Tower Hamlets Arts Information and Resources - News & resources Arts information and resources announcements from Tower Hamlets Arts & Events Team from the News & resources category en-gb 60 Mon, 25 Jun 2018 15:45:26 +020 Mon, 25 Jun 2018 15:45:26 +020 From Brandt to Brick Lane - Four Corners Digital Archive Now Live Feminist photography to anti-nuclear campaigns, the digital archive covers issues as live today as in the early 70s. Listen to oral histories and watch fascinating film clips in new archive website The site includes all 31 issues of the renowned Camerawork magazine, available online for the first time.

How did one magazine have so much influence?
Alongside theoretical debates, Camerawork included articles on renowned photographers such as Bill Brandt and Humphrey Spender, theoretical articles by John Berger, Victor Burgin and others, and DIY pages on film processing and pinhole photography. Its innovative approach drew on the social and political upheavals of the day.
Camerawork brought an extraordinary range of photography to UK and worldwide audiences, drawing on the social and political upheavals of the day. Its innovative approach had significant impact on the way in which a generation of practitioners looked at the world.
Have a browse here

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2367295
Whitechapel Gallery Reveals First Artists for New Late-Night Arts Festival, Nocturnal Creatures Nocturnal Creatures is a new, free festival, for one night only. It brings together performance, video, sculpture and sound on Saturday 21 July, from 6–11pm.

Cultural and historic venues within walking distance of Whitechapel Gallery are transformed, opening their doors late into the night. Highlights include a range of immersive installations, visuals, performances and sound elements from The London Open 2018 artists. An immersive audio-visual environment created by Tom Lock to be housed with our headline sponsor, Broadgate. Larry Achiampong will provide a multi-media experience which brings together film and performance with a live soundtrack at the White Chapel Building. Rachel Pimm invites visitors to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry with an exciting installation. At Whitechapel Gallery, hourly performances of Alexis Teplin’s mesmerising Arch (The Politics of Fragmentation) will be staged and Andrea Luka Zimmerman will give a series of readings from 1968.

In association with Sculpture in the City, artist-led tours of artworks around the East End will also take place. New audio compositions will be made accessible for the first time as part of the launch of Sculpture in the City x Musicity, linking music and architecture together as new way of seeing and hearing the area. Situated around the city are 18 works from internationally renowned artists Marina Abramović, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Sean Scully and many more.

International project, Plantón Móvil, with Peruvian artist Lucia Monge, will create a ‘walking forest’ of plants and people moving together, giving shrubs, flowers and trees the opportunity to ‘walk’ down the streets and to claim their place in our public space.

Join us for this late night festival.


Thu, 21 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2367304
DCMS Inquiry Into Social Impact Of Culture The House of Commons Culture Select Committee has heard its first evidence on the impact of culture and sport on people’s lives. Witnesses including Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England addressed the committee on the health, social and wellbeing impacts of cultural participation.

The sessions is available to be viewed here:

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2367281
Event Fund Quarter 3 applications now open: deadline in two weeks time. Please note that Tower Hamlets Event Fund online application forms can be accessed here - and that the deadline for applying for all events in Quarter 3 (from October to December 2018) is Thursday 5th July at Midday.

If you have thoughts about organising a Black History Month related event or any other arts based event taking place this autumn but weren’t able to attend one of the recent funding workshops, please read the guidelines and criteria carefully to ensure that your event is eligible. These are available to download from the page link above. Any organisations in need of ongoing support with their Event Fund Application is welcome to phone THCVS on 020 8980 8427 or email

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2367283
Final Selection Announced For a Season Of Bangla 2018 We are thrilled that A Season of Bangla Drama will return to stages across Tower Hamlets this November with a great line-up arising from a very interesting swathe of submissions and a tough selection process!

Fourteen theatrical productions have made the final cut in this unique celebration of British Bangladeshi drama, two of which will be coming from overseas. A hundred years on from some women in the UK getting the vote, A Season of Bangla Drama 2018 sees a real celebration of womanhood with a plethora of female protagonists in a variety of key roles.

This is notable in The Floating Hearts which portrays the lives of five ordinary women who face profound challenges through society’s expectation. Woman: An Altered Image exposes the social, cultural, and psychological conflicts faced by women, particularly through marginalization, prostitution and human trafficking.

One prominent theme is freedom and the fight for national identity. The independence war of 1971 is explored through The Interrogation, depicting a woman being interrogated by a collaborator. War Heroines focuses on the horrific struggle of women during the war and in its aftermath. To Father a Nation, political story of activism, liberation and mortality during the turbulent times surrounding the partition of India.

