A day to explore how art can make a difference

Published Tuesday 1 October by Owen

Join us for a one day festival to explore how art can make a difference and change lives

This November in partnership with Art Fund we are delighted to present a new festival – Art Assembly - that will explore the ways in which art can have a positive impact on the lives of local communities. Art Assembly will bring together leading socially engaged arts organisations to explore a range of inspiring projects through participation, performance and workshops. 

Art Assembly gathers together artists and organisations that are using art and culture to examine and consider challenges facing communities. The featured organisations are all implementing innovative approaches to bring communities together and encourage positive social change. 

London-based Arts Catalyst has invited artist duo a place of their own (Sam Vardy and Paula McCloskey) to consider approaches to climate change and the environment. Grizedale Arts will journey down from Cumbria to create a temporary outdoor space to host talks, workshops and, demonstrate bread-making techniques from different parts of the world. Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) will present a series of projects showcasing their innovative community engagement processes and projects, which reflects the voices, stories and experiences of the extraordinary people they serve. 

Two of the organisations will tackle serious issues facing communities across the UK. Known for their work with prisoners, ex-offenders and young people ‘at risk’, Synergy Theatre Project will present two performances of their new play To My Younger Self. The play will explore knife crime and feature a Q&A with the cast and crew.  St Helens-based Heart of Glass will work with artist the vacuum cleaner (James Leadbitter) to bring a elements of their Madlove Take Over Festival to Bangs Hair Salon.  Artists from the festival will share their work whilst those in most need of care and pampering enjoy free haircuts, styling and mini manicures.

Art Assembly will showcase a range of activities and initiatives taking place in Waltham Forest as part of the festival. The day will explore homegrown projects from the borough that have been part of the London Borough of Culture programme and beyond. 

During the festival visitors will also be able to see Pioneers: William Morris and the Bauhaus at William Morris Gallery, an exhibition showcasing objects made at the Bauhaus side-by-side with objects from the Arts and Crafts movement. William Morris, an advocate for art being available to all, believed passionately that art had the potential to enrich everyone’s lives.  This makes William Morris Gallery a particularly fitting focus for the festival activities. 

Art Assembly takes place on Saturday 23 November in Walthamstow as part of the Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 programme. The free event will offer opportunities for arts professionals, educators and artists to make connections and find new ways of working. 

Art Assembly will be taking place on the same weekend as the Mayor of London’s disability arts festival Liberty, which is coming to Waltham Forest in partnership with London Borough of Culture 2019. Taking place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 November, Liberty will be a weekend of ground-breaking work from Deaf and disability artists in spaces around Walthamstow. Full programme to be announced.