Announcing Connecting People and Places Fund’s Collaborative Commissions 2023

We are pleased to announce that our Connecting People and Places Fund’s Collaborative Commissions 2023 will be awarding a total of £154,960 grants to 17 projects, co-funded by City of London as part of our Foundations Programme.

The Collaborative Commissions aims to support projects that will unlock further understanding on how creativity can be used to deliver arts, education, employment programming that provides creative learning opportunities, employment and leadership roles, training and fusion skills development.

These innovative and collaborative culture-led creative learning projects range from a silent music project for Tower Hamlet primary school children (Silent Movie) and a theatre organisation tackling mental health and loneliness for young people (Orpheus Project), to digital hackspaces for neurodiverse young people (Some Kind of Hack Space) and disabled music workshops (Around the World).

Proposed activity will be delivered between February and July 2023.

Collaborative Commissions 2023 aim to give organizations an opportunity to further embed a collaborative approach into their work, support each other through project delivery and beyond to build long-term change in their organisations and networks across East London.

The Co-Lab programme is supported by creative producer Francesca Gkotsi and aimed to support the grantee cohort to explore new forms of collaboration, co-delivery, co-programming and ideation to address shared local social issues as opposed to siloed work.

Alongside a series of peer-to-peer learning workshops, 1:1 support, skills sharing and othe bespoke resources, we hope to support grantees build capacity and support them to work in concert and create space to share knowledge from each other’s work and explore potential to network and collaborate to reach wider audiences, share resources/costs (e.g. venues, recruitment platforms, marketing), share skills and expand impact work and partnerships both in short term and longer term.

Collaborative Commissions 2023 awards

  1. Art MattersListen to Your Art Beat – Six groups of young people will be empowered to design and deliver six different art workshops to their peers and members of the community.
  1. Artillery – Some Kind of ‘Hack Space’- Some Kind of Hack Space is a creative lab space devised with and for neurodiverse young people enabling autonomous, self-led creative learning, especially making digital technology and tools accessible.
  1. Babel Theatre – The Orpheus Project | 2023 – The Orpheus Project is a community cohesion project for young men in East London tackling the stigma of mental health and loneliness through training, community and creative development.
  1. Bounce Cinema – Bounce Film School – Three-month film school for Hackney/Tower Hamlets young people (16-25). Includes filmmaking workshops, mentoring with filmmakers and artists, CV workshops, screenings at Genesis Cinema and Hackney Picturehouse and work placements.
  1. Big CreativeLife Bytes – A pilot project of skills development for 15-24-year-olds, events, CPD, and partnership building looking at digital creativity and innovation, future-proofing and fusion skills, representation, and inclusivity linking education and work.
  1. East London Skills for Life – Artistic Foundational Programme – The project has two folds: To develop the creativity and music artistry of 12 young people and to provide functional skills to raise their prospects.
  1. Eastside Community Heritage – Sound Destination – Young women to gain employment skills and support and develop personal career, sound road map and community sound installation via: development and empowerment tools, digital skills, Local historical + contemporary women’s’ experiences/advice, employment support and advice.
  1. Freedom 2 and Ricebox StudioFREEDOM 2 B is a four-day hackathon for beginners introducing AR with the lens of activism and online identities.
  1. Humourisk CIC — Hands On Training – East, practical training growing confidence and life skills for 16-60 years. Learning through comedy and humour, written, visual and performance art, observing individuality and commonality, challenging stigma.
  1. Keynote Music, Soundbox and THAMESAround the World – New music created by young people from Soundbox, an inclusive music collective that brings together disabled and non-disabled musicians, part of Tower Hamlets Arts & Music Education Service (THAMES), and two Tower Hamlets community performances with Keynote Music/Docklands Sinfonia musicians and singers.
  1. Lisa BannonSilent Movie – Three Year 6 classes from Marion Richardson and Mowlem Primary Schools to create silent movies. Pupils write, storyboard, film on iPads in small groups. Create soundtracks to bring stories alive.
  1. Marie BashiruFolk Arts in the English BIPOC Diaspora – To research the ties between Nigerian and English folklore expression and hold a creative workshop that explores local and regional iterations of creating local and inclusive folk art.
  1. Our Community Cares – Caring Conscious & Creative Community Online – To create a self-sustaining caring and creative community online that will train and support its members in the effective, ethical, social, and environmentally conscious use of Internet based technologies.
  1. Purple Moon DramaProject Platform will nurture young artists from East London with a training and mentorship incubator programme offering professional development and opportunity to build networks and deliver a multi-venue arts festival.
  1. Repair Collective – Repair Redux is an exhibition exploring repair as an ongoing process. Over 3 months we will co-produce a public, open-use site. Including a programme with community-focused workshops, screenings and reading group
  1. Taking Shape / Be Heard As One – Rules of Engagement Learning© – Using “Rules of Engagement Learning©” to co-create a media and creative career project with a group of young people living on an underserved estate in Newham.
  1. You Be You – Empowering BME pupils in Tower Hamlets – We support pupils experiencing systemic disadvantage to address issues of inclusion and racism through bespoke workshops tailored to the BME community to empower their voices using the power of art.

In 2022, we awarded 10 projects for the second round of this scheme that explores the value of creativity on learning and skills.

The Collaborative Commissions aims to build on our commitment to the Fusion Prize and Fusion Futures programmes, which seek to amplify conversation around skills development, social mobility, the value of creativity and innovation.

For more information about Collaborative Commissions 2023, see our grant page.


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