Dance Roots Africa wins WOMAD Foundation Anniversary Grant

Photograph by Garry Jones

Swindon based Dance Roots Africa won a hard-fought competition between over fifty arts organisations across the UK to be selected for the WOMAD Foundation 40th Anniversary project.

The WOMAD Foundation exists to enable community groups to engage with artists from different parts of the world and in its forty-year history has enabled many thousands of people to experience arts from different cultures. To mark this achievement one big grant for one big project was made available in 2023. Outstanding applications were received from across the UK and after much deliberation, the trustees chose Dance Roots Africa. The trustees loved the ambition of getting a diverse group of people to engage thoroughly with a wide range of African dance traditions and celebrate these both in Swindon and at the WOMAD Festival at Charlton Park (27 – 30 July 2023). This project presented workshops throughout 2023, culminating in a number of dance activities and performances at the festival.

Founded by musician and activist Peter Gabriel the Foundation has a tradition of funding creative, risk taking projects where outstanding artists bring communities together. Trustee Anne Goldsworthy said “Dance Roots Africa represents the best of the Foundation’s tradition by enabling some of the best dancers from a great range of African traditions to bring people together in one of the most under-funded parts of the UK.” Dance Roots Africa leader, Morilie Taiwo, said “I am delighted to have won this award so that excellence in dance can inspire and bring together some of those most often ignored and left unsupported in UK society.”

Due to the success of the project, the Dance Roots Africa project will be continuing their work in Swindon. For more details and for information about how to get involved in the Dance Roots Africa project please contact:
Morilie Taiwo of Dance Roots Africa.