Out of hours: 07528 969 363,

£85,000 to be shared by winners of Hackney Council’s Shoreditch and Hoxton Art Fund

A new festival exploring working-class identity, a photo exhibition on the concept of home, a cross-cultural orchestra, sensory dance film, community mural and a guerrilla poetry project will all share £85,000 from the second round of Hackney Council’s Shoreditch and Hoxton Art Fund. 

The fund is one of the first initiatives identified in the borough’s Arts and Cultural Strategy and is designed to ensure everyone benefits from growth in Shoreditch and Hoxton. Launched in 2019 and now in its second round, it has amounted to a total of £300,000 taken from levies placed on new developments in and around Shoreditch and Hoxton called Section 106. 

These contributions were specifically raised to support arts and culture and community-led initiatives. Projects are commissioned on the basis of providing access to the arts for people in Shoreditch and Hoxton which have seen rapid growth in development and economic investment over the last 15 years.

Shoreditch and Hoxton is now home to some of the world’s leading creative tech and digital media companies and attracts smaller businesses from around the world. To ensure this economic growth helps bridge the gap between those living and those working in the area, Hackney Council has committed to fund participatory creative and community-led incentives that enable local communities to connect with the economic change. 

The funding opportunity attracted numerous submissions in response to the round 2 call for ideas from arts and culture institutions based in Shoreditch and Hoxton. It can now be revealed that the £85,000 will be shared among five successful applicants: Autograph ABP in partnership with Mouth That Roars, Grand Union Orchestra, Hoxton Hall, Ministry of Stories, Snooze Fabric and Studio Wayne McGregor in partnership with Shoreditch Trust and Museum of the Home (formerly known as The Geffrye Museum).

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Business, Investment and Culture
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney’s Cabinet member for Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy said: “Hackney’s objective is two fold, the first is to commission the Arts and Cultural community to connect residents and businesses in Tech City and to create a lasting relationship based on understanding and mutual support. The second is to ensure that Hackney’s creative community is supported in these very challenging times by bringing forward the Art Fund to commission what they do best, using the arts to reach out to and connect people.

The Art Fund will help inject arts and cultural organisations with much-needed cash flow by linking this to commissioning work and activities to help with the phased reopening of our neighbourhoods over the coming year. We know how hard the Arts and Cultural sector is being hit right now. We hope these grants will provide some fraction of reassurance to how much we value their work and demonstrates the importance Hackney places on their talents and skills. It’s been wonderful to see such great ideas awarded and serves as a reminder to how resilient and talented Hackney’s creative practitioners are”.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Business, Investment and Culture

Rob Smith, Director of Ministry of Stories said: "Ministry of Stories is thrilled to be working with the Shoreditch and Hoxton Art Fund on the 'Unexpected Poetry' project in the Spring. We can't wait to see where over 100 young writers' imaginations will take us - creating original poetry for our neighbourhood, to be uncovered and discovered from bus stops to cafes to pavements, to be enjoyed by our community. We know that young people, given the right support, can create professional standard creative writing, and we're excited to see what happens when we take this out to the heart of our community".

Dr Mark Sealy MBE, Director, Autograph said: "Autograph is delighted to have been awarded a Shoreditch and Hoxton Art Fund grant by Hackney for our new project #HackneyisHome. We believe that visual representation and photography are powerful forces for change. With our partner Mouth That Roars, this project will bring together people who are newly arrived in Hackney with long-term residents, to create photographs exploring what home means to them. These will be displayed prominently on a digital billboard at Old Street, and our building Rivington Place in Hackney. The communities living and working in Shoreditch and Hoxton will be invited to share back what home means to them via social media, in response to this public art project. We’re proud to be working with the people of Hackney, and can’t wait to share their creative response to #HackneyisHome." 

Winners to the second round of funding: 

Autograph ABP gallery (in partnership with Mouth that Roars) - £20k 

Shoreditch based art and photography gallery Autograph ABP has partnered with youth film training organisation Mouth That Roars to present a photography exhibition called #HackneyisHome. Exploring the concept of ‘home’, the project will be presented at Autograph gallery in Rivington Place and will see a collaboration of young refugees and asylum seekers enrolled in ESOL courses at Hackney Community College and older residents in Shoreditch and Hoxton. 

Grand Union Orchestra - £17.3k

The long-running music organisation will create an intergenerational, cross-cultural orchestra painting a live, acoustic musical picture of the contemporary spirit of Hoxton. From summer, they will recruit participants to form a street band to perform in parks and Hoxton Market. Later in the year the project will see a formal programme of workshops with worldwide musical contributions plus festive performances with free shows for residents.

Hoxton Hall - #CLASS £6k 

Hoxton Hall theatre are now working on a mulit-artform festival of live performances exploring working-class identity called #CLASS. This compliments their current work on ‘Hoxton Street’ - an interactive live drama which was funded in the first round of the Shoreditch and Hoxton Art Fund. ‘Hoxton Street’ will form the centrepiece of #CLASS with four episodes staged throughout the 3 month festival, culminating in an omnibus of the four plays created with audiences of Hoxton. The new funding contribution will support episodes two and three of the live soap.

Ministry of Stories - Poetry in Unexpected Places £20k 

The Ministry of Stories is a local writing and youth mentoring centre in east London. Using a £20k grant, they will develop ‘Poetry in Unexpected Places’ - a guerilla poetry project to enable young diverse writers to create professional poetry. Poems will be planted in innovative ways and unexpected places around Hoxton and support the work of 100 young writers. 

Snooze Fabric - £6k

Artist duo Snooze Fabric will work with local young people to produce a prominent mural on Hoxton Street. Workshops will use visual art to explore and represent the value of community. Snooze will use workshops and the co-designed mural to make art accessible and include participants who might not otherwise consider creative outlets for wellbeing or career opportunities. 

Studio Wayne McGregor (in partnership with Shoreditch Trust and Museum of the Home) £15.5k 

Studio Wayne McGregor, Museum of the Home and Shoreditch Trust are working in partnership to create a 20 minute dance film called ‘HOME’. The sensory film will explore the ever-changing concept of home including personal interpretations on gentrification, displacement and migration through dance and film. Led by dance artist Lily Dettmer, film artist Ravi Deepres and a commissioned score by composer Scanner, the film will gather the talents of young people from schools and youth groups as well as the Shoreditch Trust’s Stroke Project enabling stroke survivors to highlight their experience. 

Round one success stories 

The first round of funding has seen five successful ideas now well underway. Where necessary, they have adapted to engage with participants in their own homes during the coronavirus lockdown or rescheduled to a later date. 

They include; visual arts exhibitions and job placements from PEER Gallery, a creative teacher training programme in 3 primary schools from Eastside Educational Trust, paid placements as ceramic potters and business mentoring from Create London, a community dance theatre show at Shoreditch Town Hall, and Hoxton Hall’s interactive soap opera ‘Hoxton Street’. Funding for episodes 2 and 3 of ‘Hoxton Street’ will feature as part of their new successful round 2 bid to program a mulit-artform festival exploring working-class identity called #CLASS. 


For more information on the Shoreditch and Hoxton Art Fund and the Council’s cultural work, visit hackney.gov.uk/culture

Details of the projects funded from the first round of the Hoxton and Shoreditch Art Fund can be read here. 

For more information on the arts organisations who will receive funding please visit their websites below: