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Welcome

  • The Black-E (formerly The Blackie) - a combination of a contemporary arts centre with a community centre - was launched in 1968 as the U.K.'s first community arts project. The commitments made then remain the commitments today - to young people (offering, in the words of The Last Poets, "affection, protection, direction") - to a cultural programme emphasising participation and involvement ("do-ing" as well as "viewing") - to education (formal and informal) - and to quality of work with equality of provision.

  • Rentals OverviewA world of possibilities in one building. Gallery, Cafeteria, Chamber Theatre, Workshop Area, Break-out Rooms, Dressing Rooms, Meeting Rooms, and the unique multi-purpose Main Space (an in-the-round auditorium with two overlooking balconies). Available for arts events ; sports promotions ; film production ; exhibitions ; fairs ; conferences ; parties ; rehearsals. One-off rentals ; regular rentals ; and rentals of single and multiple spaces.

  • Get InvolvedWe welcome - local and international volunteers (donating their time and services) - students on placement (work experience as part of a programme of study) - and will in future offer apprenticeships and training schemes leading to formal qualifications. Abundant opportunities for exercising the muscles of the mind and the body - training and retraining - learning and unlearning. Join the team bringing the cultural programme to life (as well as undertaking building maintenance, administration, fund raising, and everything else required to keep the The Black-E going).

  • Touring showsThe basis for our touring programme is that whatever happens at the Black-E - events, exhibitions, workshops, conferences, seminars - can also happen away from the Black-E. Requests and invitations to tour are most likely to be accepted when they will “make a difference” to those making the request. Touring commitments are generally undertaken on a ‘paid-for’ basis, though when circumstances are appropriate the costs of a touring commitment may be met by the Black-E.

  • The Archive offers a display of 40-plus years of cultural history. Who did what, why, when and to what effect. More than an absorbing archive: also a do-it-yourself kit to contribute to future cultural initiatives; covering events created by the Black-E as well as the work of visiting artists.
  • MarketplaceEntry to a cultural bazaar of works and reports created during the course of the Blackie's (now the Black-E's) cultural programme. For sale - fixed price and/or by donation. Books of games, books on games, hip hop and oratorio recordings, table mats inspired by rainbows, poetry, posters, badges, cultural manifestos and womanifestos. Free downloads of cultural documentation and reports.