Culture is future - music and art venue makes a difference
Two Ladies create chances in Tottenham
Last year Tottenham became known as where the riots began. But there is much more than this, there is an uncommon conviviality composed of curiosity and openess with those who do not share the same culture. Two strong women don’t struggle with this challenge – T Chances’ Manager and lead officer Penny Potter and Diane Thompson aka Lady D (Image of Life Productions Ltd), head of theatre activities.
Their personal commitment seems to be the symbolic value where all other values are build on. T Chances as a music and arts venue is a community based project where people of all cultures and backgrounds are welcome to socialise, show their talents and seize a chance.
For instance there is The Performers Night at T Chances. It is an opportunity for musicians, actors, dancers, singers and poets to have their 5 minutes of fame. Since the riots, Tottenham is virtually seen as a no go area. However there are lots of good work happening in the borough but it’s not well publicised.
When did you start with creating a dialogue between the cultures and the different dimensions in Tottenham?
More than two years ago. Performance art, music, urbanism and even conflict are part of Tottenham's identity - and we decided to bring some love back into Tottenham,
But honestly, to date the love in the street is not really obvious.
We have a lot of love and a lot of of colour to show but look at it, right now the Highroad it’s grey. It seems to be just chicken, chips and kebab. But that’s not the way we look to our borough.
There are cafes and pubs in the borough as well as a few restaurants. We have nice parks, a diverse culture and great people. We have the Tottenham Carnival and festival that happens at Bruce Castle park on the 3rd week in June. T Chances has acting and singing projects which are open to everyone in the community. What we need to do to make more people moving to Tottenham is to generate a positive image of the borough to attract a range of people into Tottenham.
How would you descibe the community?
Tottenham has a dedicated community who are committed to changing peoples perception of the borough. We have some great talent and a hugely diverse community.
Is the diversity also a benefit for T Chances?
Does it work with all the different backgrounds?
Yes, because at T Chances we do not tolerate prejudice. We welcome everyone into the centre and encourage different cultures to mix with each other. Sometimes it is difficult to handle the multiculture, because the ethnic groups stick together with their cup of tea. But when they start singly coming in they realised that there is no racism in here, no abuse. We have some remaining gypsies, the most persecuted people in the world, where we need a very straight way to work on. On New Years Eve we explained, we won’t except any sort of racism in this place. So they stayed, that was a lovely moment.
What about addicts?
Do you reach the school children as well?
We have had ballet classes, children learning to play instruments and a talent competition. We hope to arrange acting sessions for young people. We also plan to renew the kitchen where the school children can learn how to cook. The aim is also to create a radio station.
Where does the money come from?
We’re not funded as a community centre and do no receive any grant money so we have to run T Chances as a business in the evening to generate income. People can come to perform in the bar or hire the hall for their function like weddings, parties, shows, theatre plays and live gigs. At the end we are driven by passion.