June 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      >

Festival of Communities

Festival of Communities

Festival of Communities returns in June and everyone is welcome to join Queen Mary University of London and local organisations for a fantastic weekend of free family fun!

Exploring living and learning together in Tower Hamlets, Queen Mary staff and students will be running hands-on activities that showcase local creativity, research and community initiatives. There will also be free face painting, games and inflatables!

The festival takes place from 11.30am-4.30pm in Stepney Green Park on Saturday 10 June and the Queen Mary Mile End Campus on Sunday 11 June.

The Essential School of Painting: Links 1 and 2

The Essential School of Painting: Links 1 and 2

The Essential School of Painting (ESOP) present their two end of year exhibitions at The Art Pavilion in Mile End Park. The title of the shows Links suggests connection, collaboration and community, being the bedrock on which creativity can thrive. Links also nods to the new technologies that connect us in our contemporary world.  ESOP Links 1 takes place from 16 – 20 June and ESOP Links 2 runs from 23 – 27 June.  Exhibitions open 10am – 6pm daily.

The ESOP is a dynamic and alternative London Art School specialising in painting and fine art courses taught by leading contemporary artists. The ESOP offers exciting courses with the intention of advancing painting and contemporary art practice in the 21st Century.

Urban Makers Summer Market 2023

Urban Makers Market at The Ecology Pavilion

Now in its 9th successful year, Urban Makers return to The Ecology Pavilion in Mile End Park, to host their annual Summer market on 24 and 25 June.

Fifty different  designers  will take part each day selling everything from homeware, jewellery, art, candles, toys, clothing and accessories. All sustainable and ethical. There will also be a range of creative workshops. 

Urban Makers Feast will be back with a great selection of  food and drink including coffee, cocktails, lunch and delicious cake.

Queer Footprints at The Kobi Nazrul Centre

Queer Footprings

Friends of the Joiners Arms and The Rainbow Tree are excited to celebrate the launch of ‘Queer Footprints - A Guide to Uncovering London’s Fierce History’ at the Kobi Nazrul Centre on 23 June. 

'Queer Footprints' centres the power of London’s growing Bangladeshi LGBTQIA+ community and is inspired by the Friends of the Joiners Arms defiant and successful campaign to protect queer spaces.

The evening will include talks from activists at the helm of ‘The Rainbow Tree’ and ‘Friends of the Joiners Arms’ alongside ‘Queer Footprints’ author, Dan Glass. The discussion will be followed by special performances by The Rainbow Tree performers Tashnuva Ferdousi (Singer), Asker Ahmed (Dance), Md Sohan (Dance) and Nazir Uddin (poem recitation) and a book signing.

20th Anniversary Events at the Museum of London Docklands

20th Anniversary at the Museum of London Docklands

Visit the Museum of London Docklands as they mark their birthday with events celebrating the people, culture, music and food of London’s East End.

From its long history as a gateway to the world, to the communities that shaped modern music, the vibrant Columbia Road flower market to the graffiti of Brick Lane, they will be exploring the unique history of our neighbourhood and celebrating the people that make us all proud to call East London home.

From radical architecture walks to queer beer crawls, film screenings to live music, dance workshops and a late-night street party on the idyllic quayside, there’s something for everyone to celebrate Museum of London Docklands turning 20.

Please visit the specific event pages on our website for event times, fees and locations.

What Shall We Build Here? 

What Shall We Build Here?

What Shall We Build Here, Artsadmin’s festival of art, climate and community, is back from 28 June – 2 July 2023.

Taking place at Toynbee Studios and across Aldgate East and the City of London, What Shall We Build Here will stage an eclectic programme of talks, walks, feasts, workshops, performances and meditations which imagine ways of living together that are just and sustainable for people and planet. 

Join Artsadmin in conversation, in play, in reflection and in rest, and imagine ways of living together that are just and sustainable for people and planet!

Striking Sparks: The Story of the Matchgirls

Striking Sparks: The Story of the Matchgirls

The premiere of A Fair Field by Jonathan Pease, in an evening of music telling the story of the Bow Matchgirls’ Strike of 1888.

This project brings together musicians from four community groups, Queen Mary University, and local schools, to perform a brand new piece telling the story of the Matchgirls Strike of 1888.

A historic event which took place in the Bryant & May factory in Bow, East London, the strike saw the group of young women and girls successfully challenge workplace exploitation and win better pay conditions. Their story was inspirational for subsequent generations of workers around the world.

The performance will take place on Saturday 1 July in The People’s Palace, Queen Mary University of London. Book tickets.

The Victoria Park Bandstand Season continues

Victoria Park Bandstand Season continues

Image: VPF © 2010>2022 

Come and enjoy a great family afternoon at Vicky Park's famous bandstand as the Victoria Park Bandstand Season returns for summer 2023. Concerts take place every Sunday from 21 May to 30 July. From Portugal to The Balkans, Bow and Stepney, 22 bands over 11 days provide fantastic free concerts to liven up your summer Sunday.  Performances start at 2pm. Check out the full programme.

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

Bowfest: Open Studios 2023

Bowfest Open Studios

Henna Market Stall at Bow Open Studios Credit: Hallie Primus

Get ready for Bow Arts’ biggest event of the summer! Meet a community of over 100 talented artists living and working in east London.

Bow Arts are throwing open the doors to their Bow Road Studios for their annual event on 16 – 17 June. Come and celebrate the thriving community of east London’s brightest emerging and established artists, designers and makers. Out in the courtyard there will be live music, a makers market, food stalls and more.

Doors will be open from 6pm-9pm on Friday 16 June and 11am – 5pm on Saturday 17 June.

Life is More Important Than Art: Free summer programme at Whitechapel Gallery

Life Is More Important Than Art

Image Credit: Janette Parris, Whitechapel Gallery, 2023, Digital Drawing, Courtesy the artist

Life is More Important Than Art is a summer-long, multidisciplinary programme of exhibitions and events. It explores the intersection of art and everyday life and the role of the contemporary art institution at a time of uncertainty and change.

The title of the season takes inspiration from African-American writer and novelist James Baldwin, who proposed that life is more important than art … and yet that is why art is important. At a time when the cost-of-living crisis is causing severe financial hardship and the after-effects of the pandemic are still being felt, we consider the role of art and the art institution in everyday life. What importance can we attach to art alongside more pressing concerns?

The exhibition maps dynamic histories of migration and difference, with a focus on London and the East End. Representative of, and animated by, the distinctive and radical history of Whitechapel Gallery, Life is More Important Than Art points to the critical role that art can play in both reflecting lived experience and opening up new possibilities for thinking, feeling and dreaming.

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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