T100 Dreaming Festival 2021
Looking back at our 7th successful year
With a series of specially curated walks, T100 Dreaming invited communities and artists to come together to share their dreams, celebrate community spirit and imagine a more creative and sustainable future.
Along with inspiration sessions for artists and creative workshops for community groups, the festival was delighted to be able to provide mentoring support for 4 new walk leaders from diverse communities in partnership with Active Essex, Essex Cultural Diversity Project and Living London. This aimed to shine a light upon people with different backgrounds, from varied places and cultures, who make their homes in Thurrock.
This year the innovative approach of pairing local artists with walk leaders led to the walks becoming more interactive, with talks and artist-led activities on route and not just at the end. Some people joined in with the downloadable activity pack, and even more chose to get involved in person.
Thurrock Yacht Club quite literally flew the flag for T100 throughout June and July, and welcomed us to their clubhouse in Grays, while Essex Wildlife Trust volunteers provided an insightful tour of Langdon Hills Nature Reserve, Regency Dance performed a ‘dreaming dance’ in East Tilbury and lots of food outlets got involved in the Grays taster trail, while East Tilbury Primary School, Ockendon Children’s Centre, the Young Carers and more benefitted from creative workshops. A highlight was seeing the results of the Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions session during an impromptu performance with Kinetika Bloco at Grays Beach, cheered on by the Grays community who proudly paraded their newly designed community flags and set to a backdrop of Kinetika pennants being waved from yachts on the river.
Very popular this year, tickets remained free due to the generous support of funders and partners and were booked up quickly as people were keen to stretch their legs after lockdown.
In 2021 the festival partnered with Kinetika’s larger creative walking event Beach of Dreams, which expanded our walking, talking and making concept from Thurrock all the way up the coast to Lowestoft, resulting in new partnerships and receiving national news coverage.
An exceptional grand finale at Tilbury Fort brought T100 Dreaming to a close on 1st August. Mayor of Thurrock, Sue Shinnick, attended the widely anticipated event and witnessed the last steps of both festivals being taken into the historic Fort, as walkers were met with a host of musicians, giant dancing puppets and an impactful display of hundreds of silk flags, that represented the dreams of the those we met along the way.
The premiere performance of a new song ‘Tilbury is the Place for Me’ was a highlight of the occasion, performed by students from Gateway Learning Community and Tilbury Youth Services. The young people were given an opportunity to develop the track working with award-winning poet, novelist and musician Anthony Joseph, the saxophonist/ composer Ruben Fox and the impressive Kinetika Bloco. The song was inspired by the calypso of the Windrush generation ‘London is the place for me’ referencing local history, as well as ideas from the young people themselves.
T100 Dreaming was funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, Arts Council England, Active Essex and Thurrock council with additional contributions for creative elements from the Port of Tilbury, Thameside Theatre and Riverside Community. The impactful project with Tilbury youth ‘Tilbury is the Place for Me’ was part of Shout Out Loud, English Heritage’s national youth engagement programme and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Kick the Dust strand.