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If there’s WIILMA there’s a way

The director of a local charity on how it’s planning to make Christmas special this year This Christmas, Leyton-based charity WIILMA is dedicating […]By Waltham Forest Echo

WIILMA is run largely by volunteers
WIILMA is run largely by volunteers

The director of a local charity on how it’s planning to make Christmas special this year

This Christmas, Leyton-based charity WIILMA is dedicating itself to hosting, entertaining and catering for those vulnerable and isolated people living in our community – in new and exciting ways.

Following a hugely successful Christmas campaign in 2019, we are once again focusing on engaging and supporting the local community, and beyond, through a series of digital activations in the lead up to Christmas.

Throughout the year, WIILMA brings together skilled volunteers in the arts and creative industries with community members across all ages, ethnicities, abilities and backgrounds, to help grow their creative skills, interests, and build a welcoming hub for anyone who needs it.

This Christmas, a team of volunteers at WIILMA is curating two activities through which they intend to engage and entertain those who may not have the Christmas they envisioned this year.

Firstly, we are calling upon artists of all ages, abilities and mediums to use their lockdown time to create a piece of art that is true to them, using one of three themes. The artwork can be of a favourite figure from black history (harking back to the spirit and ethos of WIILMA and African American athlete Wilma Rudolph), inspired by the traditions and aesthetics of a cultural heritage that interests the artist, or it can be a quotation that has inspired the artist through a difficult 2020.


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Once submitted, all entries will be seen by a panel of judges, who will whittle them down to be displayed as an exhibition at Leyton and Leytonstone libraries, available to view in person and online from Sunday 20th December. A winning piece will be selected by the judges and the public, to be displayed at public art exhibitions across Waltham Forest libraries in 2021.

Secondly, WIILMA is producing an online Christmas concert available for anyone to enjoy via YouTube (@wiilmamusicarts) or Facebook (/wiilma.org) on Christmas Day from 4pm. We have partnered with local food distribution charity, the Hornbeam Centre, to feed people.

The WIILMA Christmas Online Concert will see vocalists performing live, world-class international music moments, a dance performance, a special tribute to George Michael, plus Victorian Music Hall songs – all accompanied by a delicious festive meal for anyone who requests it.

Plus, for every person that logs on to our YouTube channel or Facebook on Christmas Day to watch the show, we will receive £1 from donors who are sponsoring us – so the more who log on the more we can fund our work with vulnerable and isolated people.

For more information about submitting artworks, watching the Christmas concert, or receiving a meal: Email [email protected]ma.org Visit wiilma.org


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