November event highlights

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

For more 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      >

Freedom & Independence Theatre Festival

The Freedom and Independence Theatre Festival

A Season of Bangla Drama returns with the Freedom and Independence Theatre Festival on stages across Tower Hamlets from 5 to 28 November. The Bangladesh@50 celebrations continue with a focus on the magic of theatre as well as the arts and cultural traditions of Bangladesh. This year’s festival includes performances inspired by the themes of freedom and independence!  British Bangladeshi theatre covers an important and unique strand of local identity. It is also an important way to spotlight key events of 1971 and tell untold stories. 

Topics covered include the plight of women, tales of freedom fighters, the journeys of refugees such as the Rohingya and Vietnamese, as well as the power of protest. The fringe programme includes a Bengali heritage walk, film screenings, an international youth writing project, talks and exhibitions. Audiences will have the chance to participate through Q&As, enjoy poetry, music and dance as well as learning about the history, legacy and impact of events which unfolded half a century ago.  Explore the full programme and book tickets.

My Home My Bari

My Home, My Bari

Take a step back in time with My Home, My Bari an art installation that represents the living spaces of the British Bangladeshi community in 1971 in Tower Hamlets. History begins at home, and as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence, acclaimed local artist Rahemur Rahman is working  with a group of artists and young people from Tower Hamlets to evoke such a living space. This installation will be a multi-sensory depiction of the textures, décor and aromas of those homes to trigger memories and associations of that era.

The intriguing installation work will be on display in the heart of Banglatown as the culmination of a nine-month period of research and development which makes up the wider participatory project.  See the installation at the Kobi Nazrul Centre, off Brick Lane, from 26 November - 14 December

Art Matters 1 & 2 The Essential school of Painting

ART MATTERS 1 & 2 The Essential school of Painting exhibition at The Art Pavilion, Mile End PARK

The Essential School of Painting present their annual end of year shows at The Art Pavilion in Mile End Park from Tuesday 2 to Sunday 21 November. Postponed due to Covid, these two consecutive exhibitions will be a great chance to see some brilliant and topical artwork made during extraordinary times. The exhibitions are open 11am - 6pm daily. All welcome!

East London Printmakers Festival of Print 2021

East London Printmakers  - Festival of Print at The Art Pavilion

East London Printmakers return to The Art Pavilion with their Festival of Print 2021 from 26 November to 5 December. The exhibition will highlight new work from a wide range of contemporary printmaking  practice, from traditional techniques to experimental processes.  90 artists will  showcaseetching, woodcuts, screenprints, collagraphs and more.

East London Printmakers is a not-for-profit, artist run studio based in Mile End. Their aim is to provide professional and affordable printmaking facilities for artists and designers and to create opportunities for them to discuss and exhibit their work. They offer open access for screen printing on paper and fabric, etching and relief and run a variety of courses and residency schemes.

GoParksLondon Goes East

GoParksLondon Goes East

Do you enjoy exploring parks and green spaces?

Enjoy a guided walk with Go Parks London through some of east London’s parks and learn more about our wonderful green spaces.

The walk will take place on 14 November and will start from Meath Gardens in Smart Street. The route takes in Mile End Park, Victoria Park, QEII Olympic Park, Three Mills Green, the Cody Wilds, Poplar River Park, and finishing at the Royal Docks. Find out more and book your free place.  

A Team Arts Education - Explore Programme 

A Team Arts Education - Explore Autumn Programme 2021

Free creative workshops for young people at The Brady Arts Centre

A Team Arts Education have two programmes on offer for young people this term. After school and weekend and sessions are aimed at supporting students who are curious and have creative minds and who are studying, or thinking about studying,  Arts and Design at GCSE, A Level and higher education. It is a chance to explore new art forms and develop new interests through master classes, planned tasks and advice sessions.

Live music is back at St Margaret's House

Live music is back at St Margaret's House

St. Margaret’s House are delighted to be opening their Gallery Cafe once more for Open Mic nights and their Chapel is also back in action for intimate gigs.  