Harrowing tales of real events are recounted in Terror, with the storming of a the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka by gunmen in 2016, resulting in several deaths, and in Brick Lane 78, a foray into the murder of Altab Ali, and on a more positive note, the legacy of the anti-racism movement among the Bengali community which ensued.

For some lighter relief, both The Conflict Retold and Open Couple ask the enduring question, does love conquer all? The former is classic musical theatre using folk music and dance to tell the story of a snake charmer’s daughter, a prince, and a poisonous snake. Will love prevail over class conflict? The latter is a satire exploring whether an open relationship can ever be truly successful and whether there is a double-standard between husbands and wives?

Comedy also strikes in H1TM4N, an absurdist and identity-crisis ridden story set against the workday backdrop of an assassination agency. With the pressure of sales targets and tax returns, it asks who we think we are, who we want to be and who we really are.

Ambition, violence and the corruption of power are highlighted in The Warrior. The proverbial saying 'power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely' sums up the message of the play; as a person's power increases, their moral sense decreases.

4 Tagore short stories are recounted by Kids for Kids in Chaturango-4 Acts. Children are central in all 4 plays, which explore innocence, naivety and vulnerability as well as the need for points of human connection in a hostile world. These universal truths are as relevant today as they were in Tagore’s time.

The permanence of ideology in a fast-changing world is questioned in The Last Communist, and the role of family members and values in an equally fast-changing world is at the centre of Cry of Soil, which ends with the heart-breaking abandonment of an elderly man.

This fantastic festival of drama incorporates politics, history, fact and fiction with women in many leading roles and provides a snapshot of society that exposes the frailty as well as the moral strength of the age-old human condition. All are relevant to the cross-cultural influences of British Bengali life in 21C East London and there’s plenty to laugh (and cry) about along with some music, song and dance to remind us of the life-affirming power of theatre!

The festival will be showcased from 2nd – 25th November at a variety of venues. The main programme of performances is to be supplemented by a fringe programme of talks, walks and exhibitions.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2367236
Radical Visions: the early history of Four Corners and Camerawork 1972-1987 This major new exhibition explores the little-known story of two radical arts collectives in London’s East End. Part of an oppositional political culture in 1970s Britain, Four Corners and Camerawork (previously the Half Moon Photography Workshop) championed filmmaking and photography as tools for social engagement and change, inspiring a generation of practitioners.

Featuring original material drawn from Four Corners Archive, the exhibition brings together early work by some of Britain's best known photographers alongside the groundbreaking films of Four Corners', posters, prints, recordings and much more.

The exhibition coincides with the launch of Four Corners Digital Archive Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, this unique public resource opens up the work of Four Corners, Camerawork magazine and Half Moon Photography Workshop for new audiences.

A programme of talks, workshops and seminars runs alongside the exhibition.

Join Four Corners’ mailing list for further details or follow us on Twitter @FourCornersE2

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2367217
We all Make Music Guide from Drake Music Drake Music have released a free guide to support the diversification of the music education workforce. After their research revealed that Disabled people are very under-represented in music education, Drake Music put together a resource for music hubs, schools, arts and community organisations to help diversify their workforces today and to support young Disabled people to become music leaders in the future. The aspiration is that the Guide will support people across the sector to become changemakers and to break down disabling barriers to careers in music ed & the arts.

Find out more and download the guide here :

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2367220
The London Open 2018 – summer exhibition of dynamic and critical contemporary art Opening on 8th June at The Whitechapel Gallery, The London Open 2018 brings together the most dynamic and critical contemporary art being made in the capital today. The latest edition of this triennial summer exhibition offers a free, lively space to discover new work and reflect on a time of significant change in this global city.

The exhibition features a diverse selection of 22 artists working in London and engaging with topical concerns; from the rapidly changing urban context, the environment, technology, gender and race to queer representation, human relations, activism and post-colonial histories. Many artists work in unprecedented ways and across different artistic forms, ranging from painting, video and sound to installation, sculpture, performance and work online.

The 2018 call for entries attracted a new record of 2,600 submissions. An expert panel comprising Emily Butler, Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Curator, Whitechapel Gallery; Cameron Foote, Assistant Curator, Whitechapel Gallery; artist Ryan Gander; Co-Owner of Hales Gallery Paul Hedge; Deputy Editor of Frieze Magazine Amy Sherlock; and collector Robert Suss embraced the formidable challenge of choosing work to feature in the exhibition. With this edition, The London Open continues to grow. Its influential history spans over 80 years, and has a reputation for launching artists’ careers and offering a platform to local artists.

