This week we visited Poplar Union, a bespoke arts and events centre in East London with a focus on community involvement. Visitors to this purpose built space describe it as the creative heart of Poplar.
It‘s a place where people can come and work or sit and just gaze out of the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the beautiful green space outside. Mums come and socialise, children come and play. Locals come and pick up a book from the leave-one-take-one library and enjoy a cup of coffee. It’s a community space, but it’s also an arts space.
Come to one of the craft workshops and give old fabrics a new lease of life. Local community workshop facilitator Maud leads fun soft-toy making workshops for the centre’s toy box. This is a super fantastic opportunity to get creative. All the centre asks is that you bring unwanted clothing or fabric and get creative.
As Theatre and Performance Programmer Beth explains, “We’re providing Poplar with affordable access to culture, theatre and the arts. Poplar Union is accessible and offers lots of concessions whether you’re unemployed, a carer, or simply live in the area. We don’t want anyone feeling alienated or intimidated.”
“We are trying to reach out to the local community. It’s about staying local. Art is happening all the time, it’s at any level and we are unleashing the arts,” explains Martha, Music Programmer.
Workshops and even furniture inside the centre are commissioned by residents who are passionate and have exhibited talents and a desire to share their skills.
Supporting the community through art, culture and well-being
The centre always wants to hear from local musicians and artists to support them. “This is a space that will nurture artists and support their work,” explains Beth.
The centre celebrates the area, its history and supports the journey of change. Currently there is a photo exhibition running until the end of July celebrating Poplar’s vibrant history and future.
Their programme has something for everyone, from POP-Bingo to Zumba, theatre to live music.
Fancy getting involved?
Why not volunteer! Write reviews for their many events. Or do you have photography and filming skills? Photograph or film events and Poplar Union will provide the resources. Just come forward with your skills and talents!
Exciting events coming up:
Sunday 16 July – Toy Making Workshop £3
Design and make cuddly soft toys for the cafe toy box. Bring your unwanted clothes, fabric and get creative!
Time: 1 – 4pm
Saturday 22 July – The London Okinawa Sanshinkai & Butoh UK £3 – Kids free.
Be transported to the Orient for an evening of traditional Japanese music, dance, arts & crafts and Japanese fusion food.
Time: 4 – 8pm
Monday 7 August – Homemade Essential Oils Workshop £3 (or pay what you can)
Make your own oils, scrubs and body creams and create your own recipe book!
Time: 12 – 2:30pm
To get involved contact:
020 3039 3333