SparkedEcho will present Electric Medway, a brand-new digital arts festival which will take place from Friday, 28 August to Sunday, 6 September 2020.
The free festival with content for all ages, will be the first of its kind in the area. Funded by Medway Council and Arts Council England, Electric Medway has been devised in partnership with Medway Youth Service, Medway’s 2025 UK City of Culture bid and Medway Council.
Electric Medway will bring together audio-visual artworks, streamed events and interactive workshops from more than 50 local artists and community groups. Unlocked through five virtual zones, this exciting programme will invite participants to take in works by local artists and organisations - both online and offline - including:
- Medway African and Caribbean Association, Audio Stories - MACA will present a series of 10 audio stories, including those from the Windrush Generation. Released on each festival day, the stories will be weaved into all five virtual zones: Connection, Nature, Play, Dreams and Hope
- Hannah Whittaker, Sky Above The Scene – a large scale video installation which presents a sky patchwork and allows audiences to listen to the scenes taking place beneath each section of sky
- Dizzy O'Dare, Sunken Silence - using a geolocated app, Dizzy O’Dare explores how sound and spoken word can enhance and renew your experience of local walks
- Nick Ashton, MEDWAY: A Game of Cones – a choose your own adventure video in which users will have to guide heroes through The Magical Lands of Medway to defeat numerous enemies, solve riddles and interact with memorable characters
Electric Medway launches during an exciting time for the area, with a year to go until Medway submits its bid to be UK City of Culture in 2025 and a new 10-year cultural strategy in the works. The festival itself responds to the present moment with work that explores how we connect to each other and our surroundings in Medway as we look to the future.
The Young Creatives strand of the festival will support local young people (aged 15-25) looking to develop careers in the creative industries with commissions, experience, and creative mentoring.
The majority of the festival will take place online with a selection of offline installations to be unveiled in locations across Medway. Register on the website for further updates or follow @ElectricMedway on social media.
Supporting young creatives
Janet Moore, Co-Director, SparkedEcho, Festival Producer: “Electric Medway is all about lifting our spirits at the moment. We’ve got some incredible artists and creative work lined up that people will be able to access online, whilst some will be experienced in public spaces. We’re particularly proud that this festival is able to support young creatives at this time, with paid work opportunities and artist mentoring.”
Showcasing Medway's innovation and creativity
Imogen Robertson, Bid Director at Medway 2025: “Culture and creativity have played a huge role in bringing Medway together over the last few months. Electric Medway is a brilliant showcase for Medway’s innovation and creativity which sits at the heart of our UK City of Culture bid, as well as a celebration of our young people and creative future.”
Providing Medway's children and young people with opportunities
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett: “Medway is filled with creativity, including those working locally in the industry and students studying at our colleges and universities. During lockdown Medway’s residents have used art and culture to connect with family and friends, bring neighbourhoods together and promote messages of safety and wellbeing.
"Electric Medway celebrates how our digital worlds have grown and how creativity is an essential part of our communities. I am particularly delighted that as part of our commitment to providing Medway’s children and young people with opportunities, that Electric Medway specifically supports young people with paid festival jobs and mentoring to develop their creative careers.
"Medway is already a fantastic place to live, work, learn and visit and we are constantly working to create opportunities for our residents, including through our UK City of Culture 2025 bid and our ambition of becoming a Child-Friendly City.”