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A unique collaboration between puppet theatre company Box Tale Soup, Music Action International and refugee music collective Stone Flowers comes to Rich Mix on Sunday  24 September, 5pm.Gone is a remarkable tale of resilience in a fantastical world, told with beautiful handmade puppetry, physical theatre and poetry, inspired by the writing, experiences and true stories of refugee collective Stone Flowers, interwoven with their vivid, atmospheric score. This is a fictional fantasy about the realities of hope and survival. Here Alice (Music Action International) talks to Anahita* a refugee torture survivor who sought safety in the UK and joined Stone Flowers in 2013.What can you tell us about Stone Flowers? How has the music collective impacted on your life in the UK?I've always been fascinated by music but when I first arrived in the UK, I did not think about music at all. I felt like I was drowning and struggling with the difficulties of my life. I was introduced to Stone Flowers in March 2013 and after couple of sessions a miracle happened; Stone Flowers was pulling me out from the dark world that was surrounding me and, session by session, my world was getting brighter.Stone Flowers have developed and performed Gone in partnership with Box Tale Soup. Can you briefly describe how the show was developed and what you think the most interesting aspect of this unique collaboration is?It started with the true story of Stone Flowers members’ journeys from the beginning (fleeing their home country) to the end (arriving in the UK), and what they have gone through during this journey. Every one of us has a story that sounds hard to believe when it is told and you think it is a tale, but it's not!We shared and wrote our story and Box Tale Soup developed it into a play with their handmade puppets. Stone Flowers wrote their songs, poems and music with Music Action International. Then we all put everything together and the result was fantastic! When we practised the whole show for the first time, I couldn't stop crying because the show was alive: it has our souls.Why would you encourage someone to come and see Gone? What do you think is its most important message?Gone gives the audience a clearer idea about refugees and helps them to understand the true story of a refugee's life and why they come to the UK. We come here to seek peace, which is one of the first requirements of humanity, and which has been taken from us in so many different ways.What does the future hold for Stone Flowers? What do you think is the most important thing someone can do to support refugees?Stone Flowers has been a big support for all of us, helping us to cope with the difficult times we've had. We all hope that we can develop our shows and activities with Stone Flowers to continue to raise awareness about refugees.By supporting organisations that work with refugees and help them in different ways, like Music Action International, people can show their support for refugees across the world. Trying to understand the truth about their life rather than judging them without enough knowledge is also very important. Gone gives you really important knowledge about that truth.The 1-hour show will be followed by a short Q+A session with members of Music Action International, Stone Flowers and Box Tale Soup.*Name has been changed
In this issue we find out more about our Programming Coordinator, Natasha Clark...In the role of Programming Coordinator, once the Artistic Director has curated the programme she organises the nuts and bolts of the events and makes sure Rich Mix deliver the artistic vision, within the capabilities of our building. This can mean a lot of running around, admin and coming up with creative and practical solutions to artists requests.Natasha studied Arabic and French BA at Leeds University, and as part of this lived in Alexandria, Egypt for a year during 2011/2012, just after the revolution. · How long have you been part of the Rich Mix team? 2 years. · What is your favourite thing about working at Rich Mix? The every day variety of it! One of the less obvious reasons why I love working at Rich Mix, is that I have fallen upon so many amazing rehearsals – operettas, Syrian Music Ensemble, big bands – during my lunch break. Not many other people can say they got to listen to live music whilst eating a sandwich, at work! · What surprises you most about working at Rich Mix? The stories and questions artists pose in so many different ways. · How did you end up working in the arts? I studied languages and wanted to find out more about different cultures, beyond grammar, so I delved into the arts. · What do you like doing in your spare time? I’m a dancer, so dancing, eating up new cultures (not just food!), and studying Arabic. · Who inspires you? My mum. · Describe Rich Mix in five words. Open, eclectic, affordable, educative, determined. · How do you pass the time on your commute? I’m a cyclist, so avoiding lorries and buses, or if on the tube, I’m nearly always reading a book.  
