Our three Agency projects are up and running with events happening throughout the next few weeks. Non Stop Boxing, Ignite and Essence By Faith invite you to take part in their free sessions coming up!
We caught up with Essence By Faith to hear about what they have been up to recently, and their upcoming plans…
On Tuesday the 22nd of October 2019, Essence by Faith was invited to an event which was hosted by their producer Jerome. The event was at the Royal College of Art in Battersea, London in the developing cultural quarter of Battersea.
As part of the Royal College of Arts’ Black History Month celebrations, ‘Just Because We’re Magic Doesn’t Mean We’re Not Real’ explored the significant contributions that black creatives have made towards British culture. The panel discussion chaired by Jerome, had influential people came to talk about their practice and also their hopes for the future for themselves and other creatives. Jerome who is a fine artist that recently graduated from the Royal College of Art has been helping and supporting Essence by Faith.
We gave a short presentation about what Essence by Faith is and delivered an art workshop about black hair. We used plasticine to explore the different hair textures and hair styles of black women, using the power of art to emphasise the playful, fun and positive relationship we feel black women should have with their hair. People really enjoyed our workshop, and they were very inspired by the idea of Essence by Faith, many people congratulated us and encouraged us to keep going. This is what people said about the event:
“The presentation was great especially the display of the product boards flyers and public speaking. Ideas within the community are exceptional. All the team were inspiring and positive which I enjoyed so much overall, this was an engaging and memorable exercise. Keep it up!”
This was said by Roxanne Simone who works in the fashion industry and is very successful.
Another person said, “I really enjoyed the event, it was organised with great ideas and a fabulous speaker. The activity was engaging.”
We were very pleased as that was our first event and first ever workshop.
Essence by Faith is a company that aims to empower young black women by providing them with two programmes of workshops, the first being about black hair and how to manage it and the second programme being about self-development where we cover topics such as finance, self-care, knowledge of self, history and culture, and purpose. The company also sells all-natural hair products.
Essence by Faith links well with black history month because as well as helping people to remember black history, it also helps us and reminds us what we are capable of. The workshop that we delivered shows that art can be used as an expression that is not only beautiful to look at when completed, but that art in general can be a revitalising, therapeutic and memorable experience that is positive and can be enjoyed by many people. This is definitely true within a social context, especially to do with black history month because after experiencing oppression and bondage for centuries, black people have never had a chance to heal from all the trauma that has been passed down from generation to generation. Art is crucial to us culturally because we have always had an important connection to art but also for the fact that when it was not possible for us to speak up, art was used so that people can express how they feel. Even today with many young people who don’t feel that they are being listened to, music is their way of expressing themselves.
The borough of Waltham Forest was very aware that young people usually gravitate to things that are creative. Which is why the opportunities that the London Borough of Culture have offered include projects such as The Agency at Blackhorse Workshop. This opportunity offered employment, entrepreneurship and creativity. By joining The Agency you get so much more out of it such as skills, friends, networks and opportunities to go places that young people don’t usually go, like speaking at parliament.
Our next event is on the 23rd of November at Gnome House between 12pm-4pm. There will be free food, engaging fun activities and the topic is black hair and identity. This is our launch event for our workshops. I would encourage people to spread the message about this event. We will also be attending the Christmas market on the 6th of December at Blackhorse Workshop where we will be selling our natural hair moisturiser.
We can’t wait to see what’s next in store for Essence By Faith, and all our other agents. Check out their upcoming workshops for young people…