Linguistic diversity celebrated through charity project

The 100 Stories project invites children under 10 to submit their stories. Pic: Elke Wetzig

The 100 Stories project invites children under 10 to submit their stories. Pic: Elke Wetzig

The Hackney Empire thaeatre has launched a digital storytelling project to help educate children about community and culture.

100 Stories is a project started by Hackney Empire where local residents are encouraged to submit their stories written for children aged ten and under which represent a specific culture or heritage that exists in Hackney and lasts no longer than ten minutes when read aloud.

As the name suggests, 100 stories from different styles and genres will be collected from community members and used in drama and music representing the various languages spoken across the local area.

This is according to Hackney Council’s 2011 Census which its results suggest that an estimation of 100 languages are spoken in the borough. Some of these languages are Turkish, Polish, Bulgarian, English and many more.

Hackney Empire received a funding of approximately £468,514 this year from London Borough of Hackney and Arts Council England to support their creative projects.

Joyce Wilson, Area Director, London, Arts Council England, said: “We are pleased to be able to support Hackney Empire’s Creative Learning work, which includes projects such as 100 Stories, through our National portfolio investment. It is really important that children and young people have the opportunity to engage with and participate in arts and culture, and this project is great example of how that can be achieved”.

The aim of this project is to be used as an education tool for children to learn more about Hackney’s different cultures and a way of brining together disparate communities.

Lorraine Wood, Project Manager at Hackney Empire said: “There are communities of people who have rich storytelling traditions, as well as individuals who just have interesting stories and wisdom to pass on, some of which may never have engaged within the arts.

She added: “Once we receive the submissions we will be selecting the best 100 to be included within the creation of a digital archive, whereby the stories will be brought to live by actors, storytellers, animators and musicians”.

Stories will be collected by July 2015 and some will be featured in Family Fun Weekend, a live story telling event held by Hackney Empire in October 2015.

If you wish to send in your stories, written, recorded or filmed, or for more information on this project contact Lorraine Wood at

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