opening its gates to the local community and beyond
Open The Gate, The Black Culture Cafe is a unique culture venue dedicated to the promotion of African and Black Culture located in the heart of Dalston, Hackney. It’s a village-like hub offering visual art, film, poetry and literature, dance, music and other social activities as well as a café with authentic, homemade African and Caribbean dishes. Being one of very few places in London where you can meet other people who share a common interest in black culture, choosing the Dalston/Stoke Newington area is ideal considering 60 per cent of the population is black and black caribbean.
Since its opening in June 2010 its popularity has rocketed amongst the local community and beyond. The café now offers additional varied programmes, from open mic nights, exhibitions, Kazimba Ngoma martial arts, drumming, and dance workshops, as well as interactive movie nights with talks and discussions of documentaries and culture films. ‘I want the café to be a reference – to be the centre,’ says Sandrine (the Cafe’s co-owner), ‘somewhere where people can enjoy unique events and programmes that bring people together – we are aiming for and have interest from quite a wide market.‘ And on the note of markets, Open the Gate hosts an African Market once a month – so you have to check it out if you’re in the area!
Already looking to the future, Sandrine is aiming to open another branch in Africa someday.
From September 2010, i-genius’ Creative Director, Barry Crisp, will be co-hosting the ‘Roots Culture Book Club‘ at Open the Gate. For more infomation click here.
Want to learn more about the Dalston area? Read ‘In Search for Rum Cake‘.