Global Fusion Music & Arts (GFMA)

Global Fusion Music & Arts (GFMA) is a civic award winning arts charity, established in 2001 and based in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in London. GFMA work with artists from a wide spectrum of cultural backgrounds and creative disciplines and produce cultural and music events, festivals, theatre productions, fashion shows, art and photographic exhibitions, community health, wellbeing and creative workshops. GFMA also provide training in sound and film productions, electronics, admin, office and computer skills. As well as training GFMA provide workshops in schools covering an extensive range of subjects and activities from Black History, Chinese New Year, to Book Weeks and Carnivals. GFMA Records, the GFMA Record Label was relaunched in November 2021 and has more than forty artists on the label. These and other artists from around the world are available for events and festivals as well as full production facilities: sound and film production, staging and onsite and studio recording.

Using Creativity to Build Confidence

Global Fusion Music and Arts: a brief history

Global Fusion Music and Arts was set up in March 2001 by members of world music band, The Fusion Factory, as they released their Opiate Rhythms album; embarked on their nationwide tour of the UK; and played support to Papa Wemba at Le Zénith, Paris.

 

Global Fusion Music and Arts became responsible for the organisation and delivery of The Fusion Factory’s increasingly popular World Music Nights, which ran out of the Wine Cellar in Woolwich. In doing so, it quickly took on what remains its core mission to this day, of bringing together musicians and artists from cultures and countries from all across the world; and celebrating, and showcasing their work.

 

Global Fusion Music and Arts grew out of hopeful and politically optimistic times when the ideals of multiculturalism, as expounded by Stuart Hall, stood at the very heart of government policy. Just six months after it was founded, however, the world changed irrevocably. As the dust settled from the terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Centre on September 11, the political landscape of the global West turned inward, and became increasingly characterised by suspicion and isolationist protectionism.

 

Global Fusion Music and Arts stayed its course. In those few months, it had seen, not just how bringing musicians together from all over the world created new sounds and exciting artistic possibilities, but how, in bringing musicians and artists together, and in showcasing them for local communities to enjoy, how bridges were being built between communities; how mutual understanding, respect, and tolerance simply flourished in their wake. The music and arts we showcased became a shared experience for any and all that came across it. Regardless of ethnicity, social class, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, people suddenly found they had something in common, after all, with those they were watching, and with whomever they happened to be standing next to while they watched it.

 

The formula was deceptively simple, almost too good to be true. But we saw it working its transformational magic, time and time again, in our musicians and artists, our audiences, and the volunteers who stepped forward to offer their skills and time. For more than twenty years, now, we’ve been working and re-working that same formula, with undiminished efficacy, in the face of rapidly changing and tumultuous circumstances. Show a culture – its music, art and history; its language, folklore, and traditions; its theatre, dance, and food – and people come away knowing more; appreciative; humbled by the commonalities and differences they witness.

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