• lewishamlive

Alex looks down at the camera smiling, with a brown, flannel button-down shirt and short brown hair styled in a comb over. Alex stands in front of a yellow shopfront with graffiti on the shutters.

Hi. I’m Alex, the Marketing and Admin Intern for the Lewisham Live Festival 2021 at Lewisham Education Arts Network (LEAN). If you’ve seen anything on this blog or the Lewisham Live Festival’s social media profiles since March (including our new TikTok account!), it’s probably been published by me. Today is my last day as intern and I want to share my experience with you.

2021, like 2020, has been an exceptional year for everyone and the Lewisham Live Festival was no exception. Unlike last year, we knew it would be unusual from the outset. When I interviewed for this internship, I reflected on how to shout about the festival with our online audience, when everything was happening behind closed doors or virtually. It forced me to be imaginative, especially when some events had nothing we could share. Not a photo, a video, a quote.

Rapper Kenny Baraka holding his hand to his ear as if straining to hear, set against a teal background. HIs name and the word "Rap Challenge" are in bold black font with the Lewisham Live logo in the bottom right corner.

Without much content for our online audience to engage with, I created it myself. One of the projects I’m most proud of was the Kenny Baraka Rap Challenge. Kenny worked with Lewisham Music on some online events for the Lewisham Live Festival. As an offshoot, we asked Kenny to record a video of a rap he wrote especially for the challenge about the talented young creatives in Lewisham. Then we invited our online audience to respond with their own verses in a TikTok-style duet video. We didn’t get many responses, but it was such a valuable experience producing a project myself. From the inception, planning, designing and marketing to the launch.

Abbreviated name for the Lewisham Creative Youth Council, outline of the letters LCYC arranged in a square, underlined against a dark background

The new Lewisham Creative Youth Council (LCYC) was another project I helped produce with the festival coordinator, Nat. I designed the marketing materials, reached out to partners for recruitment, advertised for sign-ups and ran the sessions with Nat. I was thrilled to be involved because I have long been an advocate for youth voice in my past roles and it felt like Nat and I were on the same page with the ‘manifesto’ behind LCYC. I thought that recruiting participants for both LCYC and the Kenny Baraka Rap Challenge would be easy for an organisation with a big local presence. I was wrong! Still, it gives me hope that we got more attendees at each LCYC session. I would love to continue my involvement with it in the future. It’s my baby!

This internship has been the first job in which I am set open-ended tasks to do within defined working hours. As a guitar teacher, I had a strict hour-by-hour timetable to work within and as a freelance musician, I choose my own tasks and working hours. It’s been helpful practice to prioritise my workload and to know what ‘good enough’ is (I hope you agree Nat!). I’ve always worked in the Arts sector but during this internship I’ve gleaned an insight into how arts charities are run, get funding and how they engage with partners.

I’ll miss working with the team at LEAN, even though I have still not met any of them in person due to everyone working remotely! I appreciated the team’s unfailing support, their trust in me to work independently and how they clearly valued my contributions, even to projects beyond my remit. The experience gained in this internship played a big part in getting my new job as the Marketing and Communications Manager at Fun Palaces. My soon-to-be bosses don’t stop talking about what a glowing reference Nat gave me! Whilst I’m sad to leave, the Fun Palaces and LEAN offices are luckily both based at The Albany, so there’s no doubt I will regularly pop in for a chat.

  • lewishamlive

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

It's here! Watch MiniWinterreise below, introduced by Lucy Drever, featuring performers from Beecroft Garden, Prendergast Ladywell and St Stephen's CE schools, with pianist Jocelyn Brown of Song Easel, singer Francesca Chiejina.

More about MiniWinterreise

Winterreise (German for Winter Journey) is a collection of songs written by composer Franz Schubert, based on poems by Wilhelm Müller. Performed by a singer and pianist, the songs take the listener on a Winter's journey: from the darkness of the longest night to the beauty of frozen nature and the hopes of Spring.

Starting during the UK's lockdown in early 2021, pianist Jocelyn Freeman of SongEasel and soprano singer Francesca Chiejina brought the music of Winterreise to primary schools in Lewisham. The school pupils explored the music in workshops both online and in-person, presenting their own responses to the work through photography, dance, drawing, song, composition and poetry. They were struck how the subject of moving through the Winter months had parallels with the journey through the lockdowns we have all experienced this year.

Students from Beecroft Garden, Prendergast Ladywell and St Stephen’s schools took part in the project, culminating in a short performance of the songs from Winterreise, translated from German to English.

“I’d never felt anything like that, I felt sad and happy and so many emotions”

Predergast Ladywell Student

I set out to share my love of Schubert’s Lieder [songs] with young people in Lewisham. Only in my wildest dreams did I imagine this project would see 130 children singing Schubert with such commitment and enthusiasm. The future of music is bright!

Jocelyn Freeman, co-founder and director of SongEasel

Click here to Jocelyn Friedman and Francesca Chiejina perform Winterreise on IDAGIO.

Singer Francesca Chiejina. Photo credit Nick Rutter

  • lewishamlive

Are you an aspiring young rapper or lyricist? Think you can trade bars with Lewisham rap legend Kenny Baraka?

Kenny has written and filmed a rap especially for the Lewisham Live Festival 2021. His rap is inspired by the young people of Lewisham, and we’d love you to get involved!

Click here to duet with Kenny on TikTok, or for other ways to join the challenge

go here.

Kenny’s rap is a call and response – we want you to write and perform the response! Your verses can be about any subject - you can write something new, showcase your old material or spit your favourite rapper’s bars.

This collaborative rap relies on you and your talent! We want to hear your brilliant ideas and artistry. We will share our favourite video responses side-by-side with Kenny’s original rap on our social media profiles, with your permission. Kenny and the Lewisham Live team can’t wait to see your work!

TikTok users can duet with Kenny here. For other ways to join the challenge,

click here.

If you have any questions or would like some help with the rap challenge, email Alex at intern@leanarts.org.uk