From post-Grenfell support to tasty roti, NuDawn breaks over Hackney’s melting pot

Andrew Wright standing next to one of his paintings. Pic: Saidu Dansadau

Walking into NuDawn from Well Street in Hackney, you are welcomed by a set of picture frames showing stories of families and people that have visited this community-based space for hire.

Kevin Jones, co-founder of NuDawn said: “NuDawn is for the community and the families it helps. All we try to do is make a difference, there are too many issues in London and nobody is talking about it.”

Kevin Jones, Co-founder of NuDawn. Pic: Saidu Dansadau

“About 2 years ago we decided to start NuDawn, a space for hire that will cater for diverse technology and creative opportunities in the melting pot of East London.”

NuDawn’s mission is to support and champion creatives and entrepreneurs, by providing a space for them to exhibit, experiment and develop their work and also provide workshops to help facilitate and cultivate industry relationships.

Since its inception, NuDawn has hosted a diverse range of events such as record launches, public/ private exhibitions, talks and workshops, supper clubs, pop up markets, theatrical performances and lots more.

“There was one where we handed over the shop to a group of young children from the youth club, they wanted to raise £200 for a trip, they ended up raising  £900 by selling cakes, soft drinks, squash, hot chocolate etc., We try in whatever way to empower the community,” Jones explained.

NuDawn recently hosted an event in honour of the Grenfell tower victims and survivors. The exhibition was in aid of the Poetry 4 Grenfell project, which has helped people in the area deal with the aftermath of the fire through poetry, dance and film.

Andrew Wright, who has been painting since he was 4 exhibited some of his paintings including ‘The Eye Sore’ at the event. He said NuDawn has helped him promote his works and that ‘The Eye Sore’, was inspired after a conversation with Kevin Jones.

The Eye Sore on display. Pic: Saidu Dansadau

“Eye Sore was inspired after a conversation with Kevin at NuDawn, talking about the disaster at the time, How I felt about the Tower,”

“As a child, I would have loved to grow up seeing more black art and it can make people look into their own history and I believe that quite important. NuDawn is providing that platform for people like me to express themselves.”

Marion Joseph, deputy headteacher, 60, said: “Every time you come to NuDawn, it is something different, it is a creative hub, creativity is projected in so many different ways.”

“They have had an art exhibition in honour of Grenfell survivors, Caribbean food Sunday dinner with everyone on the floor, spoken word, book launches. Although there are a lot of community centres, I do not think Hackney has any creative hub that covers such a wealth of the arts like NuDawn,” she added.

Lorraine Williamson, 57, another co-founder of NuDawn, said: ‘What makes NuDawn different is “we don’t exclude or discriminate against anyone, everyone is welcome and we create opportunities for people locally, to exhibit their art collections for free, the opportunity to promote their work.”

She told Ell: “Last summer we had little children come here and run the shop themselves, had workshops about enterprise and business, how to plan a business, deciding what you want to sell, market research.”

“We don’t gain money from that, but we at least give these young people opportunity to set up a business, an opportunity they cannot get elsewhere.”

“We do that as well as our very nice food: the Caribbean Roti from Trinidad is very tasty,” she added.

The entrance of NuDawn. Pic: Saidu Dansadau



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