July event highlights

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Tower Hamlets has a vibrant arts scene, and a host of online family and community activities. We hope you find something to enjoy.

For more online events taking place in Tower Hamlets this month, visit our What’s on Guide for arts and entertainment listings.

What's on in Tower Hamlets      >

Victoria Park Friends summer bandstand season

Victoria Park Bandstand Season

We are delighted to welcome back the Victoria Park Friends Bandstand Season for summer 2021.

Fantastic free concerts to liven up seven of your summer Sundays including the Tower Hamlets LGBT+ Pride Picnic. The season sees the return of bandstand favourites including the East London Community Band, Shkembe Soup and London City Brass alongside bandstand debutants Ten Bells Rag Band, The Gallivants Roaming Band and Bow Django.  

Come and enjoy a great, free family afternoon at Victoria Park's famous bandstand. Performances from 2 – 5pm. The concerts will be socially distanced events in line with current government guidance.

The bandstand season is brought to you by Victoria Park Friends Group in partnership with Tower Hamlets Council.

Bangladesh @ 50: Insight 71 July Talks

Bangladiesh@50  - Insight 71 programme

This July, we are hosting three free online talks as a continuation of our Insight 71 programme, and part of the Bangladesh@50 celebrations. Book online and you will be sent a zoom link to join the event.

On 1 July Brick Lane Circle present ‘March 1971: The Impending Disaster and the crossing of the Rubicon. This talk explores how the seminal events of 1971 were covered by the British press and the crucial role that the media played.

On 8 July Janomot Weekly Newspaper presents ‘Janomot Front Page Headlines from 1971’This talk will look at 18 headlines and images that made the front pages fifty years ago, and the stories behind them.

The final talk on 22 July sees Swadhinata Trust present ‘The Road to Independence and the contribution from Tower Hamlets’ This talk delves into the historical context of Bangladesh’s fight for independence and will look at the wider timeframe from the Partition of India in 1947 to the recognition of Bangladesh by Great Britain in 1972.

This programme is delivered in partnership with Loughborough University’s MMPI project and Queen Mary University of London, School of English & Drama.

Celebrating Bangladesh50 at Toynbee Hall

Stories of Bangladesh 50 at Toynbee Hall

As part of Bangladesh 50 celebrations, Toynbee Hall are hosting two events on 4 July.

The Stories of 71: Performative Music and Storytelling walking Tour will journey through the local area, visiting places that hold a connection to British Bengali Heritage and the 1971 War of Independence. There will be short stories and musical performance to capture some of this important heritage.  This is a free event but booking is required as spaces are limited.

Stories of 71: Celebrating Bangladesh50 at Toynbee Hall. An afternoon of music, food and community storytelling, where our historic halls were an important meeting site for Bengali activists during 1971. Winners of the our Stories of 71 Short Story Competition will also be performing their pieces. This is a free event but booking is required as numbers are limited.

My House My Bari ’71 Youth arts summer project

My House My Bari ’71 Youth arts summer project

Celebrating 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence, fashion designer Rahemur Rahman and young people from Tower Hamlets will recreate a living space creatively depicting the homes of the British Bangladeshi community in London from 1971.

This is a free five day youth arts workshop from 26 – 30 July at the Brady Arts Centre.  The workshop is for young people aged 13 – 19 (25 SEND).  You will learn how to research for art and design, how to design for interiors, how to create tie dye fabrics using natural dyes, and how to create wallpaper. The art installation will take place at the Kobi Nazrul Centre in the heart of Banglatown between 25 Nov and 14 Dec 2021.

All materials, equipment and lunch will be provided.  All we ask is you come wanting to learn!. Spaces are limited.  Deadline for applications 16 July.

The Shadwell Printers exhibition

The Shadwell Printers at The Brady Arts Centre

Nothing if not resourceful! During lockdown, local printmaking students have been even more creative than usual by setting up home-studios to continue online classes with Art4U2. Using found and domestic objects as printing plates and blocks, and instead of their etching press they used spoons, rolling pins, die cutters and pasta machines to create unique prints. Specialist printing equipment was much appreciated when they went back into the print studio.  Come and see an eclectic mix of work produced both home and in the studio using a range of printmaking techniques. The exhibition runs at the Brady Arts Centre in Whitechapel from 7 July to 20 August 2021.

‘A’ Team Arts Summer School - Curiosity, Innovation, and Creativity!

'A' Team Arts summer programme

The council's youth arts team, 'A' Team Arts, are running a summer school programme in partnership with UAL’s Central Saint Martin’s Insights Team. This year’s Summer Art and Design Academy programme includes three programmes. Each programme is targeted at different age groups of aspiring, curious and motivated young designers and artists, who live, study or work in Tower Hamlets. All the projects will explore how young people can use the arts to help shape a greener future. Taster sessions will take place on Saturday 3 and 10 July.

All sessions are completely free and will offer young people the chance to gain accreditation. Sessions take place at The Brady Arts Centre. Places are limited. 

Art, architecture and Old Flo guided walking tour

Art, architecture and Old Flo walking tour

This guided art and architecture tour celebrating Old Flo will introduce you to Henry Moore’s Draped Seated Woman and the artwork around Canary Wharf. You will gain insight into some of the architecture and be able to identify buildings designed by some of Britain’s leading architects.

You will have an opportunity to photograph the artworks and buildings and recognise the necessary elements in composition and framing your photographs.

The art tours take place on Saturday 3 July at 11am-1pm and 2-4pm.

Tours are free to attend but places are limited and must be reserved in advance.

Rainbow Film Festival

Rainbow Film Festival

The 22nd Rainbow Film Festival will take place from 4 – 11 July at venues across east London.  The festival aims to explore the history and the culture of other countries and, through a better understanding of cultural diversity, promote racial harmony and community cohesion.