Road Gals LDN is making waves in the arts scene with their strong ethos of celebrating road gal culture, UK music and focusing on promoting and amplifying women’s voices.Following a week-long residency at Rich Mix, they presented PIRATES LIVE, an exciting showcase of emerging artists and musicians. I sat down with the founders of Road Gals LDN, Jasmine Kahlia and Abondance Matanda, to talk all things pirate radio and road gal culture...On Road Gal Culture:AM: We’re talking about the narratives and life experiences of different working class girls from inner city areas of any race but particularly focusing on black girls. And looking through the lens of grime and hip hop culture and the way we extract narratives through music.Road Gals LDN and what it means to be a women-a key theme of this year’s TAKEOVER festival:JK: So we’ve got an all female DJ line up and basically our ethos is to bring forward female faces and voices within UK music subcultures. We basically want to just amplify the voices and experiences of people, especially people that identify as women and non-binary, which want to express what they know through their art forms and through PIRATES LIVE.AM: And we are sort of rewriting history…we did a workshop yesterday and one of the girls said that there aren’t many female MCs from Britain and that’s not true! So we’re just letting people know that women have been about and they have been making music so there is kind of a historical perspective so that people can understand that they are part of a legacy and part of a story.On the women that have inspired PIRATES LIVE and Road Gals LDN as a whole:AM: One of the main ones is Shystie because of her TV series for Channel 4, Dubplate Drama. And we have been using it as a resource in our workshops just to introduce people to pirate radio culture but through a lens of outsiders because Shystie’s character is trying to find her way into that culture. Even through her acting we trying show how women are capable of more than one thing as she even influenced the writing of that show as well. I’ve been listening to her music and have also been inspired by the likes of NoLay, Ms. Dynamite, Lioness.JK: yeah definitely!AM: What’s sick about them is that they are still relevant now!On their previous events at Rich Mix:JK: This is the fourth event that I’ve done at Rich Mix! It was a year ago that I did my first event, which was completely different artistically! Each time I’ve done an event it’s always been something specific that has had a different theme.The first event was with Video VEXens that was called ‘Interface • ty’ which was about women and online media and being able to control your personal façade with your social media façade. And after that I did Road Gals LDN with Abondance! We’ve known each other for a year and a half now so it was really good to collaborate on that and from there we’ve kind of developed a whole body of work as well which is really cool!AM: The response from that event was really strong and people felt that what we were doing was necessary. And we love what we do and we do it regardless but it was nice to see that there is a demand and Rich Mix seems to be the place that supports our growth and there is not a lot of arts venues doing that and I think that’s what keeps us willing and happy to work here!JK: A lot of the creative work that we’ve made over the past year, with all the resources that the Rich Mix has offered us and supported us with, has been so important for our development as young artists.On this weeks residency at Rich Mix:JK: We’ve been doing a lot! It’s been really great to have the residency here at Rich Mix so that the resident artists are already comfortable in the space and they know what’s going to happen in the day and how to visual it so it’s been really important! To be here for the residency and have everyone break off into their own spaces and come up with work designed for this space has been really exciting.AM: On Monday everyone got given 35mm film camera and went around taking pictures as we are looking at pirate radio and grime music which was pretty much born in this area so that’s why Rich Mix has been important as well as it is in an area relevant to what we are looking at! And just getting people used to controlling their media that they are consuming and producing which is what pirate radio is all about.  And we’ve been having workshops looking at Dubplate Drama and discussing the role of women in the culture.JK: During the residency our aims have been to learn from each other and with each other about pirate radio and also each other’s art forms as we have a range of different types of artists. We have some connection to music. The event will also be British Sign Language (BSL) signed as for us it’s about looking at how we can translate music for people who might access music in different ways!Find out more:piratesliveldn.tumblr.com / @kaislegrai / @abondance_ / @videovexensPhoto credit: Jasmine Kahlia/Road Gals LDNWritten by Ayan Mohamed, August 2017.
