Chair, Festival Committee
Helen has been coordinating volunteers throughout the Pandemic to deliver emergency food parcels to the community.
She has persuaded friends, neighbours and complete strangers to lend a hand – you have been warned!
Since her volunteering with Museum of Brands’ community outreach programme was put on pause, she’s missed her reminiscence sessions for people living with Dementia, and their carers.
Her main focus this year will be supporting the Committee, building up a team of talented local people, and celebrating all things volunteering and Streatham Festival.
Email if you’d like to volunteer firstname.lastname@example.org
Festival Guide & Connector
Jane has lived in Streatham for 14 years and has four grown-up children. She has volunteered with Streatham Festival for six years.
Her professional background is in publishing, advertising, and media, and she now publishes ❤️Streatham magazine, a magazine all about our vibrant local area that is distributed to homes.
She enjoys connecting local people, performers, and businesses with the Festival. She helped launch the first Streatham Literature Festival in 2020 (what a year to pick!), the first Festival Ceilidh, and is part of the publicity and sponsorship team.
For the past five years they have been participants in the Streatham Festival offering free portraits and studio open days, raising money for charities and local schools, product photography/personal branding to local businesses as well as offering everyday family photography services.
MAAN Studios encourages local talent by running regular photography workshops and renting out their affordable studio to creatives for their projects which in the past has included X-Factor stars El’tee and Shan Ako who filmed their music videos there.
Our fun Streatham fact is hosting Rick Astley for his recent album cover photoshoot by local photographer Peter Neil (@shootthesound) and three years of begging Naomi Campbell to come back home to Streatham for a photoshoot!
He is a former Chair of Streatham Town Centre Partnership Board. His day job is working on financial reporting in Whitehall.
He has lived in Streatham since before the closure of Pratts department store. and hopes all copies of the 1990 video of his much younger self wearing Jarvis Cocker glasses and holding aloft a “Save Our Pratts” banner have been wiped.In his spare time he enjoys listening to music, gardening (both the ordinary and guerilla varieties) and fails to swim as often as he should at Tooting Bec Lido.
Robert has been involved with the Streatham Festival since it started, and has been on the Festival committee in a range of roles since. (He thinks they probably only keep him on as he is the only person who can still remember how all the bits of tents and gazebos fit together.) He tweets at @rjdoylesw2
Dee Majek, a Nigerian-born educator, storyteller, poet, and artist, is based in London. He gained acclaim for the title poem from his debut collection, “The White Experience,” which won the Afro Caribbean Education Resource project (ACER) Black Penmanship award.
Streatham Strut Coordinator
A relative newcomer to Streatham, Sarah moved to the area from Merseyside in 2021. Working in training/events for a national education charity, she loves that the festival perfectly combines community events coordination with the local arts and music scene. Sarah helps coordinate the eclectic Streatham Strut alongside Andy.
Vic has lived in Streatham for nearly 20 years. A non-practising corporate commercial lawyer, Vic was previously the COO of a London law firm and still works in legal world in business and operations. During a career break, she volunteered to help with the Festival and has never looked back!
Vic loves getting involved in Streatham’s flagship event and working with other locals and volunteers to spread the joy of Streatham and its talented community.
This year, Vic has organised the Launch Event Festival and is getting stuck in at the Strut, by introducing some of the bands. A lover of all things quiz and theatre, Vic is also the owner of Quizolation who arrange trivia evenings primarily for charitable causes and in her spare time writes theatre reviews.
She runs a small business based in Streatham offering web and graphic design to local businesses and organizations.
Lucy has lived in Streatham for 18 years has brought up two children in the area and been involved locally as a PTA secretary , School governor and an organiser of Streatham Business group. More recently she has set up The Walking Post to provide inspiring walking routes around London & South East.
Check out Lucy’s design website
Check out Walking Post website
Stephen Whitaker is a Solicitor and the Senior Partner at the Streatham Office of Anthony Gold. Anthony Gold is a multi- discipline Top 150 Law Firm founded in Streatham over 50 years ago and now with offices also in London Bridge and Elephant & Castle.
The Firm has had an involvement with Streatham Festival from the very beginning. It became a key sponsor some 10 years ago and Stephen joined the Board of Streatham Festival Association ,the Company that runs the Festival ,as Company Secretary in 2011.
Stephen has a long personal history of involvement in the Charity and Community Service Sector largely through membership of Round Table and its associated Clubs.
Community Art Outreach Volunteer
Di runs her own creative design agency and has created branding campaigns for Sindy and the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Di runs a programme of creative activities with the residents of a local Seniors’ retirement living community, involving art classes, chair dance/yoga, quizzes and talks. She enjoys relaxing with a round of golf on Saturdays and visiting her local Italian bistro.
Streatham Strut Lead Coordinator
Andy coordinates the bands, venues and 10 hrs of musicial mayhem of the Streatham Strut and is ably assisted by Sarah in this – his first year of taking the Lead role. A proud Mancunian (red, not blue), Andy is a relative newcomer to Streatham, having moved here in 2017, but fell in love with our neighbourhood at his first Streatham Strut the same year.
History of the festival
Streatham has a long history of community arts activity, and there have been earlier celebrations of creativity branded as the Streatham Festival that sadly did not last the course.The current Streatham Festival was founded by local resident Mel Larsen in 2002 with the first events held on Saturday 15th June at St Leonards Church and Hillside Gardens Park. With the active support of then Town Centre Manager Leah Levane and the Rector of St Leonard’s, Jeffry Wilcox, the event showcased local talent such the Streatham Choral Society and the (now internationally famous) poet Malika Booker.
In these early years the Festival was successful in attracting Arts Council England funding which allowed us to commission and present exciting work including Creatmosphere’s site specific sculptures in light at St Leonard’s in 2003 and to bring nationally acclaimed theatre and dance groups to Streatham to work with local schools and community groups.
Mel led the festival for 5 years with a small team of hard-working local volunteers including Nick McCrae, Robert Doyle, Anna Godsiff and Patricia Sauer, during which time it grew to be a week-long annual fixture. Mel was given a Lambeth Civic Award in 2007 for her work on the festival.
The Festival became independent of Lambeth’s Streatham Town Centre Office in 2009, and subsequent Chairs of the Streatham Festival Association have been Patricia Sauer, Paul Cutts, Chix Chandaria, Helen Smith, Janet Leatherland, Jo Blawat and now Héloïse Anderson.
We were lucky enough to benefit from funding from the Mayor’s ‘Outer London Fund’ for three years from 2013 (with partnership funding from Lambeth) which allowed us to resume hosting an annual large scale event for the community on Streatham Common. In a tougher funding climate for the arts, the Festival has subsequently had to change our focus away from the risky business of promoting our own major events to emphasise partnership and promotion of events with local arts groups and venues.The festival has always had a strong visual arts strand, starting with Mel Larsen’s ‘Yellow Bowl’ shows, more recently with the ‘Art 23’ art trails project curated from 2013 to 2015 by Emma Condliffe, and now with the mix of show forming StreatArt.
The success of the Festival depends on our sponsorship from local businesses and donations from local trusts and individuals. In particular, we are immensely grateful for the generous long term support of Anthony Gold Solicitors, and the more modest but welcome annual contributions from Streatham Rotary and the Streatham Society.
The Festival has also sought to promote Streatham as a place for the arts all year round. Thanks to Pat Sauer’s assiduous campaigning, an arts and theatre space was included in the development brief for the former Locarno/Caesar’s site at Streatham Hill, which is now completed and operating as Streatham Space Project.