The Discover Young Hackney festival, which encourages young people to get involved in the creative arts, is running throughout this month in venues across the borough.
The festival, which runs until 28th February, will open up the doors of many local arts institutions including the London College of Fashion, Graeae Theatre Company and Hoxton Hall.
The venues will offer free classes in a range of arts activities including film making, graphic design, radio DJing and printmaking.
Local arts groups will also be showcasing their talents, including Baajo Gold, master drummers, traditional storytellers and It Happened Here, a showcase of Hackney’s history, running at the Geffrye Museum and Hoxton Hall.
The festival also offers young people the chance to join the press team for the event. The programme features a variety of events including the “I’m In” talent contest hosted by the Hackney Empire. Many activities run during the school half-term.
In recent years, the cultural and creative sector has replaced manufacturing as Hackney’s main industry, accounting for around 10% of employment in the borough.
The festival, now in its fourth year, will help to cultivate fresh talent in the area as well as enhancing its reputation as a creative hub. According to a recent council report, “it is important to ensure the right conditions are in place to maintain businesses and create employment opportunities for Hackney residents [in the creative sector]”.
Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe said the development of creative talent among young people “has particular resonance in Hackney where the creative and cultural industries are so important to the borough’s identity and also now, with the 2012 Olympics just over the horizon”.