BRENT ARTIST NETWORK: Building grassroots arts communities with Word Up

13 May 2020

A roundtable discussion with the leaders of Word Up, discussing how to build and sustain grassroots arts.

About this event
Word Up is a leading spoken word organisation in northwest London that has hosted dozens of open mics, writing groups, and now, online events. Founded in 2015 by Charlie and Laura de Courcy, Word Up set out to create weekly spoken word nights in Harlesden to give back to artists, while creating a platform for community and sharing. Five years later, Word Up has garnered wide-reaching attention from poets of all levels, and has documented the thriving London spoken word scene on its well followed YouTube channel.

But how did Word Up go from an idea to a well-organised, flagship spoken word organisation?

Join us for this roundtable discussion featuring Word Up founder Charlie de Courcy and leaders in the organisation, Hannah Gordon and Desree Gumbs-Carty, as they share and discuss their process in creating and sustaining this grassroots arts community. Through a roundtable discussion, they’ll trace the history of the organisation, the key steps and lessons learnt in building it, and how they nurtured audience and participant engagement.

What we’ll cover

  • From idea to reality: what led Charlie to create the organisation and what were his first steps in finding and building a spoken word community
  • Investing in the participant and audience experience
  • Lessons learnt and suggestions for other arts practitioners developing arts communities

This talk is especially useful for those looking to develop community through their artistic practice.

Charlie de Courcy
- Founder, Word Up

Hannah Gordon - Officer, Word Up

Desree Gumbs-Carty - Officer, Word Up

Brent Artist Network Online Series
The Brent Artist Network supports connection, collaboration, and resilience in the local cultural sector. From 7 May, the Brent Artist Network is going online with a weekly offering of free skills workshops, themed talks from artists and funders, Q&As, artist spotlights and regular sharing of artist opportunities. Future themes include art and social change, how to run and promote digital events, youth-led programming, art, self-care and well being, evaluation, branding and sponsorship. Follow the Brent Artist Network on Instagram and Facebook.

If you require subtitling or BSL interpretation, please let us know at least 48 hours prior to the event during the registration process.

This is an inclusive space that has zero tolerance for any racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, islamophobic, colonial or derogatory behaviour.

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