Dance Roots Africa wins WOMAD Foundation Anniversary Grant

Photograph by Guy Peterson

Swindon based Dance Roots Africa has won a hard-fought competition between over fifty arts organisations across the UK to be selected by the WOMAD Foundation as its headline 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 over a quarter of a million people to experience arts from different cultures. To mark this achievement one big grant for one big project was made available. 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 will present workshops throughout the year and will culminate 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.”

The project will run from now and will finish with a celebratory performance at WOMAD Festival at Charlton Park and will include many opportunities for public engagement over the coming months.

For more details and for information about how to get involved in the Dance Roots Africa project please contact:
Mandy Adams or George Casley from the WOMAD Foundation or
Morilie Taiwo of Dance Roots Africa.