The London Open 2018
8 June – 26 August 2018

Free Entry

Wed, 06 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2367172
The Essential School of End of Year Shows at The Art Pavilion - Opwen The two exhibitions of from work students at from the Bethnal Green based Essential School of Painting get underway tonight, and all are welcome to spend a sunny, summer evening at The Art Pavilion in Mile end Park.

TheEsop 24.3°
22 – 26 June

The Essential School of Painting presents two postgraduate level shows rolled into one which display work from students on two course respectively. The Bigger Picture is a painting and mixed media programme designed and taught by Bob and Roberta Smith OBE RA, with guest tutors Johanna Melvin and David Price. The course is concerned with thinking about painting in a radically new way and looks at painting as an act undertaken by the artist that has consequences. We are looking both at the process of painting, surface, colour, form, composition and the subject of painting, the personal and political. Drawing Outside the Box is a contemporary Drawing course designed and taught by Jessica Voorsanger , and Liane Lang with guest tutors Margarita Gluzberg, Mary Doyle and Roger Malbert and Bob Matthews. The aim of the course is to explore drawing from both a personal and critical perspective. Students have been working on technique, skills and creativity leading to personally selected thematic projects. They have enjoyed gallery visits, group projects and eminent artists and art personalities come to speak to them, full immersive days that have incorporated experimentation, playfulness, technique and discussion.

Paint Matters
29 June – 3 July

The Essential School of Painting second end of year student show entitled “Paint Matters” presents an overview of three year-long courses: “The Painting Year: Materials, Methods and Ideas”, “Painting Personal Projects” and “Painting People and Portraits”. Students on ‘The Painting Year’ course have been immersed in all aspects of painting, learning about and practising approaches to different materials, methods and ideas. The ‘Painting Personal Projects’ course was developed to give participants personal mentoring to increase confidence, creativity, a sense of direction and last but not least, the ‘Painting People’ course has enabled students to explore the elements of portraiture and figure painting and drawing in both systematic and creative ways. The Essential School of Painting is an alternative art school based in Bethnal Green, London, specialising in painting and drawing classes taught by leading contemporary artists. The ESOP offers exciting, intellectually rigorous courses with the intention of advancing painting in the 21st Century. Classes are available for all levels of experience from beginner to artists looking for mentoring and community.

Wed, 06 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2367173
Nature and Us - New Community Project from Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park have launched a new project, 'Nature and Us'. It aims to help locals enjoy nature, learn new skills, meet others with similar interests and create lasting improvements for the community.

The project will be based in Shandy Park (Stepney) and Swedenborg Gardens (Whitechapel) and will include activities for everyone, such as making window boxes, landscaping, art, photography, foraging, learning about plants and more.

For more information about the project, upcoming activities and the project's very own e-newsletter, please email Ken with "Nature and Us" in the subject line.

Thu, 31 May 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2367090
The Women's Hall Exhibition - Now Open! The Women’s Hall at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives is the first major exhibition about the East London Federation of the Suffragettes (ELFS). It explores the work of the ELFS during the period 1913-1918 and the involvement of their leader, Sylvia Pankhurst. To complement the exhibition there is a jam-packed programme of free events, talks, creative workshops, guided walks and film screenings taking place throughout the run, from the main public launch event on Saturday 2 June to the last day on 20 October.

Alongside their campaign for the vote, the ELFS carried out relief work in the local community, such as distributing free milk for babies and serving free or cheap food to the deprived residents of the East End who faced stark increases in poverty following the outbreak of the First World War. Exhibition visitors will learn about little-known working class suffragettes like Melvina Walker and Elsie Lagsding, and the venues in Bow and Poplar which were taken over by the ELFS for use in their outreach work - such as the pub which they turned into a crèche and called The Mother’s Arms.

The exhibition hall at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives has been transformed into an immersive space evoking the headquarters of the ELFS, a former Baptist mission hall on Old Ford Road in Bow which they took over and renamed The Women’s Hall. As part of the exhibition, the suffragettes’ Cost Price Restaurant will be recreated, serving refreshments on a 'pay-what-you-can' basis using redistributed supermarket food, and will also house a donation point for the local food bank. The Cost Price Restaurant will be in operation every Wednesday-Friday, Thursday evenings and the Saturdays we are open to the public (1st and 3rd of every month). Contact us for more details.

Historic items on display include a rare ‘Ealontoys’ teddy bear made in the toy factory started by the ELFS just off the Roman Road; and the handwritten diary of suffragette Gertrude Setchfield which describes her trips from north London to Bow to witness the ELFS in action in 1914, on loan from the LSE Women’s Library.

Local Somali cultural organisation Numbi Arts will stage a takeover of the Women’s Hall in August, presenting Repair and Rebellion - a strand of free events linked to Numbi’s new mobile museum exploring histories of women of the East African diaspora, their links with London’s East End, and anti-imperialism - a cause to which Sylvia Pankhurst was dedicated.

The exhibition and events are free. For online listings and visitor information, visit The Women's Hall project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and also includes an exhibition of photographs by ELFS member Norah Smyth taking place at Four Corners later this year.

Wed, 30 May 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2367079
You are Here Poplar: What's it all about - and how to get involved! You Are Here is a series of audio-portraits of culturally unique locations in England, made of conversations with local residents, field recordings, and archival audio.

The series will begin in Poplar, during a residency at Poplar Union in July 2018. You Are Here: Poplar will be played in darkness to create meditative space in which you can visualise and reimagine your own versions of Poplar. The piece aims to intervene in our fast paced and highly visual culture, and give space to reflect on the location from a range of familiar and unfamiliar perspectives.

Performances at Poplar Union

5 July | 6pm-7pm: Work in progress sharing + Q&A w/ artist Hugh McCann |Free entry
7 July | 2pm-3pm: Performance | £9 / £7 conc.
12 July | 7.30pm-8.30pm: Performance | £9 / £7 conc.

A headphones based installation playing the piece will also be available in Poplar Union’s Library space on 13-27 July.


If you live or work in Poplar and would like to be involved in creating the piece, please get in touch with Hugh at before the Saturday 16 June.

More info about Hugh:
More info about Poplar Union:

Thu, 24 May 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2367045
Reducing Disposable Plastic at Events And Venues - Guide Now Available The GLA is working with Julie’s Bicycle and venues to look at how venue owners and managers can reduce their disposable plastic consumption. There is a very useful guide aimed at festivals (but which applies more widely to venues/event organisers). The guide aims to help owners reduce disposable plastic starting with phasing out relatively straightforward items like plastic straws and sachets. Download the guide here:,5MQGU,FR725M,LW782,1

The GLA Culture Team would like to hear from any venues to find out a) what they are already doing to phase out disposable plastic and b) if they are interested in doing more

Wed, 16 May 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2366992
Sounds Like London The Mayor of London has announced details of Sounds Like London, a new campaign to support the capital’s grassroots music venues. Sounds Like London will feature a month of gigs and special events. For details of what's on and how to get involved, visit

Wed, 16 May 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2366993
Writeidea 2018 - Speakers Confirmed! Writeidea Festival 2018 - 16 to 18th November

We're hard at work booking speakers for our tenth Writeidea Festival and just wanted to give you an exclusive on who we've confirmed so far.

Poet, broadcaster and Writeidea favourite Michael Rosen will no doubt be wowing us all with his recently published memoir 'So They call You Pisher!'.

Once again we have a strong music strand with the legendary Punk guitarist Viv Albertine talking about her new memoir, "a chronicle of outsiderness that goes beyond her years in the Slits to explore class and gender, her parents and sibling rivalry, and why she's done with men". We'll have Chris Difford, co-founder of Squeeze, one of London's best loved bands. Garth Cartwright will talk about the rise, fall and rise of the independent record shop in the UK. Allan Jones will present his book 'I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down', a music journalist’s gleeful, riotously entertaining tales from the decadent heyday of rock.

Other highlights include John Boughton with his critically acclaimed book on council housing 'Municipal Dreams', the always wonderful Gentle Author, Suresh Singh, and Melanie McGrath on her new book ‘Pie and Mash Down the Roman Road’.

We’ll have poetry, a lesbian fiction discussion, Young Adult authors and lots more to still be confirmed. FREE tickets will be available later in the year.

You can keep up to date with the festival by following us on Twitter @writeideafest and our website at

We look forward to seeing you there!

The Writeidea Festival Team

Wed, 09 May 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2366939
GDIF 2018 Festival Programme Announced At this summer's GDIF we invite you to “dream a little dream” over 17 midsummer days of outdoor theatre and performance. Public spaces - some you'll know and some you may not - will be transformed with over 130 performances celebrating dreams of love, struggle, ambition and flight.

Tower Hamlets Council are delighted to be supporting the UK Premiere of La Parade Amoureuse on 30 June 2018

A majestic herd of elegant, illuminated deer make their way down Roman Road in this joyful processional dance performance by French street theatre company, Remue Ménage.

A tribute to nature in the heart of one of London’s most populous boroughs, La Parade Amoureuse is full of charm, tenderness and passion. These fascinating giants bring their powerful and vivid poetry to life as the streets become the stage for this most beautiful of love stories.

