January 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      >

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January each year as an important reminder of how humanity can come together to learn from the past, empathise with others and help to build a better future. In 2023 events will take place from 26 to 29 January, in line with this year’s theme, ‘Ordinary People’.

On 26 January residents are invited to a free screening of Where is Anne Frank in partnership with UK Jewish Film. This animated, magic realism film tells the story of Kitty, the imaginary girl written to in Anne Frank’s diary, brought to life in the present day.

On 29 January, an informative walking tour takes in historic Jewish locations. Book your place for Babies, The Blitz, Clubs and Coriander: The Ever Changing Jewish East End. This is followed by the Interfaith Memorial Event. Residents are welcome to join members of the Interfaith Forum to reflect on this year’s theme. Booking advised.

Your Voice Workshops with Centre Stage

Centre Stage: Your Voice - Youth Drama Workshops

Image: Rehan Jamil

From January - March 2023, Centre Stage will be hosting Your Voice’ a new series of workshops with an end of project performance live at the Brady Arts Centre

Young people aged 14-19 (up to 25 years for SEND) can develop skills in songwriting, spoken word, poetry, rap and performance and learn how to use media, sounds and visual techniques.

Eleven sessions will include group workshops, a masterclass and a performance day on with a headline performer to inspire the young people as part of International Women’s Day.

Spaces are limited. For more details and to register your interest please email fortunefavourstv@gmail.com

Art Classes at The Brady Centre

Art Classes at The Brady Centre

Come along to the Brady Arts Centre in Whitechapel on Wednesdays and Thursdays for art classes in a variety of media.

Art4U2 classes

Classes take place on Wednesday 1-3pm and 6.30-8.30pm. Hone your skills or learn how to use media such as oils, watercolour, printmaking and collage. In spring term, explore abstract mark-making and pattern. Look at artists such as Delauney, Kandinsky, Matisse, Mondrian and Klimt.  Delve into surrealism. Classes run from 18 January to 15 March.

Whitechapel Life Drawing Club

Beginners can learn how to draw from life, and experienced artists can develop their practice at this weekly daytime class. The class takes place in a light art studio; the perfect environment in which to draw and paint. The class is not tutored, but advice and experience is available. All levels welcome. The classes run every Thursday from 12 January– 30 March from 10am to 12 noon.

A Team Arts Education Spring Term

A Team Arts Education spring term

A Team Arts Education’s youth arts programme starts back at The Brady Arts Centre in January. All sessions are free and are open to young people who live, work or study in Tower Hamlets.

  • Saturday Support Programme. This is an open art programme for all 11 – 19 year olds. Themes: different forms of photography and fashion styling. There will also be a trip to Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.
  • Insights Support Programme. This is a nine week programme targeted at years 12 and 13. It will help them with preparing a strong portfolio for foundation, BA studies and course work for GCSE and A Levels.
  • The Brady Legacy Project. An intergenerational arts project in which young people aged 15 – 18 work with Old Bradians. This term the focus is on creating a banner for the Brady Arts Centre by exploring the history of the centre and its many communities. The project is open to new existing and members.

Join London's first and only music hall choir!

London Music Hall Choir

The London Music Hall choir rehearse at The Brady Arts Centre and their new term starts on Monday 9 January with new members welcome. They sing songs that were sung in the Music Halls of the East End of London and other related repertoire. Music Hall songs are great! They’re funny, irreverent, sentimental and filled with interesting bits of local vernacular, history and culture.

Songs are learned by ear so there’s no need to read music to be part of the choir. It is a non-audition choir and singers of all ability and experience levels are welcome. It is a performing choir but taking part in gigs is optional and you are welcome to join the choir just to sing at the sessions.

New Year's Day Walk in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park

New Year's Day walk in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park

The year has turned, and there are signs of the coming season all around, if you have eyes for them. Join us in our search for spring. Warm up afterwards with tea or coffee and biscuits at the Soanes Centre. Join your walk leader Kenneth Greenway, the Manager of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park on Sunday 1 January, 1pm - 3pm.

This is a free event (donations welcome) but spaces are limited and advance booking is required.

