A Dream Arts workshop takes place at The Cockpit theatre in Church Street (© Tilley Harris 2014)
A Dream Arts workshop takes place at The Cockpit theatre in Church Street (© Tilley Harris 2014)

London is famously (and in some cases infamously!) undergoing massive regeneration, with huge amounts of money being poured into the capital. The investment into arts and culture is less immediately obvious, with significantly less financial input. Massive investments of time and energy are being made, with brilliant arts projects taking place…but in most cases the work is being carried out under wraps.

I’ve been researching the arts and cultural activities in Church Street, Westminster, and uncovering the artistic projects taking place there. Church Street represents a microcosm of all the artistic work taking place across the capital…What a hive of activity! Church Street hosts a multi cultural community that quietly produces vast amounts of high quality arts. But why should we have to work so hard to find out about the artistic work being carried out on our doorstep? Why are the Arts one of London’s best kept secrets? By hiding our creativity under a bushel we deprive our communities of the opportunities to engage with the arts, and making connections between artistic organisations becomes more of a challenge.

An art class takes place at Westminster Adult Education Service (© Alex Pielak 2013)
An art class takes place at Westminster Adult Education Service (© Alex Pielak 2013)

Let’s lift the lid and shine a spotlight on the work taking place in Church Street … Take Wigmore Hall for example, their Learning Department introduces world class classical music to schools in the Church St’s surrounding areas. Take Citywest Homes who provide opportunities for their residents to attend the Royal Albert Hall. The Showroom works in collaboration with Penfold Cupboard on a community engagement project. This corner of the Capital is also home to arts organisations such as Lisson Gallery, The Showroom, Cockpit Theatre, Mark Jason Gallery, Alfies Antiques, Mala Cherga Theatre and has strong links with world renowned arts institutions such as the Tate and The Serpentine Gallery; the exciting list goes on and on…! Great things and interesting community arts projects are happening in Church Street all the time – but do enough people know about it!?

This area is undergoing a massive regeneration scheme and this could mean that there will be more financial investment for the arts in this area. It it is essential now that the arts in Church Street continues to prove and improve their worth. It is clear that the arts in this area needs to be more visible and it needs a platform to build better connections and to collaborate.

Mapify is created by Voist. It provides a place where community organisations can showcase their work, build partnerships and measure the impact of their work. What’s more potential investors, property developers, funding organisations, local authorities will be able to use Mapify to take a helicopter view of this special area. With Church Street and community organisations sharing insights, testimonials and data, exploring the arts and culture is effortless and fun.