BOXPARK, London’s biggest food, culture and entertainment hub presents a host of events this October in celebration of Black History Month. Throughout the month, expect a series of panel discussions, live performances, visual art exhibitions, and a physical shopping experience.
Running across all its London venues, the events aim to recognise the diverse cultural make-up of each local community that BOXPARK serves, and will explore a range of topics from creative arts to business, and history to culture.
‘Made You Look’ – Art Exhibition
Where: BOXPARK Shoreditch & BOXPARK Croydon
Date: Throughout October
What’s happening: BOXPARK has partnered with visual storyteller Julian George to create an artistic celebration of talented Black chefs, at all levels. The project, ‘Made You Look’ will feature 11 of the country’s best Black chefs across 18 art exhibition panels at BOXPARK Shoreditch and Croydon.
The project is designed to raise awareness and champion Black chefs, posing a question to the wider restaurant industry, food media and broader food world on why nobody is talking about these incredible chefs and the work they are doing.
The exhibition will showcase BOXPARK’s very own Black chefs including Matin & Michelle Miah of Rudie’s, Mike Springer of Big Mike’s Calypso Kitchen, and Jacqueline Codougan of Mama Jacq’s. Other chefs involved include the following:
Brian Mwangi, Sous Chef at Carousel Restaurant
James Cochran, Executive Chef and Owner of 12:51
Jermaine Cunningham, Group, Pastry Chef at The Test Kitchen
Mussa Fati, Executive Chef at The Ned London
William J M Chilila, Head Chef at Akoko Restaurant
Elody Kolden Tchuente, French Chef, and Owner of Kolden Kitchen
Jason Howard, Executive Chef / Private Events / Consultant & Founder of Culinary Caribbean Collective
Keith Gumbs, Head Chef at Ormer Mayfair
Opeoluwa Odutayo, Chef De Partie at Albright, Female Members Club in Mayfair
Made By Human’s Creative Director, Julian George says: “It’s an honour to have these amazingly talented chefs trust me to do their portraits and reflect a moment in time. This is a celebration of talent and of achievement that I hope will inspire the next generation of great chefs to come. I am grateful that BOXPARK understood my vision behind the project and were so welcoming of the concept, as part of their wider programme of events and displays for Black History Month.”
Panel Talks & Performances
Where: All sites
Dates: Thursday 15th October (BOXPARK Croydon), Thursday 22nd October (BOXPARK Wembley), Thursday 29th October (BOXPARK Shoreditch)
The events are free to attend and tickets are available for the panels across BOXPARK venues here
‘BOXPARK Croydon: Creative arts career pathways – how to get your foot in the door’
Despite London being one of the global capitals for culture, there’s a huge lack of diversity in the creative industry with BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) groups making up only 13% of creative jobs. Whilst there has been some progress in recent years, there are still huge leaps to be made, and the panellists will discuss what changes will make a difference.
On the panel are three talented Black creatives from London who will come together to explore how access to creative careers can be improved, how to tackle some of the most common challenges faced as a Black individual, and share their own stories and personal advice hoping to inspire those seeking a future in the creative industry.
Join BOXPARK Croydon from 7pm – 9pm on Thursday 15th October for an exciting panel discussion, followed by a live performance by homegrown South London musician Loyle Carner. Everyone is welcome.
The panel line-up includes Natalie Maddix, Founder & Creative Director of House Gospel Choir, and Ashley Verse, Grime Music Photographer.
‘BOXPARK Wembley: Celebrating emerging Black enterprises’
Recent research shows that ethnic minority businesses (EMBs) contributed a staggering £25 billion to the UK economy in 2018 – equivalent to the economic contribution of Greater Manchester – but many are being held back by barriers which hinder their growth.
The representation of Black people in senior management positions is disproportionate and the number of British Black entrepreneurs is even more shocking. But a group of successful Black business owners on the panel hope to encourage members of the Black community to push the barriers and realise their goals are attainable. The panel line-up includes Isabelle White, Founder of Image Gang, and Khalia Ismain, Founder of Jamii.
‘BOXPARK Shoreditch: Black Identity – how history has shaped British communities today’
From the Windrush scandal to the Commonwealth Immigrants Act, and the British Black Panther Party to the inception of Notting Hill Carnival, these events created significant moments in Black British history which have impacted the cultural identity of Black individuals today.
With the Black Lives Matter movement aiming to tackle racial inequality and achieve social justice, BOXPARK has invited a social and political commentator, representatives of Caribbean history, and Black rights activist to discuss what it means to be Black in today’s society and how to create a sense of belonging among communities.
The panel line-up includes Fiona Compton, Founder of Know Your Caribbean, and Chante, Political Commentator and Channel 4’s ‘How Not To Be A Racist’.
Marketplace for Black-owned British Brands
Where: BOXPARK Wembley
Date: Sunday 11th October
BOXPARK has collaborated with food and cultural events group Carib & Co Brunch to host a physical marketplace to showcase Black-owned British businesses at its Wembley venue. Visitors can pop over to BOXPARK Wembley for a bite to eat, drink and a unique shopping experience upstairs in the Shuffle Room with a selection of products from Black brands including Ibere Apparel, Koko Krafts, Mikael Lovell, Nathan Simmonds, and Mary KM.
A live Q&A session will take place with the Founder of Black Minds Matter UK, Agnes Mwakatuma, in a discussion about their story, mission and how they are helping to connect Black individuals and families with free professional mental health services across the U.K.
Hosted by Mr Cee, @mrceecomedian
DJs by Kaylee Golding, @kayleegolding, Bad Anju, @bad_anju and DJ Zel UK, @dj__zel
Panel talks with James Harris, Licensed Mental Health Professional, Author of ‘Man Just Express Yourself’ and Founder of @men_to_heal. Jazmine Hughes, Mental Health and Visually Impaired / Hearing Impaired Advocate and Founder of _accordingtous
Artist Talk with Jay Percy, @jaypercytheartist. Artwork titled ‘We will return home’ A piece exhibiting the Windrush generation and ancestors
Poetry Performance by Storm Cecile, @stormcecile
Carib & Co Brunch will also be displaying an art exhibition to raise awareness of talented Black creatives, featuring Jade Weir-Reid, Founder of @caribandcobrunch, Michael Douglas, Photographer at @blamethecity, Norma May Lawrence, artist @handmadebynormamay, and Steve Workman, Photographer for @nxmadicstudios, @thepurplegirlll and @ubran_seamstress.
The event is free to attend but tickets must be booked in advance here
. Last month, the event took place at BOXPARK Croydon with nearly 300 tickets sold and £1,700 raised for Black Minds Matter UK. This event will celebrate Black History Month, George Floyd’s Birthday and Mental Health Day – all donations are welcome.