Watch the trailer

Explore the full programme

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2366601
Writeidea Festival 2018 - Save The Date! 16 - 18 November 2018

The tenth Writeidea Festival, Tower Hamlets Council’s unique free reading festival, will take place at Idea Store Whitechapel over the weekend of 16 - 18 November 2017.

We're hard at work planning the speakers for this year and we'll let you know more details as soon as we have them.
For up to date information follow us on Twitter.

Follow @Writeideafest

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2366553
Improving Places: Culture & Business Improvement District Partnerships Arts Council England, King’s College London and the Mayor of London have jointly produced a report that examines Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) across the UK.

The Improving Places report presents examples of how BIDs and cultural organisations can work together to drive economic growth and help their communities thrive. It includes examples of best practice to inspire BIDs and cultural organisations. It makes the case for even greater collaboration, and includes priorities for next steps as well as recommendations for BIDs, cultural organisations, and local and national authorities to help them work together more effectively.

Source : Arts Development UK

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2365688
New NCA Arts Index published National Campaign for the Arts has published the third edition of its Arts Index a snapshot report of the health of England’s arts and culture provision. The 2007–2016 Index pulls together data from a multitude of sources and compares year on year figures for 20 key indicators (from public participation to West End revenues). The last index: (last edition of the Arts Index was published in 2013 and now further trends can be seen in areas such as public and private investment, arts education and public support for spending in the arts. The report gives the evidence needed to form robust arguments for investment in the arts.

The overall Index shows a small rise in the two years since the last Index was published. This recent improvement has been fuelled largely by increases in philanthropic giving and arts funding from the national lottery. There have been substantial falls to arts sponsorship, local government funding and public support of arts funding through taxes in the same recent period.

Source : Arts Development UK

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2365629
Arts Council England - New Fundraising Guide ACE have issues a new practical guide to lawful fundraising for arts and cultural organisations. Fundraising in arts and culture is changing. As philanthropy becomes more important, ACE created a guide to help organisations understand how to fundraise following both the law and best practice - including the legal requirements of data protection. Download a copy here

Source :

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2365283
New Guide To Help Arts Organisations & Health Commissioners Work Together NCVO hopes a new guide it has co-produced will help bodies commissioning health and wellbeing services work more closely with arts and culture organisations to prevent illness and improve existing conditions. The Art of the Possible has been produced by NCVO in collaboration with the Association of Directors of Public Health. The guide is available here: and is aimed at local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, NHS hospital trusts and other health bodies that have not worked with arts and cultural organisations before.

The new guide says that studies are increasingly highlighting the positive impact on the health and wellbeing of people participating in arts and culture. It aims to bring both sides together, pointing out that arts and cultural organisations are not always well connected with the wider voluntary sector or with other providers, may have limited knowledge of how to find out about commissioning opportunities, and can miss out on partnership opportunities. Meanwhile, it hopes to help commissioners new to the concept to learn how to work with such organisations.

Research carried out for July’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health & Wellbeing Inquiry report highlighted several examples of savings through avoided hospital admissions. For instance, Core Arts, which promotes mental health through arts in the London borough of Hackney, estimates savings through avoided hospital admissions up to £2.58 for every £1 invested; in the Merseyside town of St Helens, an arts-on-prescription services showed a social return on investment of £11.55 for every pound invested in the arts. The guide draws on experience from NCVO’s Cultural Commissioning Programme (CCP), and various reports and inquiries on the role of the voluntary sector in health and wellbeing, including the 2016 Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise Review.

Source : Arts Development UK

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2365163
Age-Friendly Standards launched by the Family Arts Campaign The Age-Friendly Standards have been developed in consultation with leading experts including Age UK, arts and cultural organisations, and older arts attenders, and provide guidance for cultural organisations on welcoming older people. They are a response to reported trends which indicated a significant drop-off in cultural engagement in later life, due to multiple barriers which older people may encounter.

Download the Age-Friendly Standards here:

Source: cCLOA News

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2365011
Arts Council Publishes Equality Action Plan Guidelines Arts Council England wants to support and inspire arts and culture organisations to achieve equality, access and opportunity for all. With the Stephen Lawrence Foundation, they have published new guidance on how to produce equality action plans to help you to achieve this.

Find out more at the Arts Council website.

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2364764
Arts Council Launches Self Evaluation Toolkit Arts Council England has launched a self-evaluation toolkit for people, companies and partnerships in the arts, cultural and creative sectors.

Self evaluation is a vital first step towards improving your work. It can also help with self confidence and resilience.

To use the toolkit click here:

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +020 tharts-fullcat2364256