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Old Kent Road (OKR) Arts Club will be a highly visible, community-led creative hub that energises an industrial stretch of the high street. Let's transform an empty shopfront into a space that celebrates life on Old Kent Road! The three pillars of OKR Arts Club have been shaped by local voices and respond to the Covid-19 crisis: Sustainability, Community and Mental Health. These themes will be embedded in all our work. OKR Arts Club will run: – Open access sessions for adults, exploring sustainable making (with special workshops and monthly socials!) – An art club for young people – creating space for a new generation of artists – A professional development programme that supports local creatives to run public workshops We'll celebrate everyone involved with our road-side window gallery, annual exhibition and publication. *We will continue to be guided by safety considerations. In the event of needing to reschedule activities, we will communicate this via our Spacehive page*
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
OKR Arts Club will be a creative community hub benefitting and welcoming all people who live, work and travel through the Old Kent Road area. Our free Art Club will be a space for adults to explore their creativity, meet new people and exchange sustainable making skills. Our free Young Art Club will be for local young people to expand their creative horizons, make new friends, and learn diverse making techniques. Our Professional Development Programme will benefit local creatives looking to gain income and develop their social practice in a supportive environment, alongside volunteers and collaborators. Everybody who passes through this busy high street will benefit from this project, by seeing work made by local people showcased in our gallery, in an area which currently has little visible creative presence. Our annual exhibition and legacy publication will bring people together to celebrate and document our community’s voices at a time when the area is facing major redevelopment.
Steps to get it done:
Encouraging survey results: Out of the 198 people (of all ages) who responded to our local area survey 97% wanted a new arts club on Old Kent Road. “An initiative like this would help to strengthen community bonds and act as space for fostering creativity in people that might not have another outlet such as this” 89% of the local creatives that filled in the survey said they'd like to run a workshop and receive support from our Professional Development Programme. "I’ve been wanting to run workshops for years but lack of experience and confidence has stopped me." The local councillors seemed positive too: "I believe that it is vital that members of the local community have access to [OKR regeneration] new employment opportunities and that this project has a role to play in developing the skills needed to make that a reality." Councillor R.Livingstone, Labour councillor for Old Kent Road ward.
About the space
Currently dominated by the road. Busy due to Lidl and Recylcing centre. 1 bar. A petrol station. OKR Arts Club would sit right at the heart, at the front of the new Arebyte Studio block, inside an empty furniture warehouse. A site facing big change in 10 years. Arts Club would bring a whole new atmopshere.
London Borough of Southwark
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