Resident Artistic Companies
We're proud that local, national and internationally-acclaimed resident artistic companies call Woolwich Works home.
These companies are: Chineke! Orchestra, Europe's first majority Black, Asian and ethnically diverse orchestra. Jazz educators and talent-nurturers National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Luca Silvestrini's Protein, one of the most distinctive voices in British dance theatre. Transformational theatre-makers Punchdrunk; and Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair.
From their bases in our historic buildings, our resident artistic companies work on projects with the local community.
Chineke! was founded in 2015 by the double bass player Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, to provide career opportunities for young Black, Asian and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe. Chineke!’s mission is: ‘Championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music’.
Running alongside the seasonal concert calendar, Chineke! performs in community settings to bring the joy of classical music directly to audiences in their respective neighbourhoods. Those who are not regular visitors to traditional concert halls have the chance to experience high-quality performances delivered by a majority Black, Asian and ethnically diverse ensemble.
Since 2017, Chineke! musicians have been regularly visiting schools to perform and hold workshops for young aspiring classical musicians. So far, their workshops have taken place in London, Birmingham, Bristol and even Rotterdam, reaching at least 4,000 young people.
Luca Silvestrini’s Protein
Luca Silvestrini’s Protein is one of the most distinctive voices in British dance theatre. Artistic Director and founder Luca Silvestrini has been using a blend of original choreography, text, humour and music to entertain and provoke audiences since 1998. Resident in Greenwich since 2012, they are committed to serving their local community by offering world-class dance experiences to all.
Protein’s shows connect theatrical experiences with the everyday and real-life stories that engage audiences and participants in both on and off-stage productions.
They believe in bringing the audience closer, inviting them to connect with what’s happening on stage, whether through subject matter, location or the way performers directly address the audience bridging the divide between watching and participating. Their shows are devised by Luca with professional performers and artists or with a mix of professionals and participants. The success and impact of Protein’s performance and participation programme has grown nationally and internationally over the last two decades and in 2016, Protein was again nominated for the best independent Company at the National Dance Awards after winning the accolade in 2011.
National Youth Jazz Orchestra
NYJO exists to empower young jazz musicians and inspire music audiences across the UK through engaging grassroots education projects and impactful live performances. Founded in 1965, NYJO has grown from a single jazz orchestra of young musicians, to a multi-faceted organisation that seeks to both improve jazz education nationally, and nurture the talent of young professionals at the start of their careers.
Woolwich Works is NYJO’s first permanent home. Their executive team, artistic team, lead ensembles and London Academy programme are all housed under one roof. This family atmosphere feeds into a brand-new era for the charity, where a more diverse and expressive offering stimulates progressive relationships with a broader church of music communities, including Woolwich and the surrounding areas.
NYJO are actively seeking to create a new dialogue for the future; between the established and the experimental; the past and the present; with captivating experiences that both inspire and entertain.
For over 20 years Punchdrunk has pioneered a game-changing form of theatre, in which roaming audiences experience epic storytelling inside singular, sensory worlds. Today, their reputation at the forefront of the interactive experience is global, with the multi award-winning Sleep No More playing to sell-out audiences in New York since 2011 and in Shanghai since 2016.
They are delighted to present their next large-scale work at their new company home at Woolwich Creative District Trust. The Burnt City transports the smouldering aftermath of the Trojan War to a sprawling dystopian city. From royal palaces to the backstreets of Troy, audiences explore a labyrinth-like playground, seeking out stories hiding in the city's depths.
Punchdrunk are also committed to working with the local community including running community events and partnerships with local groups in the borough, offering support, learning and resources.
Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair
Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair showcases the best in international contemporary printmaking and formulating new approaches to contemporary print with over 500 artists and specialist galleries.
Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair takes place every autumn over four days within London's historic Royal Arsenal. This pioneering event hosts a unique model by representing artists directly through an international open call, creating opportunities for upcoming artists to sit alongside world-renowned names and specialist dealers. The rigorous selection process means budding collectors have access to only the highest calibre of original contemporary print and audiences can learn, engage and take part through an interactive programme of talks, tours, demonstrations and events.