My Cultural Ealing – Mandie Wilde

Mandie Wilde with artist

As a regular feature on ealingcreative.org, we will be chatting with one of the leading creative figures in the borough about their cultural life.

Mandie Wilde is a founding member and chief operating officer of Open Ealing, and an expert in delivering community-focused projects.

What’s your connection to the borough of Ealing?

I run OPEN Ealing, an arts organisation with venues in Ealing Broadway, Southall and West Ealing.

Tell us about your cultural interests?

Gosh, that’s tricky as my interest is piqued by so many things and I’m lucky enough to receive many and varied proposals to host things. My favourite things are events which offer a smorgasbord of genres throughout the evening, so I get to enjoy dance, music, spoken word, poetry and conversation. I love meeting artists and authors.

Do you have any cultural heroes?

Not really but I do admire lots of people; Steve McQueen, Dame Judi Dench, Anita Roddick are constants on the list (which changes frequently).

What does culture mean to you?

A myriad of things: community, collaborations, unity of purpose, character / identity of a place, the ability to access a range of performances, exhibitions, events and arts and crafts activities.

What cultural experiences/events have you enjoyed in the borough recently?

Leaving aside our own creative programme which I love (performance art courtesy of Performance Platform; experimental music and improvisation courtesy of Ealing Extranormal and Ad Lib; Southall Exists; a showcase exhibition, performance and discussion by Leah Gill), I thoroughly enjoyed the Ealing Book Festival at Pitzhanger Manor and the wine club at Rayuela (first Tuesday of the month).

What is your favourite cultural place in the borough?

Horsenden Hill epitomises a good community space where several projects and people come together to create a vibrant creative and cultural hub. For me it has the perfect mix of arts, crafts and leisure in a lovely setting.

What events are you looking forward to in the borough?

Jazz Festival every time (although I am involved with New Gen this year so looking forward to that too) and the Hanwell Hootie.

What do you think are the cultural strengths of the borough?

It has the potential to be a place where great things happen and there are so many practitioners willing and capable to deliver creative programmes.

Open Ealing was founded in 2010 by a group of local artists and residents with the support of local organisations. It has had access to high street spaces from which operate its artistic programming.

In January 2013 the constituted community group became a limited company, OPEN Ealing Limited and now operates as a social enterprise.

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