December 7 2013 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Saturday, May 26, 2012
An art exhibition which opened at Hornsey Town Hall this week has stoked long-running tensions between Haringey Council and local artists.
Filmmaker Yael Bartana’s trilogy of short films And Europe Will Be Stunned is on show in the iconic building in The Broadway, Crouch End, until July 1.
But on discovering renowned arts group Artangel had been given the run of the hall by the council, artists’ group Crouch End Open Studios wrote to the authority urging that more community groups be allowed access to it.
The council is in negotiations with Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts over the lease of the town hall, ahead of an anticipated £19million restoration of the venue, which is closed to the general public.
Meanwhile the council is offering use of the premises for events this summer, and a dance event and pro-cycling event are slated for the town hall sqaure.
But charges to cover running costs, even if reduced for events demonstrating a “community benefit”, have proved too high for some.
Artist Kim Valdez, 66, a member of Crouch End Open Studios, said: “The council are happy to rent the hall out to Artangel if they are paying lots of money and putting in their own security but that’s not going to be possible for local groups.
“From the point of view of local people, the town hall isn’t accessible to us because of financial constraints.”
Cllr Joe Goldberg, cabinet member for finance, has said the council has insisted Mountview provide a “guarantee of public benefit from the scheme” in future before “the lease can be signed and construction work started”.