Discover Young Hackney events a hit with the crowds

Over 1000 young people have been involved in this years Discover Young Hackney – February’s free youth arts festival for 13 to 19 year olds.

Over 29 projects aimed at making arts and culture more accessible to young people happened across Hackney. A group of young people joined master drummers and traditional storytellers on a journey celebrating African culture at Obonu ‘Talking Drum’. Glee came to Hackney when young people learnt new moves and took part in dance off in New York Street Dance and cheerleading workshops.

Holly Watson-Abell, 13, I’m In Talent contest winner sang to a crowd of around 150 young people at the Host boroughs event on Wednesday 23 February. The event organised by CREATE – a group of ten young people aged 15-23 from each of the Olympic host boroughs - also saw performances from dubstep artists True Tiger; Maverick Sabre and Encore.

Create Programmer, Natalie Hippolyte, 24, from Hackney, said: “The event was a great opportunity for young people from different boroughs to come together and celebrate the local talent within their area. Discover Young Hackney provides young people with the opportunity to showcase their talent to a wider audience and as well as promoting the positivity and the fantastic work coming from young people. Putting on this event enabled me to learn new skills in marketing and event organising, and without this kind of opportunity I would never have know how to go about it, so it s a great opportunity for young people to develop their skills. The event has given me the confidence to know I can go and create my own creative and arts events within the local community.

Councillor Jonathan McShane, cabinet member for Community Services said: “Discover Young Hackney has been a great success and something I’m proud to have been involved with. It is important that we give young people access to arts and culture and that they have opportunities to get involved and try out new things."

Now in its fifth year, the festival has proved a successful way of providing positive activities, increased self confidence and pathways to employment and training opportunities in local cultural industries. The varied programme offers workshops in photography, theatre, dance, and film through to fashion, design and creative writing.

For more information, or to get involved in DYH ’12 contact or You can also call 020 8256 7209, or email: