Brockley Max 2016: Opening Night

Art in the Park, Hilly Fields
Brockley Max 2016 has just kicked off with its traditional opening night party outside Brockley Station.

Tonight's event goes on until 10.30pm and will feature SE Dub Collective, Ras Keith & The Vibration – Live Vocallective, Nocturne, Yasu, Peppermint, Paper Fish, Los Domingos, Ailsa Tully, The True Believers, Leila McNeelance, Creekside, Jay Johnson, and the Hummy Mummies choir. It will be hosted by MC Dre and produced by Ben and Richard Swan.

For the next nine days, local pubs and cafes will be packed with musicians, and parks will be littered with craft activities until everything collides into the Art in the Park closing party in Hilly Fields on June 4th.

To download the programme click here.

Under-11s Fun Fair, Hilly Fields

Free drawing classes and portrait sessions at PLACE / Ladywell

PLACE/Ladywell (261 Lewisham High Street) - the new pop-up housing development-cum-creative enterprise hub - is inviting residents to drop in to have their portraits drawn and attend free drawing workshops by Lewisham-born artist, Emi Ali.

You can find the dates of the sessions at Ali's website here.

The workshops are part of a season-long effort to include the Lewisham community in the grand opening of PLACE/Ladywell, early July.

PLACE/Ladywell’s ground floor will host the enterprise hub: offices and shops for creative
professionals, services and start-ups with residential units above. The office spaces and boutiques
will be filled by hand-picked painters, sculptors and designer/makers.

PLACE/Ladywell’s cafe and screening rooms are set to offer the local community and people from further afield a creative place to meet, eat and shop.

Greenseers

“No one truly knows, Bran. The children are gone from the world, and their wisdom with them. It had to do with the faces in the trees, we think."
- Master Luwin, Game of Thrones

These mysterious drawings, flyposted on a brick pillar on Manor Avenue have generated much excitement among the BCers who've seen them.
Is this a plan for a community garden idyll? Or just idle fancy. No-one knows and there are no more details to be found.

If you're involved with this project(?) please let us know what's happening. Thanks to Dianne for the photo.

Save Deptford Cinema

The Deptford Cinema is a community space on Deptford Broadway that is now under threat and needs your support to get the Council to provide business rate relief.

Campaigner Sam writes:

About two years ago, I saw a post on the Brockley Central blog advertising a new community project. Lewisham was one of only two London boroughs with no cinema at all and Deptford Cinema was a not-for-profit community project looking to rectify this and it needed volunteers to make it happen.

Deptford Cinema aims to provide affordable access to cinema and the arts for the people of Lewisham. Anybody is free to get involved in whatever capacity they want. The project took a building on Deptford Broadway that had been empty for 20 years and has turned it into a thriving arts venue in Lewisham.

The cinema is incorporated as a Community Interest Company (CIC), a type of company designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for public good. Despite this, Lewisham Council treat our community project - run by local volunteers - exactly the same as a company designed purely for profit. As a result, the Council are applying an unpayable business rates bill to the cinema. Some boroughs give relief to CICs; Lewisham Council does not.

Over the last 6-9 months, we have been in constant communication with Lewisham Council to alleviate this problem via the proper channels of relief, whether it be small business relief or hardship relief, both of which we believe to apply to us. Lewisham Council disagrees.

Lewisham Council advised us to become a charity to automatically get the 80% rates relief applicable to charities. This wasn't immediately undertaken due to various factors, such as the ongoing relief applications, third-party advice that CIC was the correct form for the organisation and support from Steve Bullock, the Mayor of Lewisham, who, over this period, has twice stepped in to support the cinema - by putting a 6 month hold on Deptford Cinema's rates status.

When all our relief applications had failed, with no solid explanation why, and apparently, with no appeal process available, converting to a charity became our only option, one that would reduce future rates by 80% but would not solve the unfair and unpayable historical bill.

Then we received a letter, the best letter we could hope for, from the Business Rates Manager at Lewisham Council. If we converted to a charity, the council would retroactively apply the statutory 80% charity relief to our existing account.

Great right?

But then the Council told us that the letter was a mistake and they would not be honouring this promise. Back to square one...

But worse: the Council wants Deptford Cinema to pay the outstanding business rates (£5,400) over three months and the rates for 2016/2017 in one payment (£6,897). Both of which will bankrupt and destroy a community asset.

We are now faced with a deadline for payment, after which the Council will send round the bailiffs and destroy a project run by the community in Lewisham, for the community in Lewisham. A community you would hope the council sees themselves as part of and representative of.

We want Lewisham Council to honour their promise of retroactively applying the 80% statutory charity relief to Deptford Cinema when the transition to a charity is complete in the next month or so.

Please support us by clicking here to sign our petition.

Brockley Max 2016: Story Sessions - Asylum

Saturday 28th May 3.30pm in St Hilda’s Church, Courtrai Road Crofton Park SE23 1PL

Asylum – stories and poems and music around the concept of safety/sanctuary or the need for it. This is partly to showcase the Refugees Welcome anthology (not published by us, raising funds for Red Cross Refugee work) and will include stories from the book. Stories will be read by a mixture of authors and actors – where the author’s name is in bold, they are reading.

Refreshments avilable from 3pm. (if you have the stamina there’s a singing workshop with Various Voices on the same theme at 6:45 in the undercroft.)

The line up:

- Music & story from Matthew Crampton from his book & show – Human Cargo
- Story Mouse by David Mathews, which is featured in last year’s Solstice Shorts and will be in the forthcoming anthology Shortest Day, Longest Night Read by Alix Adams
- Story Queues from Cherry Potts, from the Refugees Welcome anthology
- Story This England by Oscar Windsor-Smith from the Refugees Welcome anthology Read by Alix Adams
- Poems  Roots and Jail Break by Kate Foley* read by Katy Darby
- Story Etymology of Happiness by Jane Roberts from the Refugees Welcome anthology read by Katy Darby

Brockley Max 2016: Max at The Talbot

Brockley Central Label Cloud