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Camden Together: art of the community

Creative programme brings culture to high streets, town centres, parks and estates

23 September, 2021 — By Dan Carrier

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment performing at the York Rise street party

THE borough of Camden has a long and celebrated history involving public art.

The passer-by has been able to gaze at a Henry Moore on a Maitland Park housing estate, enjoy not just one but a number of sculptures by Eduardo Paolozzi in Euston and Holborn, find pieces by Tracey Emin in Coram’s Fields and savour the huge range of contemporary public street art found in Camden Town.

Community art was in such demand through the 1970s the council ran its own mural programme with an artist in place to help brighten up gable ends and street corners.

With Camden recognised as one of London’s major cultural centres and the pandemic causing economic hardship for so many artists, freelancers saw already precarious livings wiped out by the closure of venues and galleries.

An answer came in the form of the Town Hall’s Camden Together programme, which has helped fund numerous free public events. Last week, it backed the York Rise Street Party, which saw the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment play Mozart’s 40th Symphony to packed crowds in the middle of Dartmouth Park.

The programme helped provide a stage dedicated to musicians aged 18 and under, who are students at the council’s Young Music Makers scheme. It paid for bubble-creating physics genius Sam The Bubbleman to enthral children of all ages, and brought The Magic Bistro – a French mime act based in Hampstead – onto the pavements.

The Dartmouth Park Film Club ran animation project for children with their results shown on a huge cinema screen.

Other attractions included a street art painting wall, drawing on a history of murals. Created by artist Marcus Raven, it featured a black and white image for others to colour in.

The aim of the street party was to bring people back together, bring joy through art, and support local businesses.

Helped by local firms who provided logistical and financial support – estate agents BRW, Murphys, The London Bead Shop among many – the street party offered a chance to hear a vast range of music, take part and enjoy the creative arts, a key part of Cultural Camden’s aims.

Other groups supported by the programme include Mother at Mosaic, a community arts project and cafe in Gospel Oak. They featured a show called Private: Great Ideas By Geniuses, performed by resident clowns. Other events include a poetry slam this weekend and on October 23rd a Halloween “up-cycling” costume-making session.

The Town Hall’s plan was to commission new work that takes place outdoors, bring life to high streets, town centres, parks and estates through cultural activities and bring culture to everyone.

What’s on

Soulmates: Jazz Duo
September 25 – Kilburn High Road, 1-3pm
September 25 – Mother at the Mosaic, 4-5pm
September 26 – Mornington Crescent, 1-3pm
October 2 – Marchmont Street, 1-3pm
October 3 – Mornington Crescent, 1-3pm

Rosemary Jane Cronin
September 24 – Queen’s Crescent Market, 6.30- 7.30pm, Part One, Wedding Dress performance
October 9 – Red Lion Square, 6-7pm, Part Two, Jumpers Performance
October 23 – Mother at the Mosaic, 4.30-5.30pm, Part Three, Red Socks Performance
October 31 – The Brunswick Centre, 4-5pm, Finale, Performance of all garments

Camden Black Creatives’ Culture Fest
October 2 and 3 – South Crescent, 12-6pm

Mother at the Mosaic
September 25 – Poetry Slam Event, Roundhouse x HVH Arts Workshop 2.30-4pm; Soulmates 4-5pm; Spoken Word Show 5-6pm.
October 23 – Children’s Halloween Upcycling Costume Making Workshop with Little Hands Design, 10am-4pm
October 30 – Halloween, 11.30am-5pm

London Irish Centre
September 25 – Irish Dance performance, Bloomsbury Square, 3-4pm
October 13 – Storytelling and Bodhrán Workshop, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 10am-12.30pm
October 16 – Illuminations, London Irish Centre, 6-9pm

Atypical Industries
October 29 and 30 – Kingsway Tram Tunnel Entrance, times TBC

UK Mexican Arts Society
October 30 – Ossulston Street, 11am-8pm

Small Green Shoots
Lunchtime Pop-ups, October 20, 21, 22, 25, locations and times TBC



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