The Artist behind our recognisable imagery for TAKEOVER festival, Ellis Lewis-Dragstra, has curated an exhibition of artists whom have not necessarily exhibited before. Taking to Instagram to find undiscovered young artists, he has pulled together an honest, fresh and unpretentious exhibition that really focuses on the most important thing - the artists behind the work - in a no frills kind of way. The exhibition is free and available to visit throughout the duration of TAKEOVER festival in the Lower Café Gallery.Sixteen year old Ibtihaaj Mohamoud describes herself on Instagram as a ‘hobbyist artist’, with her handle being @not.banksy. I can confirm that she is not Banksy, and nor does she possess any stylistic qualities reminiscent of the infamous artist.Browsing her Instagram account, I am astounded to realise that her work was created digitally. In a Hockney iPad Art technique, she has depicted this portrait in a truly 21st century fashion. This simple image is eye catching as soon as you enter the room, due to the subtle peach background that glows against the gallery wall. This graphic image brings beauty to Vitiligo, and the depth of colour creates spherical dimensions and accentuates the contours of the face. Lying next to this beautiful depiction of a woman are Ibtihaaj’s humble business cards, covered in a wash of watercolour, they remind me of the importance of having the opportunity to present your work and climb the first peak in displaying your work to an audience, always knowing there will be judgment along the way.    The By Artist Gallery, Showing until 30th August @ Lower Café Gallery, Rich Mix London. Check out the other blogs in the IN THE GALLERY series - Bulldog Clips / Illustrative Intent Written by Kaia Goodenough, July 2017
The Artist behind our recognisable imagery for TAKEOVER festival, Ellis Lewis-Dragstra, has curated an exhibition of artists whom have not necessarily exhibited before. Taking to Instagram to find undiscovered young artists, he has pulled together an honest, fresh and unpretentious exhibition that really focuses on the most important thing - the artists behind the work - in a no frills kind of way. The exhibition is free and available to visit throughout the duration of TAKEOVER festival in the Lower Café Gallery.Exhibition curator Ellis Lewis-Dragstra presents a collection of illustrations in his recognisable style, also featured in the Takeover imagery. Ellis’ work shows influences from African art and Pop Art, infused with a linear graphic design drawing style. These mixed media pieces confront issues within our society today head on. The poetic descriptions aid the context and emotional intent behind each pair of eyes.‘Can you share the secret of humble tranquillity with man kind…’The Duality of Sexism explores the contradictions within our society, and how females are often shamed for their sexuality yet exploited for it in the same breath. Ironically, a collage of Page 3 models drape over the naked torso of the woman depicted. This work tackles the tricky transition that young women face when growing up - we are stereotyped to be feminine and sexual which is not a problem at all, however it becomes a mine field of paradoxes when penalised for being overly sexual and also for not being womanly enough. Through the media we are encouraged to be viewed as ‘sexy’, yet this can quickly switch to being viewed as inappropriate and ‘slut’-like. Girls themselves are not innocent in coming to these conclusions, however, together we can eradicate these stereotypes and encourage females to find their own voice, and not have the burden of being shamed for one’s sexuality.The By Artist Gallery, Showing until 30th August @ Lower Café Gallery, Rich Mix London. Check out the other blogs in the IN THE GALLERY series - Bulldog Clips / Not.Banksy Written by Kaia Goodenough, July 2017
