Our culture is centred on social and cultural trends, supporting emerging talent and creativity.
We believe that access to arts and culture should be equal to all. In our experience those who are socially excluded are often also culturally excluded. To bridge that gap we ensure our programme of cultural events in London is open to the public and to graduates and trainees of our Employment Academy.
What makes it great … is the scale of curatorial ambition”
Festival Embassy was a series of micro-festivals we created in the heart of London’s Soho.
For our first trilogy of festivals we worked in partnership with founding members of our not-for-profit club; Rob da Bank’s Bestival and Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival, and with Tom Baker’s Eat Your Own Ears (Field Day).
Rising stars (and a few surprise special appearances) performed intimate acoustic gigs in our atmospheric Chapel, as revellers danced the night away to sets from renowned and emerging DJs, all in the unique setting of our Grade I listed Georgian townhouse.
Paying it forward
For every ticket sold for Festival Embassy, one was offered to someone who would not be able to afford one themselves, opening access to culture, live music and our home in Soho with social inclusion at its heart.
We are working towards making all of our events here at The House of St Barnabas pay it forward, giving them to people affected by homelessness, who are part of our Employment Academy, the Soho community, or are supported by one of the many charities we work with.
37 Things was a series of panel discussions forged from the desire to affect positive social change by asking provocative questions about life today.
Born from an unquenchable curiosity with modern society, the series has featured discussions about the secret meaning of shoes and what your lunch says about you, questioning if money is ruining London and if ‘Generation Y’ are facing a quarter-life crisis. Previous panellists have included Jeremy Deller, Bridget Christie, David Lammy MP, Philippa Perry, Owen Jones, India Knight and many more.
The series was curated in partnership with BUG, a group of writers who investigate pop culture through writing, talks and reports.
Art Social was our flagship festival of visual arts and culture.
It created opportunities for our Employment Academy participants to gain work experience across a multi-disciplinary event, and a wonderful opportunity for the charity to engage with the local Soho community. The Arts Council has supported the festival for the past two years.
Art Social ’15 was curated around Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs.
Working with graduates of our Employment Academy, artist Hester Reeve created an installation in Soho Square that raised awareness around the many challenges faced by those who are marginalised in society. The festival also featured an array of interactive art, films, performances, workshops, talks and live music.
Our series of live music events were curated by respected musical pioneers and Founding Members, including Gilles Peterson, Andrew Weatherall, Rob da Bank and Jarvis Cocker.
They hand-picked some of the best emerging talent in the country giving offering our club and beautiful chapel as a platform to create intimate experiences.
“It’s like stepping from the ridiculous into the sublime.” Time Out.
Dirty Rotten Socials invited the audience to roll up their sleeves, get close to the experts and solve a real social challenge.
Guests are encouraged to work creatively with speakers and each other to create viable solutions to problems faced by society today, ending the evening with a manifesto that draws together crowd-sourced ideas and insights.
The series has looked at ‘The Rise of the Business Genius’, discussing the pros and cons of social business versus ethical for-profit business, has encouraged the audience to ‘Design Like You Give a Damn’, using modern design solutions for social good, has shared insights into ‘How to Start a Movement’ and invited guests to inject their life with purpose in a collaboration with Do Lectures.
‘Retrospective’ was an exhibition of portraits taken at the House by respected portrait photographer Tom Oldham.
Tom has captured many of the talented folk who have passed through the charity’s doors, both the famous faces and graduates from our Employment Programme. In February 2015 ‘Retrospective’ brought together the collection for the first time, in celebration of our first anniversary as a not-for-profit members’ club.
Portraits from the exhibition, plus some wonderful new additions, can be found hanging throughout the club. All of the photographs are for sale with 100% of the surplus supporting our Employment Academy.
Over the summer Saturday Sessions brought live music from the likes of rising star Yazmin Lacey and Brazilian songstress Nina Miranda, with DJ sets from House residents including Crispin Dior and Lulu Le Vay.
Guests soaked up the sun and the peaceful atmosphere whilst enjoying brunch and 2-4-1 cocktails in our beautiful courtyard garden.