We work with many different organisations and people within the local cultural and creative industries producing art, drama, music, dance, film, literature, media, architecture and heritage.


Hackney Circle

Hackney Circle is a free membership scheme for residents aged 55+ that connects its members with the borough’s thriving cultural life. Event information from participating cultural partners is regularly shared with the Hackney Circle community of over 350 older residents.

Anyone living in Hackney aged 55+ is welcome to join the Hackney Circle to regularly receive information about Hackney’s vibrant cultural offer.

Hackney Black History

Our Culture Team is providing a small grant programme to support cultural activities and projects that respond to the nationwide Black History Month.

This is open to Hackney residents and people who wish to create work that engages Hackney’s communities. You should deliver your project or activity in the period of our Black History Season which covers October or November of 2023.

The applications are now open and close at midnight Sunday 20 August 2023. We aim to contact all applicants between 29 to 31 August 2023.

To find out more about the grant, visit Love Hackney – Black History Season Grants.

Hackney Carnival

Hackney’s carnival groups, along with schools and community organisations, have planned a programme of events from July to September 2023. These events showcase the borough’s talents during carnival season. They also keep Hackney’s carnival traditions alive in preparation for a full carnival parade in 2024.

To see the programme of events, visit Love Hackney – Hackney Carnival.

Cllr Chris Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Culture at Hackney Council has delivered a statement on the future of Hackney Carnival, committing to a full carnival event in 2024 and every two years after. To read the statement, visit Hackney News.

Discover Young Hackney

This summer, Discover Young Hackney returns to bring arts and culture to Hackney’s young people. The initiative aims to:

  • develop the creative skills of 13 to 19-year-olds (up to 25 with SEND)
  • provide routes into the cultural and creative industries

The programme also raises the profile of cultural organisations that run high-quality activities for young people in Hackney.

To celebrate Discover Young Hackney’s 16th year, we have partnered with some of Hackney’s leading arts and cultural organisations. This includes but not limited to Hackney Shed, Children with Voices and Arcola Theatre.

Industry professionals lead all events and activities and are either free or low cost. Limited places are available and going quickly. To sign up, visit Love Hackney – Discover Young Hackney 2023.

Windrush Artwork Commission

One of the many ways you can celebrate 75 years of African-Caribbean heritage in Hackney today is by visiting our commemorative sculptures. The sculptures are located a short walk from Hackney Central station beside St. Augustine’s Tower and outside Hackney Town Hall.

We invited residents, cultural experts, Windrush campaigners, artists, architects, local councillors and school children to provide feedback on artwork proposals from a range of artists that aimed to celebrate and commemorate the Windrush Generation. This was before Veronica Ryan OBE and Thomas J Price were finally selected as the winning artists.

We commissioned these artworks as a permanent symbol of honour, respect and commitment to the Windrush Generation, their legacy and contribution to life in Hackney today. Create London curated and produced the artworks. Art Fund and Freelands Foundation support made the commission possible.

To find out more, see Hackney Windrush – Artwork Commission (PDF 592kb).

Windrush Day 

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Windrush, Hackney Town Hall held a special event for the Windrush Community.

To view pictures from the event, visit flickr – 75th Anniversary of Windrush.

Hackney Pride365

After Pride Month 2023, our Culture Team introduced two small-grant programmes. These are available for:

  • Hackney’s LGBTQIA+ residents
  • LGBTQIA+ cultural activities happening in Hackney with a focus on engaging Hackney’s communities

These grants target events taking place for either:

  • Transgender Awareness Week (13 to 19 November 23) and Transgender Day of Remembrance (20 November 23)
  • LGBT+ History Month 2024 (February 2024)

To apply for the grant and to find out more, visit Love Hackney – Pride365 Grants Programme.

Shoreditch and Hoxton Art Fund

The Shoreditch and Hoxton Art Fund was a council initiative to create a community arts and cultural fund. The fund was created using money raised from charges on developers building in Shoreditch and Hoxton.

The fund provided investment into arts and cultural-led community projects. These projects aimed to:

  • boost the confidence and skills of the communities that make up the Shoreditch and Hoxton neighbourhoods
  • connect residents with the creative-led economy
  • improve social cohesion between Hoxton and Shoreditch
  • make arts and culture more accessible for residents

An evaluation report, by Social Life, found that the initiative has:

  • delivered on its aims to make the arts accessible for all
  • created new opportunities for local people
  • positively impacted the well being and mental health of residents

We also made a toolkit aimed at local authority officers. It shows how to start a community arts fund with developer contributions. It’s for officers in roles like planning, regeneration, arts, culture, and economic development. They can use it to explore a unique way to support local people, their communities and arts organisations.

Read Shoreditch and Hoxton Art Fund Evaluation final report (PDF 5mb).

Read Shoreditch and Hoxton Art Fund Evaluation summary report (PDF 4mb).

Read The good practice toolkit (PDF 9mb).

Page updated on: 30 August 2023

Cultural Development Team


Hackney Town Hall
Mare St
E8 1EA

Opening times

  • Mon to Fri: 9am - 5pm