'Our Journeys' Storytent taster day at Rich Mix

'Our Journeys' Storytent taster day at Rich Mix

A Taster Day for 'Our Journeys' StoryTent, an eight-week creative local history and textiles project.

Our Journeys is an eight-week creative local history and textiles project at Rich Mix.  The project is for local parents to learn about local history and explore their place in this by sharing stories of migration to Tower Hamlets. Personal and shared views, experiences and memories will inspire this collaborative textiles project, to create a StoryTent, to be showcased in a public exhibition at Rich Mix.

Rich Mix and Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives will support the sessions alongside training in textiles skills and knowledge with artists Teresa Hare Duke and Jakia Khanom.

In partnership with Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives. This project is free of charge, thanks to support from Heritage Lottery Fund.

Winter Lights at Canary Wharf

Winter Lights at Canary Wharf

The Canary Wharf Winter Lights return in January 2023 for the seventh year!

The festival is the largest of its kind in London, transforming Canary Wharf with over 20 stunning installations, leaving the dark winter evenings aglow. The spectacle showcases light art and interactive installations by some of the most innovative light artists across the globe with some new commissions alongside pieces never seen in the UK. From a family of giant mammoths at Riverside, to an immersive fibre-optic tunnel in Wood Wharf, there is sure to be something to spark your imagination.

Visit the Canary Wharf website to download a map to guide you round the installations.

Inspire! - The new season of activities at St Margaret's House

Inspire! - The new season at St Margaret's House

It's an exciting time at St Margaret's House as they begin the new year with a season of activism, arts, performance and heritage to get you inspired! An "Evening of Protest" with new guest artists, themed Open Mic nights, a flamenco dance piece inspired by fireflies and a fantastic series of workshops including a new circus project! Check out the full season of activities.

East London Art Prize Shortlist Exhibition

East London Art Prize

Under 5s Workshop: Moving Bodies. Moving Images

East London Art Prize Shortlist Exhibition at The Nunnery Gallery from 20 January - 19 February

Bow Arts’ new East London Art Prize celebrates the talent and diversity of art made in east London and this exhibition will present the Prize’s first shortlist of 12 incredible artworks.

The shortlisted artists were picked from over 650 submissions from artists working or living in east London.  Themes explored in the shortlisted works include cultural displacement, the shared histories of black British women, isolation and belonging within Muslim communities, and navigating everyday life as a person with disabilities.

The works are moving, probing, funny and poignant, inviting visitors to explore their messages through varying media including film, ceramic, performance, painting and sculpture.

Whitechapel Gallery Under 5s Workshop: Moving Bodies. Moving Images

Under 5s Workshop with Jasmin Bhanji 2021, Photo by Manuel Vason

How can you use your body to create shadows, shapes and sounds?

Take part in a drop-in workshop for under 5s at Whitechapel Gallery on 7 January. Led by artist Rosie Gibbens to collaborate and play using unusual objects and materials inspired by Rosie’s art practice and the Moving Bodies, Moving Images exhibition.  This is a free workshop, but booking is required.

Trapped in Zone One Creative Workshops

Trapped In Zone One creative workshops

Starting in the New Year Trapped In Zone One are hosting free weekly workshops in Bethnal Green for residents of Tower Hamlets, using creativity to promote wellness. The works created will be included as part of the Great Mental Health exhibition planned of New Year in-store at GreatArt.

Sessions will take place on Wednesdays 11, 18 and 25 January, 5 – 7pm at St. Peter’s North Community Centre, 80 Pritchard’s Road, London E2 9AP

To register and all enquiries contact hello@trappedinzoneone.com

Last chance to catch Mid-winter Magic: Light and Shadow at the Kobi Nazrul Centre

Mid-winter Magic: Light and Shadow

Last chance to catch this seasonal window display at The Kobi Nazrul Centre.  The display showcases illuminated art by young people with autism from Phoenix School and is part of the Tower Hamlets Winter Light Project.  The work expresses the young people’s emotions through the colours of the four seasons: vibrant as spring, warm as summer, earthy as autumn and cool as winter.  The display features many hands joined together and reaching out.

This bright, colourful and imaginative installation will bring festive cheer to Hanbury Street until 7 January.

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.

Twitter @THevents

Facebook TowerHamletsEvents

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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