The Artist behind our recognisable imagery for TAKEOVER festival, Ellis Lewis-Dragstra, has curated an exhibition of artists whom have not necessarily exhibited before. Taking to Instagram to find undiscovered young artists, he has pulled together an honest, fresh and unpretentious exhibition that really focuses on the most important thing - the artists behind the work - in a no frills kind of way. The exhibition is free, and available to visit throughout the duration of TAKEOVER festival in the Lower Café Gallery.In a Wolfgang Tillmans-esque style, artist Nazy Raouf, whom curator Ellis went to university with, presents a pink infused Sahara toned collection of photographs. Instantly my eye was drawn to this cohesive collection of photographs that emit her clear photographic style. With a photo journalistic essence, Raouf depicts the children of the Kurdish People exemplifying the sensitivity and joy that children can bring during social and economic distress. Her soft focus and subtle washed out tones convey a calm maternal feeling and allow the background to be foreshadowed by the children featured. Recognising the humanity in these children, they breath fresh air into a struggling society. In our current political climate it is important for us to remember to find the beauty in every situation and celebrate happiness in the hardest of times, and these children exemplify this feeling.The highlight photograph of this collection, Minali Bashur (Children of the South), 2016, is of a small girl in a tulle party dress audaciously looking into the camera surrounded by disregarded pink shoes. This image could change background a thousand times and still be reminiscent of our childhoods, wanting to wear your favourite party dress every day and trying on all the shoes in sight. Escapism is always prevalent in times of distress, and this image instantly brings me joy on a dark rainy day in London. It reminds us that there are much worse situations happening around the world, but if this little girl can find happiness in her day then we can also find at least a fragment of joy on our darkest days.The By Artist Gallery, Showing until 30th August @ Lower Café Gallery, Rich Mix London. Check out the other blogs in the IN THE GALLERY series - Illustrative Intent / Not.BanksyWritten by Kaia Goodenough, July 2017
This month we get to know Matt Whayman our Visitor Services Manager.Matt is a lifelong fan of live performance and is also a theatre producer. You can guarentee a warm welcome and a smile from Matt and his enthusiasm and passion for all things Rich Mix really shines through.Previously, Matt has worked all over the world as airline crew, in retail, and for several London based arts organisations so has a rich and varied Customer Service background. What is your favourite thing about working at Rich Mix?Talking to people in my team, who each have special interests or talents in the full breadth of the arts. What surprises you most about working at Rich Mix?Hearing about what some of our building tenants are up to. We have fashion designers, musicians, arts charities and NGOs. What is your average day at Rich Mix like?Full-throttled! It's usually a juggling act, dealing with the immediate operational issues of the day whilst meeting colleagues, suppliers and production teams to plan for the future. What is the best thing to happen to you since joining the Rich Mix team?Finding out about and getting involved with an excellent local charity, The Tower Project.Rich Mix is currently supporting JET which aims to get adults with learning and other disabilities into sustainable work. What do you wish more people knew about Rich Mix?Almost every week there are fantastic free events where anyone can drop in. My personal favourite is JAWDANCE which showcases performance poetry and the spoken word. The level of talent is insane. What is the most unique thing about working in a multi-arts venue?You discover genres which you never knew existed. What do you like most about working in Tower Hamlets?The sheer variety of everything. A completely different experience of the City can be had depending on whether you step out of Rich Mix and turn left or turn right. What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in your field?If you have an instinct of wanting to help and get satisfaction out of it then customer service is probably for you. It can be tough getting a break in the arts whatever role you are pursuing, but any customer service experience is transferableCheck the websites of all large arts organisations for job opportunities and write to or visit the smaller ones. Even doing a shift a week in an arts venue alongside another job will stand you in good stead for the next application.Once you're in, be reliable and make a good impression. Describe Rich Mix in five wordsAuthentic, curious, fun, bold and broad. 