The opening ceremony will take place at Genesis Cinema on Sunday 4 July.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh there is a special programme on Saturday 10 July 2021 at the Brady Arts Centre which will feature two films based on the liberation war of Bangladesh.

A number of screenings are suitable for families to enjoy but the festival also provides plenty for film enthusiasts with films shown with English subtitles. 

Take Off Your Cornflakes at St. Margaret's House

Take Off Your Cornflakes at St. Margaret's House

Tom loves a laugh!  But it’s no joke when he can’t even remember where he’s parked the car...Fortunately, his loving wife Trish comes to the rescue...again!

Mark Lockyer’s moving adaptation of this absurdly normal story, poignantly asks us how do we keep dancing when the music between us starts to fade?

Having played to sell- out audiences across Ireland in 2019, St. Margaret’s House is delighted to host the plays UK premiere.  

Things to do this summer at Poplar Union

Things to do this summer at Poplar Union

Poplar Union have launched their summer programme which takes full advantage of their beautiful setting of Bartlett Park and the Limehouse Cut canal. POP-Park Sessions is their free live gig series which takes place every Friday night on their patio; they have a community litter pick run by their friends at Sunny Eco Hub; a weekly lunchtime art class using the landscape around you, and much, much more! 

Spitalfields Music Festival

Spitalfields Music Festival

The Spitalfields Music Festival is back this summer, from 1-11 July. The festival will include 15 world premieres performed alongside classic repertoire and cross-artform collaboration in iconic East London locations. From Christ Church Spitalfields to Café OTO, and baroque music from the French court to an immersive installation in an East End pub, audiences and artists alike will experience the unifying power of live music and art, and its ability to transcend borders, languages, communities and culture. In addition to the live music the festival includes a free family workshop and walking tours in Limehouse and Stepney. 

Bow Road summer makers market

Bow Road Summer Market

Join Bow Arts on July 17 -18 for their Bow Road summer makers market. They will be be celebrating east London’s local makers in their vibrant outdoor courtyard, with a selection of locally made gifts and artworks for sale by Bow Arts’ artists.

In place of the annual 2021 Bow Road Open Studios, you are invited to safely browse over 25 stalls each day, offering a variety of wares including small gifts, prints, cards, jewellery, home wares, original artworks and ceramics.

There will also be music, some yummy food, great cocktails and ice-cold treats on offer from the  Nunnery Café.

 Nocturnal Creatures - free late-night arts festival

Nocturnal Creatures arts festival

On Saturday 17 July, for one night only, Whitechapel Gallery and nearby historic, outdoor and unusual spaces in East London are transformed by new installations, films, live performances, music and food experiences for the third edition of Nocturnal Creatures.

Pre-bookable tickets will be available from July 1 2021. Walk-in tickets will also be available on the day of the festival, to offer maximum flexibility and peace of mind to visitors. For those who aren’t able to attend this extraordinary experience in person, a complementary programme of digital content is available on Instagram.   

Summer Lights Festival at Canary Wharf

Summer Lights at Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf is set to transform into a prism of light this summer.  Following the success of the Winter Lights Festival, Canary Wharf is now bringing Summer Lights to the Estate, for the first time, in an all outdoor, free to visit, summer exhibition. 

The collection of entrancing installations will use the sun and colour spectrums to project and celebrate light in its most natural form. While creating a world of dazzling patterns and reflections, the installations also shine a light on important messages. From sustainability, plastic pollution and energy consumption, to LGBTQIA+ and equality; these important themes are all highlighted through the language of light.

Open for eight weeks until mid-August. Positioned across the Canary Wharf estate visitors are encouraged to explore each of the works at their own leisure. Download a Summer Lights map to plan your visit. 

Shubbak Festival at Rich Mix

Shubbak Festival

Shubbak Festival is the UK’s premier festival of contemporary Arab arts and culture.

This year's festival features new perspectives, fresh collaborations and unexpected voices alongside distinguished names in an ambitious programme of premieres and new commissions.

With a vibrant mix of visual arts, film, music, theatre, dance, literature, workshops and debates, both live and online, Shubbak Festival 2021 invites you to witness the creativity and imaginative power of Arab artists to speak of our times.

Creative Disruptions - THAT online exhibition

Creative Disruptions - THAT online exhibition

Tower Hamlets Art Teachers network is proud to present a virtual summer exhibition of art students’ exceptional artwork from GCSE, A level and KS3 students from across fourteen schools in the borough.  The exhibition showcases work produced during an unprecedented year of blended learning. At a time when the world fell silent and the streets emptied, we went online and learned in different ways.

Creativity and creators collaborating in challenging times to create amazing artworks that celebrate our amazing efforts and resilience.

The exhibition will be online until 16 July.

Idea Store online membership

Idea Store Online Membership

You can now register to Idea Store and access THOUSANDS of eBooks and audiobooks for FREE without leaving your home! Access our large collection of magazines, comics and newspapers from around the world.

Tower Hamlets Council coronavirus updates

We continue to work with Public Health England, the NHS and a wide range of partners to ensure we're doing everything we can, in line with the government advice, and urging our residents to do the same. Please regularly check www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest advice and subscribe to updates.

Are you organising events?

If you are organising arts or cultural events, either online or at your venue in Tower Hamlets, please submit listings to our What’s On pages.

Use #TowerHamletsTogether to highlight your event and enter wider conversations about activities and support available to the local community.

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Gally Space Brady Art Centre

Tower Hamlets Arts and EventsTeam

Brady Arts Centre, 192 - 196 Hanbury Street, E1 5HU

020 7364 7921 | artsandevents@towerhamlets.gov.uk | www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/arts

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