Global Streets: Arts Council England 3 year funding

Building on our Global Streets pilot in 2015, we’re delighted to have been successful in our bid to the Arts Council’s Strategic Touring programme to run a three year touring programme of audience development work through international outdoor arts.Thanks to this fantastic support, high quality productions from leading international companies will tour to 10 venues across the country, connecting the performances to the diverse demography in each location.

'The Colour of Time' by Artonik in association with East London Dance. Photo by Doug Southall. Part of Global Streets 2015

‘The Colour of Time’ by Artonik in association with East London Dance. Photo by Doug Southall. Part of Global Streets 2015

The Strategic Touring programme aims to give people better access to high quality arts experiences across the country, targeting places with low levels of art engagement, so this new funding is fantastic news and ensures that GDIF’s work can now reach out to towns and cities such as Birmingham, Doncaster and Hull.

Tangle by Polyglot. Photo by Stu Mayhew. Part of Global Streets 2015.

Tangle by Polyglot. Photo by Stu Mayhew. Part of Global Streets 2015.

In the announcement earlier this week, Joyce Wilson, London Area Director at Arts Council England, said: “GDIF aspires to address gaps in the provision of quality outdoor arts in places of low engagement. Its extraordinary ambition is matched by the highly reputable international companies involved, whose diverse offerings promise innovation and engagement for audiences across England.”

Click here to download a report on our Global Streets 2015 Pilot Project

We’ll be launching a new website for Global Streets shortly, so watch this space for more news!

Global Streets 2015 Pilot Project from GDIF on Vimeo.

See more photos from Global Street performances Tangle and The Colour of Time.


GDIF’s Artistic Director honoured with MBE

GDIF’s Artistic Director Bradley Hemmings has been awarded an MBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours List for services to Culture and Disability Arts, particularly in London.

Bradley has led Greenwich+Docklands International Festival since it first took place in 1996. Under Bradley’s direction GDIF has broken new ground in outdoor arts, commissioning, producing and presenting work by a wide range of UK and international artists. Described in The Guardian as “an event whose annual contribution to the happiness of the people of London is unrivalled” GDIF is now widely recognised as one of the leading outdoor arts festivals in the country, attracting over 100,000 people each year. Bradley has also played a key role in developing new outdoor work with Deaf and disabled artists and in addition to the annual Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, has produced the Mayor of London’s Liberty festival since its inception in 2003, which has included the last three years, in which this major disability arts festival has joined forces with National Paralympic Day.

In 2012 Bradley was Co-Artistic Director for the Opening Ceremony of London 2012 Paralympic Games, watched by 11.5 million viewers in the UK (Channel 4’s largest ever audience) and widely credited with helping to challenge and change perception of disability. He has gone on to direct the inaugural Paralympic Heritage Flame Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville Stadium and the Opening Ceremony to the Great North Run’s One Millionth Finish in NewcastleGateshead. He is a founder member of the Without Walls consortium of outdoor arts festivals and is a member of the London Area Council of the Arts Council.

Bradley said “I’m so delighted by this wonderful recognition. It’s also a fantastic boost for the Festival as we go into our 21st birthday year and I’m enormously grateful to all the artists, audiences, staff, funders and my incredible Board, who have helped, in the words of Lyn Gardner, make GDIF the “annual miracle” that it has become.”

GDIF Celebrates 21 Years

GDIF - without year on blackeditThis year Greenwich+Docklands International Festival celebrates its 21st birthday!

We’ve seen massive transformations over the years, particularly in the way in which the appreciation of outdoor arts and the European style enjoyment of outdoor spaces has become part of the fabric of our lives. The Festival has been very much part of this story.


GDIF Festival Programmes 1996 & 1997

The opening night of the very first GDIF back in 1996 blazed a trail for the soon to be completed DLR extension under the Thames, by presenting a cross river event in Cutty Sark Gardens and Island Gardens. In the following year, the last Commander of the Royal Naval College, the late and much missed, Jonathan Maughan, gave permission for us to open the gates at the RNC to an outdoor dance programme from Barcelona, which saw audiences amazed as they wandered into the stunning Queen Mary and King William courtyards which had been shut off to the public for three hundred years.

GDIF Festival Programme 1999

GDIF Festival Programme 1999

In our early days, an annual youth arts apprenticeship scheme called Gallery 37, took over Dial Arch Square in the Royal Arsenal offering 100 young people paid Summer jobs in the arts. Then there was “Take me to the River”, which took audiences by boat from the Painted Hall in Greenwich via Canary Wharf to the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, (a destination site now forever associated with outdoor conviviality and festivity).

 Les Girafes by La Compagnie Off, GDIF2003

Les Girafes by La Compagnie Off, GDIF2003

And of course, who could forget the very first sighting of Compagnie Off’s crimson giraffes, crossing the Green Bridge at Mile End Park or more recently, the experience of encountering Rara Woulib’s cast of Haitian ghosts and musicians dancing across the Halfpenny Hatch across Deptford Creek?

Deblozay by Rara Woulib, GDIF2014, Photo by Steve Eggleton

Deblozay by Rara Woulib, GDIF2014, Photo by Steve Eggleton

As we prepare for this year’s Festival, we’ll be celebrating the last 21 years, and so if you would like to send a birthday message or have a particularly vivid memory or picture of a past GDIF event that you’d like to share please do so at #GDIF