I’d like to inform you all about an afternoon symposium I have been planning for quite a while now.
On my travels being hosted as an artist to events and festivals in various parts of the world, be it Muslimfest in Canada, Taking it to the Street in Chicago or the Eid Festival in Sweden, I have been inspired to address important issues that I feel we need to explore, in order to develop the arts and the impact of faith-related perspectives on mainstream festivals, especially with the explosion of festival culture here in the UK.
I have witnessed at some of these events, how people of different faith have been engaged, how some of these festivals, although have been an expression of one faith community, have actually appealed to all. However i have also seen how many events/festivals have been the opposite, a narrower audience where one faith community has developed programs which actually appeals only to their own community. Sometimes this has been deliberate, with organisers targeting that very community and appealing to a broader audience has not been one of the targets. But i also noticed that some organisers would have welcomed a broader audience, but just hadn’t succeeded.
From this a number of questions arose for me. Should it appeal to a broader audience? Or should it be a more focused audience? How do you bring in wider audiences? What is the benefit of a broader audience, specifically different faith communities, in the times we live in? What is the benefit to a venue/organisation to program for faith communities?
I have seen at some of these events, sponsorship ranging from local businesses to the worlds biggest brands. How does it attract such sponsors and what is the appeal?
We decided at Soul City Arts together with the mac, that we need to put on a symposium that explores these questions, bring together people from various sectors to talk about their approaches and the events they have been involved with, providing us with an opportunity to network, discuss and engage with one another in order to inform our own practices and develop our respective organisations.
This symposium we feel is crucial to those involved with the arts and hope you all see the benefit of attending. We have had to charge £30 in order to cover the costs for such an event, which i am sure you all appreciate. £30 is easily spent on a night at the cinema with popcorn, for those i hear complaining already!
We have brought together speakers from across the UK and around the globe.
Asad Jafri Artistic Director, Inner City Muslim Action Network and Producer of ‘Takin’ it to the Streets’ Festival (Chicago)
Carl Christopher-Ansari Sponsorship and Events Manager Sony Computer Entertainment UK Ltd
Paul Northup Festival Director, Greenbelt Festivals
Isata Kanneh Events Producer, Celebrating Sanctuary Festival
Wed 9 Nov, 12:30pm – 5pm
Full Delegate Registration Fee including lunch £30 plus VAT
The future Belongs to Those who prepare for it today!
For more on it all see here