In the first of our Meet the Team series, we get to know our Executive Co-ordinator, Lucy Knight.A long standing member of the team, Lucy has a background in theatre production, with an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice from Central School of Speech and Drama.She provides dedicated support to the CEO and senior management team and is the main point of contact for the Board of Trustees, tenants, stakeholders and partners.We'd go as far as to say that Lucy is the fountain of all knowledge at Rich Mix! Read on to find out more about her... How long have you been part of the Rich Mix team?I will have been here for 4 years in July [2017]. I started as the Arts and Culture Intern. What is your favourite thing about working at Rich Mix?The staff. They all really care and everyone works really, really hard to pull it all together. What is the best thing to happen to you since joining the Rich Mix team? Leading the Drama in the Mix project and working with young people from across Tower Hamlets on their mad, imaginative ideas for radio plays.             What do you wish more people knew about Rich Mix?The breadth and diversity of our programme. What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in your field?Sometimes you have to move sideways before you can move up. It can be really tough to get your first role in an arts organisation.I started by doing different voluntary roles and producing my own theatre whilst workings in bars and bookshops to pay the rent. I did a 6 month internship which was a really tough commitment but it was definitely my break into a ‘proper’ job in the arts world.From the connections made in the internship I went on to do varied roles in different departments (producing, marketing, executive, creative learning).It’s not always a straight forward journey, the job you want isn’t always the job you’ll get straight away but being open to doing different things will build up your experience. And sometimes you’ll do something you never thought you would end up doing but really enjoy it. How do you pass the time on your commute?Podcasts, books and admiring other people’s clothes.  
Josh Barnett is a young artist, producer and animator from London. In February 2017, he submitted his show reel to the VFX Festival x Rich Mix Scholarship competition, and won. We caught up with him to find out a bit more about him, and his plans for the future. Tell us about yourself, and how you got in to this industry. I’ve always had a passion for TV and animation. Not necessarily the main stream stuff, more the things that attract a cult following. I’m really inspired by music videos too. When I was younger I used to make little comic books and scripts for fun. Then, for a long time, it was my passion to make animations. But the truth is in the UK there’s not much going on on the cartoon front, so I did consider going to America to pursue it, but then I found a love for producing.I didn’t do art in school, or anything like that, because I like to take ownership of my art and didn’t like being told how to be an ‘artist’ and how to create my art. Schools have to follow a syllabus, and there was this perception that you were only good at art if you could, for example, draw a hyper-realistic portrait. I guess it may be down to the preference of the teachers too. There’s definitely a lot of courses available in London and loads of stuff for young artists. I’m quite a pro-active person so I’m constantly applying for courses and opportunities!What does winning the VFX Scholarship mean to you?It’s a real privilege to win a scholarship. I genuinely didn’t expect it. I went to this festival that I really wanted to go to, and met lots of people, but I didn’t think I’d get anything like that from it, so it was great to feel like my work is actually good by someone else’s standards.How do you anticipate the scholarship will impact your career?It will definitely impact my career in the sense that in the media industry it’s always important to be doing courses, and although I’d probably normally go down the producing route, I think this will really develop my creative side.How did you find out about the scholarship?I applied to submit my one of my films to another short film festival associated with Rich Mix, but I missed the deadline. Margot (Rich Mix Young People’s, Family and Community Producer) then got in contact to say she really liked the film, and suggested I submit it to the VFX scholarship competition.Do you feel supported as a young artist? The political climate in the UK is a bit difficult, I do feel like there’s a big thing for art at the moment. People like escapism and getting away from what’s happening. There’s a big art community in London, and around the world, and I have a lot of friends that are in to arts, and in my experience, everyone’s willing to help each other.What is your dream/ambition?I want to make a career for myself in career in TV & film, and advertising. I want to do a bit of everything. In an ideal world I’d really like to start up my own production company. Just making content that people will enjoy! Content that will make people think or laugh.What are you working on now?I do a lot of different things. I tutor mathematics, and I do freelance work to fund my own work, and I have some cool ideas and projects coming up…I can’t really talk about them though!If you could bring any of your animated characters to life – which would it be and why? I had one that was a bit like a British ‘Family Guy’. It was set in Camden, in a block of flats, and loads of families fighting with each other! I don’t think there’s anything like that on British TV. I’m not sure if that means there’s a gap in the market, or no place in the market though. It’s on the back burner for now, but maybe through this scholarship I’ll meet some people and be able to get it off its feet! 
