LADA has been based in the East End since it was established in 1999. After five years in The White Building in Hackney Wick, we moved into a former Unitarian mission The Garrett Centre, Mansford Street, Bethnal Green in September 2017 to begin a new chapter in our history.
We received a ‘Small Capital’ grant from Arts Council England, which helped support the costs of the new space.
With 85% more space, LADA’s Study Room continues to host individual users, but also an expanded public events programme (including our regular LADA Screens series), more space for Study Room Resources and events, a Thinker in Residence scheme, our first physical Unbound shop, and a ‘desk space’ scheme for Live Art Producers, curators, researchers and artists. Our new location also offers opportunities for more local engagement with individuals, communities and neighbourhood organisations.
Our new landlord is a charity, The Chalice Foundation, which is developing the building around a group of new tenants who share many of LADA’s values and concerns around issues of equality, feminism, displacement, study and research.
The Mansford Street mission began as a centre for social action in the late 19th century. Founded by Unitarians — a bit like Quakers and also committed to working for liberal causes — the building has been a hub for working with local communities and has recently relaunched as The Garrett Centre, intending to host arts, ethical and community focused groups and social action projects. It has housed Simple Gifts, a community project working collaboratively with local people since 2012.