The Sam Braysher Trio will be onstage on 17 November as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. Sam is a London-based alto saxophonist who takes a particular interest in lesser-known items from the Great American Songbook and jazz canon. His new trio album, 'Dance Little Lady, Dance Little Man', has earned glowing reviews from The Observer, The Times, Jazzwise, The Scotsman, Jazz Journal, Jazz Japan and more since its release in April 2021.

On 20 November the Anna Aarons band present In Memory of Amy,  an intimate evening remembering the late, great Amy Winehouse. After multiple sold-out shows, this popular and dedicated evening details Amy’s journey through music, looking at her inspirations and lyrical prowess.

The Gallery Cafe Open Mic returns on the last Thursday of the month.  All performers are welcome; singers, magicians, musicians, poets, comedians, actors and everything in between. 

Oxford House Creativity Club

Oxford House Creativity Club

Join the Oxford House team for special life drawing sessions in their beautiful Victorian chapel. Sessions are led by the Royal Drawing school and beginners are welcome. Basic drawing materials will be provided as part of this adult only workshop. The next session is on 11 November

Oxford House are also hosting Creativity Club; creative sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays in November, for local people aged 55+. Workshops include flower and leaf pressing, planting, making insect park hotels soap making. Contact to find out more.

Snapped 1990 II 2020

Snapped 1990 II 2020

Last year marked the 30th birthday of Half Moon Young People’s Theatre. Some of Half Moon’s young people took part in a photography project to explore the changes in Tower Hamlets over 30 years. The result is Snapped 1990 | 2020, an exhibition of photographs taken in 1990 alongside images taken at the same locations in 2020. But, as it turned out, the exhibition is much more than that.

During February 2020, a series of research sessions took place at Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives to identify photographs taken in 1990 that would reveal the area’s transformation. What had changed in the local area since the young people’s company was established in 1990 and what had stayed the same?

Just before lockdown was officially announced, young people and a photographer took to the now deserted streets of Tower Hamlets. What had been intended as a celebration of the evolution of a cosmopolitan, thriving borough was now a poignant reminder of how precious life is, capturing a very particular moment in the history of the world.

Snapped is on show at Half Moon Young People’s Theatre until 18 December

Craft Central open studios and winter market

Craft central open studios and winter market

Craft Central is holding its first Open Studios in its Isle of Dog location, alongside its annual designer-maker winter market on 20 and 21 November. This brings together talented craftspeople from Craft Central’s wider craft community alongside The Forge’s creative residents who will be opening up their private studios to the public where they can learn about their practice and gain creative appreciation.

The Winter Market will feature work by makers from Craft Central’s network of designer-makers. Products ranging from home accessories, fashion and jewellery to ceramics, stationery, prints, textiles and more will be on offer. This makers market is a chance for visitors to meet and shop directly from designer-makers, take part in craft workshops and enjoy a drink in the pop-up café run by Gu Choi Pan London. There will be over 40 makers to explore, buy from and relish. There will be a drop-in, affordable, family-friendly workshop on both days. Free entry.  

Mindful Mess Festival at Poplar Union

Mindfull Mess Festival at Poplar Union

Mental health, good and bad, is something that we all live with and all too often push to the back of our minds, even when it’s our minds that really need some love! So, this November, Poplar Union is bringing back A Mindful Mess Festival with a whole month of events, activities, shows and workshops exploring the mind, mental health and neurodiversity. This is about safe and open conversations, celebrating the weird and wonderful things our brains can do, and sharing thoughts, ideas and resources on how to support one another’s mental wellbeing.  There’s never been a better time to put mental health first!

Last chance to enter Mayor's Christmas card competition 

Last chance to enter the Mayor's Christmas card competition

With just about a few weeks until Christmas, John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets is once again on the lookout for exciting new designs for his Christmas cards.

Children who live or go to school in Tower Hamlets are being encouraged to get creative and enter Tower Hamlets Council’s Christmas card competition.

The three winning designs will feature on cards sent by Mayor Biggs and you have until Monday 8 November to enter!

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 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.

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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 | |

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