Waltham Forest announce Creative Director for Mayor of London’s first Borough of Culture in 2019

Waltham Forest today announced Sam Hunt as Creative Director for the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2019.

Sam – who led the creative programme for Hull’s year as City of Culture in 2017 - will lead on the creative delivery of an ambitious £5million cultural programme for the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s first London Borough of Culture.

He will deliver an exciting year of cultural events working with our partners and local community, which will put the London Borough of Waltham Forest on the map and provide a massive boost to help our young people into cultural careers and ensure 85 per cent of households in the borough take part in cultural activities during the year.

Sam has a wealth of experience having worked across the arts, events and cultural industries for 15 years. He has been instrumental in the creation and delivery of nationally significant cultural event programmes. He will work alongside programme director Lorna Lee.

Cllr Clare Coghill, Leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sam to our team for London Borough of Culture 2019. His wealth of experience working across the arts promises to bring that something extra special to our year of culture, and put Waltham Forest firmly on the international map.

“Planning for London Borough of Culture 2019 is now thoroughly underway, and we can’t wait to share plenty of exciting announcements over the next few months, with Sam at the helm.”

Sam said: “I am absolutely delighted to join Waltham Forest and deliver its exciting programme for London Borough of Culture 2019, building on my experience working with Hull UK City of Culture, and a range of cultural events across the country.

“Waltham Forest has a long and rich history of being home to radical artists and cultural provocateurs. I want us to build on the borough’s globally significant cultural heritage whilst celebrating everything that’s great about Waltham Forest now, working with the borough’s flourishing creative communities. Ensuring through 2019 and beyond, it is the place where the next generation of artists, writers, poets, musicians, makers and doers are put center stage.

“Waltham Forest has a wonderful opportunity to set the benchmark for what a successful borough of culture should look like, the possibilities are boundless and this is what really excites me.”

Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, said: “It’s great news that Sam will be bringing his expertise to Waltham Forest as their preparations to be our first ever London Borough of Culture continue. The London Borough of Culture programme will shine a spotlight on the incredible culture, heritage and hidden gems that exist in our city, and I can’t wait to see how Waltham Forest’s exciting programme comes to life.”

The competition

Inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture Programmes, the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture is an award that will put culture at the heart of the community, celebrating the unique and distinctive creativity, character and diversity of London’s boroughs. The title was awarded to two winning Boroughs (2019 and 2020) on 26 February 2018. Brent will take the title in 2020.

Sam’s CV

Working as a creative producer under his own company Shunt Culture, Sam has delivered programmes for Bluedot Festival 2018, Freedom Festival and international project Beyond90 amongst others. As Executive Producer for Hull 2017 UK City of Culture, he was responsible for the creation, development and delivery of the programme’s festivals, music, visual arts including art in public space programme, film, digital commissioning and international collaborations.

Waltham Forest’s programme

As London Borough of Culture 2019, Waltham Forest promises to deliver an exciting year of cultural events for London, a massive boost to help its young people into culture as a career and to deliver culture on every corner of our borough so that it is open to everyone.

Built around the themes of Radicals, Makers and Fellowship, the year will celebrate the past, present and future of the borough. ‘Wow’ events planned include Welcome to the Forest, a spectacular laser installation in Epping Forest created by Marshmallow Laser Feast and accompanied by community choirs. Leytonstone will host a 48 hour Hitchcock themed festival, and award-winning local artist Zarah Hussain, will create a waist high carpet of 50,000 solar powered light molecules for Walthamstow Marshes in partnership with ThisMustBeThePlace and the Lumen Prize.

Waltham Forest will be staging a number of sneak peaks ahead London Borough of Culture 2019 at their ‘Get together’ events throughout the summer, starting at the Walthamstow Garden Party on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July.

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