Community broadcasts are unlocking creativity during lockdown

Some of the creative talent that is bubbling away in Newham is being unleashed from this week in the first or a series of online videos that will feature artistic residents of all ages.

As part of Newham Council’s exciting new arts, culture and heritage programme called Newham Unlocked, a series of community broadcasts will be posted online on Thursdays for the next eight weeks, starting on 25 June.

The broadcasts will feature residents, and some famous faces linked to the borough, showcasing their talents through clips filmed on their phones or tablet devices. They capture the spirit of Newham’s community and showcase how creative people have been behind closed doors during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: “Every day across the borough people have been using their imagination and creativity to get through these incredibly challenging times. Creativity can mean different things to different people. Whether you bake, draw, paint, sew, sing, rap, dance, write, or garden, we want to hear from you."

The first broadcast on Thursday includes contributions from a comedian, a singer and actress, a composer, a film director, and a poet and star of TV’s Peaky Blinders, all encouraging residents to share their creativity.

The Council has been working with arts organisation UP Projects to create the broadcasts from people’s submitted content. Residents are invited to submit clips for future Thursday broadcasts. If you want to showcase a quick cooking demonstration, play an instrument, sing a song or read a poem, send in your video to give everyone a glimpse of what Newham has been creating behind closed doors.

The different clips will be edited together and broadcast at and posted on Newham Council’s Twitter feed @newhamlondon and Facebook site and other social media channels. Video clips from residents can also be submitted through the same website.

Mayor Fiaz added: “The Newham Unlocked Community Broadcasts are all part of our big plans to ignite the creativity that is bubbling away here by co-producing a powerful arts and cultural programme with our residents that reaches every part of our diverse borough, opens opportunities and gets more people taking part.”

Newham Unlocked is part of a developing cultural strategy that will support the Mayor’s Community Wealth Building and Inclusive Economy agendas.

Another element of the Newham Unlocked programme will be a festival of pop-up performances that will be streamed online. Arts development organisation Certain Blacks Ltd, which supports the growth of diverse artists, is working with the Council on performances featuring local people in various locations across the borough.

Published: 24 Jun 2020