Live-action Beauty and the Beast - Coming to Rich Mix 17 March!'Disney' – that name has evolved to mean many things since it’s inception with the silent 'Alice' comedies and 'Oswald the Lucky Rabbit' in 1923. In the following years, their pioneering artwork and animation style set them apart. Fast forward to 1937, and with 'Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs', Disney cemented their place as an iconic feature-fillm studio.If you grew up in the Western world, you're likely to have been exposed to Disney hand-drawn animation in some form during your childhood – right until CGI took over as the dominant medium with Toy Story in 1995. These fairy-tales, including classics such as 'Cinderella', 'The Jungle Book', 'Robin Hood', 'The Little Mermaid' and 'Pinocchio', have replaced the folk-stories that were passed down verbally and collected in volumes by researchers such as The Brothers Grimm. By shaping our psychology as children, Disney has also shaped the way we think about the modern world as adults, creating the fairytales and happy endings that feel so right, and that we all wish were real! So, to celebrate the new live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, Here are some of our staff-members earliest memories of the studio:'Just thinking about Dumbo, still can’t watch this scene without crying! Speaking of elephants, always loved Fantasia too…' -Tracy Barbe 'First memories of Disney is watching a VHS recording of The Little Mermaid at my nan’s house. She had recorded it off the tv and taped over the first 10 minutes of Willow. I didn’t know what happened at the beginning of Willow until I watched it on tv 12 years later! My sister Katie’s first memory is watching Monsters Inc on a plane. She was 3, she watched it in French with subtitles. She doesn’t speak French and couldn’t read, but loved it anyway and at 18 years old it is still one of her favourites.' -Nikki Smith'My first Disney film was either Bambi, The Fox and the Hound or Fantasia (not sure, it was a little while ago now). I would have been about 5 or 6, taken to the cinema in Croydon or Beckenham by my mum. I loved all of them but in particular I remember crying a LOT on the bus home after seeing Bambi.' -Lucy Jamieson'I can’t remember my first Disney experience, but I certainly remember seeing Beauty and the Beast at the cinema and being totally and utterly gripped. Around this time I also started dressing up as Disney characters – one outfit springs to mind with a curtain wrapped around my neck as a cloak for Aladdin, riding on Dumbo. Who cares if the films don’t match. I also distinctly remember being allowed to have 101 dalmatians on VHS in Greek in order to improve my language skills. Some of the nuances were lost.' -Nick Foundoukis  
There is a dedicated team behind everything that happens at Rich Mix. Some of you may have had the pleasure of meeting us (!), but many of you won’t, so we’ve gathered some of our staff’s favourite moments from 2016, letting you in to the minds of the people that make Rich Mix tick!“I tried event cinema for the first time this year. I resisted it for a long time as I believe theatre should be watched live BUT I actually really loved it. NT Live’s Hangmen, which screened at Rich Mix in March, was really enjoyable – comfy cinema seats, great close ups, brilliant performances (especially Johnny Flynn)… and popcorn.”- Lucy Knight / Executive Co-ordinator“My two highlights for 2016 were films. Charlie Kaufman’s ‘Anomalisa’ and Adam Curtis’ ‘Hypernormalisation’. Both great, both sobering, both for totally different reasons. A musical highlight was ‘Oligarkh’ - Russian Orthodox Chanting mixed with electronica and visuals, which I saw at WOMEX this year. Coming soon to a venue near you…”- Oliver Carruthers / Head of Programming“You really got me now’ is a bittersweet love story (mostly sweet though) which takes the audience on the highs and lows of Himali and David’s long distance relationship. The concept (of long distance) is nothing new, but the complications are! I related to the missed phone calls, the pixelated Skype screens and to the stupidity and illogical beauty of true love.”