It’s the 1st Birthday of SUNSHINE INTERNATIONAL ARTS’ Community C.A.F.E in Loughborough Junction and a fortnight of events, food, music and cake has been planned from 28 April to 12 May
Founder Ray Mahabir is celebrating to mark the occasion. “It’s been a wonderful – and long – year and we are thrilled to be celebrating with all our friends and the community,” he says.
Ray’s dream has been to “create a community arts cafe for all, where people and artists can have a space to create and enjoy one another’s arts and culture. Somewhere affordable with good service, where I can serve the food I love to cook”.
Birthday highlights: Head to C.A.F.E on 28 April for Brixton Underground Film Factory’s LYRICS 4LOVE FOOD’N FILM from 4-9pm. We’re talking film @7pm ‘LOVE JONES’, plus OneNess and Bro Breis on the mic, visuals by Sam Williams and readings by Sherlock plus Caribbean food courtesy of Trini Ray. Get your tickets in advance from Ray at the C.A.F.E £7 or £10 on the door.
There will be birthday mania on 3 May with free cake and cream all day at the C.A.F.E and then join Ray for a party from 7-9.30pm with Caribbean food and rum punch on sale and music by Creative Unity Steel Band.
12 May is the end of the birthday celebrations and the beginning of the countdown to this year’s Notting Hill Carnival! Join Sunshine International Arts for SUNDAYSOCA @ DE ARCHES – music, stupendous carnival costumes and masks on show, Caribbean food and drinks as we prepare for the road this year. From 6pm to midnight on May 12 and every second Sunday thereafter until the CARNIVAL takes place! Music by Dokta Myx. Members £3, non-members £5
There’s a host of other events and loads of cake on offer including Sunday morning stretches, knitting – and free cake, kids craft projects – and cupcakes, crochet lessons – and 3 knitting lessons on how to knit from a pattern too. These begin on May 8 How to knit successfully from a knitting pattern. Week 1, Wed 8th May, Week 2, Wed 22nd May, Week 3, Wed 5th June, 6 – 8pm Cost £7.50 per session
Every Thursdays – the arts and craft of carnival
Every Friday– sewing and alteration classes
Call Ray on 07881571743 email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the facebook page or simply pop in!
We asked Ray about his first year at the C.A.F.E
The five best dishes you like to serve in the C.A.F.E?
My curry dishes
Mm, think I can say those are my best dishes, plus my coffee, rum punch and chutneys
Five highlights so far?
Serving food to my customers
Meeting new people who come in
My Caribbean birthday dinner party
My kids craft birthday party
People’s comments about C.A.F.E – that it’s an oasis in the junction, a place people can come in and enjoy and relax.
What were you intending to achieve with the C.A.F.E? To create a community arts cafe for all where people and artist can have a space to create and enjoy one another’s arts and culture. Somewhere affordable with good service, where I can serve the food I love to cook
How far have you got in achieving those ideas? The past year has been a struggle, as I started C.A.F.E without any capital or funding. There are still thing to do at C.A.F.E and I am trying slowly to build on what’s there. It’s a very large space made up of railway arches so I know one of the problems is its cold but I’m looking at ways to heat it and am slowly getting there. I know it’s going to take time but my usual reply is it’s slow and consistent, and in this present economic climate I’m happy with what I have. The most important part is that people who come in have had a good experience. That makes it all worthwhile.
What’s struck you the most about Loughborough Junction? It’s like a village.
What are you looking forward to in your next year at the C.A.F.E? I would like more people to experience what C.A.F.E has to offer.
Currently I’m in the process of offering a series of carnival workshops teaching the history and culture of Carnival which starts in June 2013.
What new plans/ideas do you have? I want to do more cooking and food events. I’m known for my carnival arts so now it is time for me to build on my food work! I also want to see theatre and music at C.A.F.E
You’ve been involved in Carnival(s) for years – what’s the secret to a fantastic Carnival? Passion for your culture and history
If you had a magic wand – what would you do with it? (in LJ, the UK, your life, the world?) Make people smile and just be thankful for what they got.