Queens Theatre Hornchurch is delighted to announce today (Wednesday 8 July) that it has received funding from the London Community Response Fund administered by City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, to run a programme of community outreach and artist development projects throughout the Summer. The theatre is turning themselves ‘inside-out’ to provide creative opportunities digitally, streamed live into homes across the borough.

The funds will allow the theatre to deliver their Summer Inside-Out programme – a collection of exciting free-to-access projects and workshops focusing on three key areas;

The first strand aims to provide open access to creative activities to the public, encouraging wellbeing, shared experiences and social interaction for all. In addition to continuing its successful Seated Dance Sessions with choreographer Sundeep Saini and Musical Theatre Sing-a-Longs with musician Andrew Linham, the Theatre is also launching Tiny Plays, an initiative which invites members of the public to explore play-making exercises with theatre director Jules Tipton. The exercises will then form an anthology of mini-plays performed by local actors.

The second strand will develop existing partnership projects to further support communities in need, connecting with looked after children and vulnerable young people. The Theatre will be curating digital activities to provide a positive safe place for young people to connect with each other and offer a creative focus to prepare students for their return to school in September. Participants will work towards an Arts Award qualification to recognise their achievements.

The third strand continues work already established by the Theatre’s successful Outer Limits Online programme, which brings together local performers and performance makers and offers signposting to emergency funds, and up-skilling to achieve sustainability after lockdown. In addition, the programme also offers employment opportunities for local freelance artists and practitioners at a time of real precarity for freelance work. Artists from the Outer Limits network will also work with the Young Changemakers, the Theatre’s youth council made up of five local 18-25 year olds, supporting them to curate an online programme of work for young people, requested, developed and delivered by young people addressing real and current needs.

James Watson, Head of Learning and Participation for Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, says ‘Over the last few months we’ve seen the power the arts hold to ignite moments of joy even amongst difficult circumstances as we’ve created new ways to connect with our wider community at home. We are thrilled to receive this funding to support an extended summer programme of activity, recognising the value of arts and culture in people’s lives, health and well-being and the significant part the theatre plays in supporting communities.’

More information on the London Community Response Fund is available online at www.londoncommunityresponsefund.org.uk

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