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Official launch of the inaugural Richmond Arts & Ideas Festival

Richmond Arts Service is delighted to invite you to the official launch of the inaugural Richmond Arts & Ideas Festival (16th June - 2nd July), on Friday 16th June from 5.30pm at the Landmark Arts Centre. This festival is a borough-wide creative celebration bringing Richmond communities together through dance, music, exhibitions, theatre, and conversation.

The theme for 2023 is Together & Change, welcoming residents and visitors to meet new ideas and people as we consider a fresh look at our world, our lives and how things might change. This is a chance to engage with cutting-edge artwork, family friendly events, and discussion panels whilst collectively contemplating our shared future.

Art and science collaborate repeatedly this summer, amplifying messages of warning and hope. Combination Dance and the National Physical Laboratory come together ahead of the festival to teach, perform, and discuss treatment and care during Science Meets the Arts through dance workshops. Luke Jerram’s monumental installation, Gaia, featuring high-resolution NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface and a surround sound composition by BAFTA award-winning composer, Dan Jones, leaves audiences in awe of the fragility and beauty of our home planet. Out of the Deep Blue, a story of Eko, a sea giant who rises from the deep ocean, uses magical storytelling to bring environmental sustainability into focus for families and festival goers.

Storytelling arrives in thought-provoking and imaginative forms straight from the festival’s opening performance, The Chosen Haram. This award-winning show is a unique and complex take on circus, demonstrating extraordinary movement with gravity-defying tricks, while tackling the intersections of sexuality, faith, addiction, and connection. 

Audiences can also take to the skies as Marie Klimis’ I am Bird will be flying around libraries, taking visitors on an immersive experience while following the extraordinary and everyday story of a young bird migrating from West Africa to the UK through a miniature paper world. Hear directly from creatives themselves, through multiple talks and performances such as acclaimed author Paterson Joseph sharing secrets from the writing desk.

There are also several days of celebrating international cuisine with FEAST highlighting the role of food in breaking down barriers to belonging for refugees who are making their home in a new country. St Mary’s University, in collaboration with The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network, will host a street food market run by refugees to the UK. Their stories will then be told at an evening event in the beautiful surroundings of the University through music, art and the spoken word. And the next day, we meet to explore everything Twickenham has to offer as part of A Taste of Twickenham tasting trail, featuring tasting portions from local vendors, 11 pop up venues, music and performances to keep you entertained all day long!

As Richmond Arts & Ideas Festival hosts around 70 events this summer, there is a wealth of opportunities to come together and envision change.

Please do join us on Friday 16th June for welcome drinks, music, and a first look at Luke Jerram’s Gaia at the Landmark Arts Centre, from 5.30pm RSVP here: 

Guests are then invited to The Exchange for the festival’s opening performance, The Chosen Haram. Book your ticket here: 

Richmond Arts & Ideas Festival will continue until Sunday 2nd July, with a variety of free and ticketed events for all audiences.

Richmond Arts & Ideas Festival launch

Date: Friday 16th June

Time: 5.30pm onwards

Location: Landmark Arts Centre

Ferry Road, 


TW11 9NN

The Chosen Haram

Date: Friday 16th June

Time: 7.30pm (please arrive by 7pm)

Location: The Exchange 

75 London RoadTwickenhamTW1 1BE

Some other festival highlights are:

Talks and performances at OSO Arts Centre including a conversation with Safraz Manzoor - co-writer of Blinded by the Light which was an adaptation of his original memoir Greetings from Bury Park. 

Popcorn Children’s Festival and workshop - A safe place to explore all things fun, engaging and inspirational, promoting positive screen-time for children aged 4-11 years. Five different tents filled with extra curricular classes for any child anywhere to find their passion. Discover culinary delights in the Food Stall, brush up your performance skills in the Circus Tent, find your zen in the Wellness Retreat, create wonders in Art Attack, and finally relax with a story in the Literacy Hub.

How to Build a Universe - a local dance and picnic in the park event to be held in Murray Park on Sunday 2nd July. Family-friendly and inclusive, community groups will be invited to share their dances with the audience, culminating with  international award-winning choreographer, Jamaal Burkmar and dancers from Leeds, London and Norway performing a creative piece of improvisation. 

A programme of performances at The Exchange Twickenham including Ayra - a celebration of women through Nu Soul with elements of jazz.

Drawing Matters 4 All – a 3D drawing workshop for children of all ages at Whitton Community Centre. 

Browse the full festival programme here: 

Find Richmond Arts & Ideas Festival on Twitter and Instagram:@richmondartsandideas@richmondideas 

Editors Notes  

For interviews, high resolution images and further information please contact:   

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