Wee Autumn Festival 2008: Review

posted 25 Nov 2008, 04:39 by alex@southedinburgh.net   [ updated 27 Nov 2008, 10:00 by South Edinburgh Net Admin ]
by Pauline Fordyce Community Learning & Development Worker

It’s fair to say that Wee Autumn Festival 2008 was a great success, thanks to the local people who came out to support the programme.
The festival is now in its third year and has grown from strength to strength by involving more people than ever, in the planning, preparation and participation during the events.
The festival also provides a platform to showcase local talent and skills and encourages people of all ages to join in the South Edinburgh community arts celebration.
A total of 869 people were involved in the full programme, which included three weeks of preparation workshops in lantern making, sculpture, circus and drumming. The main festival programme ran over four fun-packed days and started on Thursday 30 October and finished on the evening of Sunday 2 November with a spectacular lantern parade.
The autumnal weather was crisp and dry and around 150 people came out to celebrate their community by participating in this year’s lantern parade, which included 85 hand-made lanterns produced by local families, young people and adults. The parade included circus performers, story tellers, shadow puppets and the fantastic Gracemount High School Samba Band fronted the parade which trailed through Gilmerton village and finished off in Gilmerton community garden where the Gilmerton Singers performed on stage lit by the lanterns. To top off the evening Gracemount High School Concert Wind band performed a fundraising concert for the Ogwini School in South Africa.
There was some thing for all ages and interests and most events were totally free. Local people had the chance to participate in 17 exciting arts and cultural activities, which ranged from local history tours and presentations, a T dance and ceilidh dance, live music, art exhibitions, a youth rock night, an animation workshop, puppet shows, story- telling, arts and crafts and a lantern parade. The programme was staged throughout a range of community venues and outdoor locations, bringing the arts directly into the heart of the communities of Gilmerton, Inch, Moredun, Gracemount, Burdiehouse, Southhouse and Liberton areas.
The festival received funding support from the Liberton Gilmerton Partnership, the Scottish Community Foundation, and The National Lottery Awards for All. However the main achievement and success of the festival relied on the good will, partnership work and a shared vision of creating the opportunity to bringing people together to celebrate their community.
 The festival programme was supported by numerous local community groups, individuals and organisations: CEC Libraries, Gracemount High School staff and students, Liberton High School, Gilmerton New Church, The Base, Napier University, Gilmerton CC, Inch CC, Goodtrees NC, Burdiehouse/Southhouse CC staff and management committees, Lothian & Borders Police, The Echo. Credit must also go to the Art South Edinburgh management committee and WAF planning group who gave their time, energy and talents in pulled together to make the festival happen.