Coin Street at the (virtual) Waterloo Festival

This year the Waterloo Festival has gone virtual, and Coin Street has come along for the ride! The Festival, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, has gone above and beyond this year. The event is bringing the community of Waterloo and its surrounding areas together through creative pursuits during this difficult period in its history.

So far the festival has had a writing competition, they’ve teamed up with Flux Soup to bring a series of features and blogposts called ‘Waterloo at home’, and the team have been busy writing articles and conducting interviews about how the community is coping during this time.

And we’ve also been collaborating closely with Waterloo Festival through all of this as well. Our very own Tom Keller and Natalie Bell featured on the festival’s podcast. We teamed up with the Illuminated Rivers Project to help bring virtual art classes to children in the local community. And we’ve presented art from our over-50s group and we’ve even taken over the festival’s Instagram page.

To get things started, this year our board-member; Tom Keller and our Head of Youth and Community Programmes; Natalie Bell joined Abigail Tripp, host of the festival’s weekly podcast ‘Festivalcast’ and took a trip down memory lane where they talked about all things Coin Street.  During this chat Abigail, Natalie and Tom chatted about the history of the Waterloo neighbourhood and how much it’s changed over the last few decades and how their own stories have been influenced by this vibrant and dynamic neighbourhood.

Together, with Waterloo Festival and funded by the Illuminated River Project we are bringing virtual art classes to 15 young artists in our community.  Each week the children have been asked to paint a different iconic bridge of the river Thames using a a different medium of art.  The artwork of our young artists has been so fantastic that we’ve even featured it on our local billboard right next to Waterloo Festival!

Our over 50s group, who were originally planning an ambitious art-installation in the Churchyard of St John’s are now doing a series where we present the featured artists and their fabulous work instead.  So far our featured artists have included Katerina Jugati and Lily Bakratsa.

We’re so proud of how quickly everyone has adapted to the process of going virtual this year.  From our young artists painting the iconic bridges on our beloved river thames, to the over-50s presenting all of their fabulous art-work online, the Waterloo Festival itself has become testament to the dynamism, durability and dutifulness of our tight-knit community.