Friday, 26 February 2010

Discover Young Hackney

Young people in Hackney were offered up a real treat this February half term... a vibrant and varied programme of free arts-based events and workshops arranged as part of Discover Young Hackney. A collaborative team of Hackney's Cultural Ambassadors, trainee producers and young journalists work really hard to give our young people the chance to discover or nurture their talents or try something new. My son, a new Cultural Ambassador, took part in arranging his first workshop at the Eastside Educational Trust and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Discover Young Hackney Arts and Cultural Festival really is a brilliant opportunity for all young people in Hackney to get involved in showcasing the phenomenal creative talent that is such a credit to our borough. Well done to all who took part in this year's programme and a huge thanks to all those who organised the event. I look forward to next year's festival and many more beyond!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Olympic Development

The landscape is changing here in Hackney. From the Marshes the skyline is transforming rapidly... the VeloPark and the main stadium are now shaping the horizon to the east against a backdrop of cranes. Walking along the River Lea I can't help but feel for the residents of Leabank Square who have a view not-to-die-for of the souless grey walls of the International Broadcasting Centre and the towering Energy Centre. The grafitti on the decaying industrial walls along the river bank is starting to disappear. The water is littered with old shoes, carrier bags and other detritus and the Gaza-esque fencing obstructs the view of the evolving Olympic site. South of the Marshes the sprawl of the 2012 building site seems endless and it is a little hard to imagine how it will transform into the green, landscaped urban park, shown in the architects CGIs on the London 2012 website, when the big event actually arrives in 894 days.

Thursday, 11 February 2010