-Natasha Clark / Programming Coordinator“This year I loved visiting Home in Manchester and Project Arts Centre in Dublin – both arts centres which have similarities with Rich Mix, and some interesting differences. And seeing ‘Eska’ at the Roundhouse – she’s been a favourite since she launched her album here at Rich Mix, and she is phenomenal live.”- Anna Woods / Marketing Officer (Arts & Culture)“I would say that my absolute highlight was seeing Blixa Bargeld and Teho Teardo’s at Rich Mix. I met the musical hero from my teenage days (Blixa)! One thing I regret though – I didn’t get his autograph!!”- Margot Przymierska / Young People’s, Family and Community Producer“We've had some really nice events during 2016 including the premier of ‘Class’ – a new Doctor Who spin-off from the BBC, and a fundraiser for the UAidRefugee Wifi Bus (with guest appearance from James McAvoy!)Nikki was jet-setting to Japan in April to see all the cherry blossom, whilst Gemma spent November chilling on a beach in Grenada, but Christmas events have been so busy that they could both do with another holiday soon! (see photo!)”- Nikki Smith / Private Hires Coordinator & Gemma Unwin / Private Hires Manager“Being surprised and delighted by the unexpected at Rich Mix….football fever, arts and affection during the ‘Dads & Kids’ event as part of Euros 2016s festival; jaw-dropping wonder from teenage students during septuagenarian Chris Searle’s poetry readings as part of the ‘Stepney Words’ project; shared ideas & politics and friendship during the ESOL students visits to the Footfall matinee as part of the Bangla Season of Drama, and Photomonth photographic exhibition, swept along with the energy and cheered by the freshness of Year 2 & 3 pupils whilst visiting for a ‘Zootropolis’ screening as part of the ‘IntoFilm Festival’.”-Tracy Barbe / Schools & Outreach Officer
Apples and Snakes are the leading poetry and spoken word organisation in the country, and have been producing engaging and transformative work since they were established in 1982. Alongside producing, curating and commissioning their way to the top, they regularly do outreach work with marginalised and at-risk communities, and nurture and support spoken word artists – including a few big names you’ll recognise. They are also the talent behind regular Rich Mix event 'Jawdance', which continues to grow in size and popularity with each show. Artistic Director Lisa Mead tells us more about the organisation, and what’s next for Apples and Snakes…In your own words…who are you, and how would you describe you work?Apples and Snakes is a leading organisation for performance poetry and spoken word. We host an awesome monthly night at Rich Mix called 'Jawdance', a mix of open-mic, music and fantastic poets.What’s your favourite part of working at Rich Mix?I love that Jawdance is always full with a mix of people who have never come to the event before and regular attenders, its normally about 50/50 split.  Every month is different, as you never know what the open mic will bring but the atmosphere is always supportive and fun. We love Dennis, Rich Mix technician, who has been working on Jawdance for a while now and has become our resident DJ – he and Yomi, our resident host have a brilliant rapport which just makes the event totally rock.What was your favourite song of 2016 and why?Not really a favourite song but have loved the band Lester Clayton who we have programmed at a couple of events and hope to bring to Jawdance in 2017!What was your favourite film of 2016 and why?I have two small children so getting to the cinema is like the Holy Grail!!What was your highlight of 2016?That’s hard as I have been to many brilliant events this year, so to choose one is tough! I would probably have to say The Last Poets at Ronnie Scotts, any event that ends with a standing ovation and the guys getting the props they deserve for their role in pushing spoken word as a voice for political and social comment and change has to be worth a mention.What are you looking forward to in 2017?More Jawdance! The culmination of our project 'Stepney Words' as part of Rich Mix’s 10 year anniversary programme and the events and projects we are cooking up for our 35 year celebration…and lets face it 2016 has been a pretty dire year so be nice to see the back of it!Keep up to date with Apples and Snakes on Twitter   

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