About

Our vision

MGSO4 is a dynamic, grassroots charity set up to promote arts and music in Epsom & Ewell.

The name of our festival – MGSO4 – has been inspired by MgSO4, (magnesium sulphate) the chemical formula for Epsom Salts, that made the town famous almost 400 years ago.

Our vision is to put the creative arts at the centre of our community; encouraging participation, discovering and showcasing talent, supporting sustainable creative businesses and inspiring children and young people.

MGSO4 aims to: • Inspire creativity • Commission new work • Engage diverse audiences • Support creative people • Unite the community • Include everyone • Be sustainable

Our story

It began in May 2015 with a letter to the local newspaper, asking why there was no arts provision in Epsom & Ewell. Why, in a place with an illustrious and creative past, packed with arts institutions, was there no evidence of the artists and performers who lived there?

One small question was answered with a tidal wave of enthusiasm. One year and a lot of hard work later, we delivered a fantastic arts festival in June 2016. Our trustees and more than 100 people also volunteering their time and expertise, created something fantastic.

We are now a registered charity, having run two successful arts festivals as well as community projects, performances and events.

2017 saw the launch of our intergenerational clay project Washed-off Memories with sculptor Asta Kalpokaite-Golias.

The theme for our 2018 festival was ‘Discovery’ celebrating the 400-year anniversary of the discovery of Epsom Salts. Arts Council England supported a total of 14 exhibition/performance days, with 21 participation sessions. We commissioned and presented three new works:

  • The Story of Henry Wicker – a 30-minute classical composition for piano and cello by Greg Harradine with accompanying workshops for schools.
  • Ready Salted Go! – Bea Haines’ interactive communal sculpture with services users from mental health and learning disability groups using Epsom Salts.
  • Daily Salter – a borough-wide street art project with Adrian Riley, creating a series of traditional wooden billboards with hand-lettered newspaper headline posters from a fictitious publication, plus blog, digital trail and workshops.

Although our 2020 Festival was cancelled due to Covid19, we were still able to programme a summer season of Music in the Marketplace and commission three short ‘MGSO4 Makes’ craft films with artist Jenny Lockyer.

MGSO4 team
Ali Waters
Trustee
Ali is a recruitment and training specialist and main contact for MGSO4 volunteers. She has lived in Epsom for 14 years, and is keen to engage with a diverse group of people to create new and long lasting collaborations. Ali is an enthusiastic amateur artist.
Alyson Smith
Trustee
Belfast-born Alyson has lived in Epsom since 2012, working as a manager and evaluator for social projects and initiatives in the public sector. She enjoys live music, theatre, and is keen to increase the range of arts performed in the borough.
Ben Tompsett
Music
Ben is an established musician who has lived in Epsom since 2006. Alongside a busy schedule of tuition, Ben works as a gigging musician, runs Epsom Youth Big Band and Epsom Youth Jazz Ensemble, and is an active songwriter, arranger & producer.
Kobbie Boafo
Trustee
Kobbie is an Epsom-residing photographer and DJ who loves all things creative. He is a social media enthusiast, and committed tweeter. Positivity is Kobbie's mantra and he believes in the importance of community.
Maria Reeves
Chair of Trustees
Maria is a manager and consultant in the arts and cultural sector, and former MGSO4 Festival Director. She co-founded MGSO4 and also The Horton Chapel Project developing a new cultural venue in Epsom.
Mark Jarman
Trustee
Mark has lived and worked locally for almost 40 years and volunteered during the first MGSO4 Festival. He works as an estate agent in Ewell village, as well as running a film production company that focuses on arts and heritage.

Patricia Pellizza

31 March 1965 – 14 June 2018. Sadly, Patricia is no longer with us. She was passionate about the arts – especially dance and classical music. Her contribution in establishing MGSO4 will always be remembered.

Acknowledgment also to the contribution of all former trustees in launching MGSO4 Festival.