High Street ADVENTures

Artist Open Call

Walthamstow High Street has been selected by the London Mayor to be London’s first Night Time Enterprise Zone.

Artillery/The E17 Art Trail has been awarded funding to produce a creative response to this project and to commission artists, writers, performers and creative practitioners to programme an evening event on Small Business Saturday 7 December which will celebrate the businesses on our High Street.

The aim is to shine a light on the windows of the shops, restaurants, pubs, cafes and market traders on the street after dark.

We invite artists to take the theme of advent to respond to the diverse nature of the businesses represented on our High Street.

Although there is a focus on an evening event on Saturday 7 December, installations/exhibitions will be on display throughout December leading up to Christmas 2019.


Understanding the Night Time Enterprise Zone

To help revive the high street

High streets are job creators, transport hubs and places of social and cultural exchange. However, London had the UK’s highest net loss of high street shops in 2018. Recent research found that 92% of councils in England believe that increasing night time economic activity can help the high street to survive and thrive.

To give Londoners better access to their city after 6pm

Two-thirds of Londoners are regularly active at night, but many shops and services are closed when they want to use them. The changing lifestyles of Londoners means that there is more demand for the economy to work 24/7. There is also demand for a greater range of shops and services to be accessible after 6pm.

To support good work standards at Night

Recent GLA research found that one-third of London’s workforce usually works at night. Yet many night workers do not receive the same work conditions that day workers do. In fact, 53% of night time culture and leisure jobs pay less than the London Living Wage.

The project led by Waltham Forest Council invites us to:

  • Run a ‘shop local late’ campaign to encourage residents to support their local independent businesses and encourage local retailers to extend their operational times
  • Run a reclaim your high street event to test out an alternative use of the high street in the evening

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“Our high streets are at the very heart of our communities, but in recent years we have seen them struggling under significant pressures. By working together to encourage longer opening hours and host innovative events after 6pm, this pilot in Walthamstow will be a real opportunity to develop the ideas that can boost our high streets and help realise our vision for a 24-hour city.”

Image of people holding up fresh cooked take away food


This project will focus on drawing an audience and customers to the High Street for an evening of pop up events, creative workshops, walking tours and intriguing visual art installations.

The event will be devised to welcome new and existing residents and their families to identify their local High Street as a vibrant, safe and welcoming destination in which to spend their leisure time and their money.

Artillery will commission and programme an ambitious and diverse range of art forms to complement and showcase the outlets and independent businesses represented on the High Street.

We particularly encourage applications from artists and creative practitioners who represent or have connections with the diversity of the High Street population and business owners and workers.

It is anticipated that this might range from food*, cookery* and artisan crafts, to art, design, photography, performance and creative writing.

Whilst the “after dark” event will only take place on the evening of 7 December (Small Business Day), there will be a visual element of the commissions to create a cohesive and exciting series of “shop windows” which can be in place for a longer period of celebration.

We will actively seek participation in the programme and project delivery from local people, community groups and businesses.

What’s on Offer?

  • Three specially created commissions at £1000 each
  • Six artist / performer fees at £500 each
  • 10 performer fees / expenses for schools or community groups at £350 each
  • Five workshops / participatory activities at £600 each

24 things to see and do – acknowledging Advent.

Initial programme ideas might include:

  • Food Trail or Walking Tours
  • Busking along route and in venues
  • Participatory activities and workshops
  • Tastings
  • Card Making / Paper Cut in Polish Tradition
  • Wreath Making, Chocolate Painting
  • Willow Christmas Decorations
  • Gift Wrapping / Gift Wrap
  • Printing
  • Shop Window Displays
  • Light and Shadow Installation
  • Dance, Performance
  • Poetry, Spoken Word
  • Fashion
  • Window Decoration – Liquid Chalk Illustration
  • High Street Interventions
  • Al-Fresco Dining Room
  • Fruit Wrappers
  • Town Crier


Deadline for Submissions

9am on Thursday 31 October 2019

How to apply & more info

Download the PDF with details of how to apply.

Download an information pack here.

For more information about the Night Time Enterprise Zone visit the London Borough of Waltham Forest’s website.

Funders & Supporters

The project is supported with funding from The Mayor of London, Waltham Forest Council and with in-kind support from our project partners at CRATE St James Street, St James Street Big Local Resident Group, The Mill Community Space and The Mall.

Supported by Mayor of London

Related news & events

Artist Open Call – High Street ADVENTures

We’re commissioning for an event on 7 December which celebrates our high street…

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