Article For Waltham Forest Echo

Spring Splash Event at Gnome House

As we reopen our doors and welcome the community back into Gnome House, we have an organised an event in May to showcase what our space is all about – art, performance, and the youth. The lockdown has required the community to step up and support each other as individuals experienced loss, solitude, and mental health issues. Inky Kids Art and Inky Cuttlefish Health and Wellbeing have been meeting regularly on Zoom to keep in touch with members of the community and make art that will be exhibited at the Spring Splash event.

Spring Splash will showcase what we have been up to during lockdown and other forms of entertainment suitable for all, including a drumming workshop with Seneka; performances by Mulberry School of Dance, Jazz E17 and Kan Beng; and live performances by our youth from Big Creative Education and a member of our RatPack group – Barnadas. Social distance measures will be put in place to ensure we adhere to COVID regulations whilst we still have fun. This free event will take place on Sunday 23rd of May between 11am-9pm.

RatPack is Gnome House’s youth group made up of creative kids with similar interests between the ages of 8-16 from Waltham Forest. RatPack had initially started off as an art club but are now involved in a wide range of activities including gardening and participating in the Black History event in October 2020.

In partnership with Project Zero, the youth group were able to manage the event which celebrated the Afro-Colombian culture. Last summer, RatPack planned and distributed art packs to the wider community – targeting kids with similar backgrounds to encourage them to take part in art and make it accessible. RatPack is also run by the youth with Chissola, 19 years, managing the digital content and Isabella, 16 years, managing the social media content.

Over the past year Gnome House have presented Illuminated Screenings every weeknight after dark with art, photography and film projected onto the windows of the Gnome House café. Our Virtual Community Centre includes live and pre-recorded content from local creatives and groups, with art, music, film, health & wellbeing and more. Email us at GHvirtual@gnomehouse.org.uk for more information or to submit content and keep an eye out on our social media for more!

Arts Council England funded the art packs and setting up Virtual Community Centre. National Lottery funded the RatPack website and suppliers to deliver films and activities for the Virtual Community Centre. William Morris Big Local helped us stay open during our darkest months by paying core costs. Community Ward Forum funding helped us fundraise. And a huge thank you to London Borough of Waltham Forest for our Covid-19 recovery grants.