A new festival exploring working-class identity, a photo exhibition on the concept of home, a cross-cultural orchestra, sensory dance film, community mural and a guerilla poetry project will all share £85,000 from the second round of Hackney Council’s Shoreditch and Hoxton Art Fund.

The fund is one of the first initiatives identified in the borough’s Arts and Cultural Strategy and is designed to ensure everyone benefits from growth in Shoreditch and Hoxton. Launched in 2019 and now in its second round, it has amounted to a total of £300,000 taken from levies placed on new developments in and around Shoreditch and Hoxton called Section 106.

These contributions were specifically raised to support arts and culture and community-led initiatives. Projects are commissioned on the basis of providing access to the arts for people in Shoreditch and Hoxton which have seen rapid growth in development and economic investment over the last 15 years.

Shoreditch and Hoxton is now home to some of the world’s leading creative tech and digital media companies and attracts smaller businesses from around the world. To ensure this economic growth helps bridge the gap between those living and those working in the area, Hackney Council has committed to fund participatory creative and community-led incentives that enable local communities to connect with the economic change.

The funding opportunity attracted numerous submissions in response to the round 2 call for ideas from arts and culture institutions based in Shoreditch and Hoxton. It can now be revealed that the £85,000 will be shared among five successful applicants: Autograph ABP in partnership with Mouth That Roars, Grand Union Orchestra, Hoxton Hall, Ministry of Stories, Snooze Fabric and Studio Wayne McGregor in partnership with Shoreditch Trust and Museum of the Home (formerly known as The Geffrye Museum).

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney’s Cabinet member for Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy said: “Hackney’s objective is two-fold, the first is to commission the Arts and Cultural community to connect residents and businesses in Tech City and to create a lasting relationship based on understanding and mutual support. The second is to ensure that Hackney’s creative community is supported in these very challenging times by bringing forward the Art Fund to commission what they do best, using the arts to reach out to and connect people.

The Art Fund will help inject arts and cultural organisations with much-needed cash flow by linking this to commissioning work and activities to help with the phased reopening of our neighbourhoods over the coming year. We know how hard the Arts and Cultural sector is being hit right now. We hope these grants will provide some fraction of reassurance to how much we value their work and demonstrates the importance Hackney places on their talents and skills. It’s been wonderful to see such great ideas awarded and serves as a reminder to how resilient and talented Hackney’s creative practitioners are”.