In its 24-year history, Totally Thames festival has never had to put on a programme quite like this.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual arts and culture festival has had to do things a bit differently.
The organisers wanted to make sure they could still put on their usual brand of art, outdoor events, environmental initiatives and educational programmes that celebrate London’s famous river for Totally Thames 2020.
Arts Council England’s London area director Joyce Wilson said: “Totally Thames is a wonderful event that celebrates one of London’s best-known landmarks.
“With a mix of outdoor and digital events, all of which can be enjoyed with safety front of mind, this year’s festival will once again provide audiences with an eclectic mix of engaging and entertaining experiences.”
The highlight of the festival will be the ‘Rivers of the World’ exhibition.
Professional artists worked with more than 2,000 13- and 14-year-old students from all over the globe to create river-themed art for the festival which will be exhibited on display boards and flags on the riverside walkway by the Tate Modern Art Gallery all September.
The artworks were created by young people from London, Coventry, Peterborough, Halton, Warrington and Stockton-on-Tees in the UK and from Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania, Lebanon, Morocco and India.
These aspiring young artists have shown incredible spirit and creativity in the face of adversity.
Due to the international lockdowns in place because of the pandemic, the artworks have been created at home using digital briefs and short films by professional artists to teach students new creative skills and about the significance of their river.
Alistair Gale, director of corporate affairs at the Port of London Authority said: “At the PLA we want as many people as possible to treasure the Thames, which is why the Totally Thames programme is so important.
“This year, perhaps more than ever, the opportunity to pause, reflect and enjoy this fantastic space in the heart of the city, either in person or online, has never been more important.”
Other festival highlights include a sea kayaking taster weekend at Chelsea Kayak Club on September 5 and 6, the Thames Tidefest in Hounslow and the Foreshore Festival in Hammersmith and Fulham, both of which are on Sunday September 6.
Tickets and more information can be found on the Totally Thames website and their social media pages:
Twitter @ThamesFestTrust #TotallyThames