband group performs their second ever gig
Migrant & Refugee Ladies Steelband group performs their second ever gig

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Tina Cheung leads a Zumba class in Bethel Church
Tina Cheung leads a Zumba class in Bethel Church

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Fareed Siddiqui and Impact Steel Band leads the festival finale
Fareed Siddiqui and Impact Steel Band leads the festival finale

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Migrant & Refugee Ladies Steelband group performs their second ever gig
Migrant & Refugee Ladies Steelband group performs their second ever gig

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Images credit: Lewis Copson