Kingston charity launch creative space in move set to enhance borough's cultural offering
By Eli Haidari
24th Jan 2023 | Local News
Kingston based charity, Creative Youth, will launch a new creative space next month in a move set to enhance the rich cultural offering of the borough.
Creative Youth was established in 2009, born with a simple ambition of helping to enable young Kingston residents to realise their potential through the arts.
FUSEBOX is the charity's latest offering with the newly converted 750m2 space on the Thames riverside featuring areas for performance, exhibitions, creative practice, socialising and co-creation.
Situated underneath the John Lewis department store in an extraordinary space which houses the footings of the original 12th century Kingston Bridge and The Remains of a medieval cellar, FUSEBOX will provide a vibrant new cultural centre for the area, its young people and communities, support the regeneration of the area and drive employment and training opportunities.
After a seven-month renovation project led by charity Creative Youth and supported by Kingston Council, John Lewis and the Mayor of London, the space will now open to the public for a pilot season of activities and drop-in tours of the space.
From 6 February 2023, drop-in visits will be held twice a week on Thursdays from 5-7pm and Saturdays from 11am-1pm.
Creative Youth Chair, Robin Hutchinson said: "FUSEBOX is an exciting new creative space right beside the Thames in the heart of Kingston Town. It has been a dream for Creative Youth to have a home to support young talent to explore and develop their cultural ideas and practices.
"FUSEBOX gives us that opportunity in a remarkable new space that will be a playground for the imagination."
Two free exhibitions will also be held at the new creative space by past and present artists of the charity's Creative Talent Programme.
Former Creative Talent Programme artist Chiyana Ankhrah's exhibition will returns to Creative Youth following its debut at the FUSE International 2023.
LABELS: Black Mental Health and Me is a photographic documentary that focuses on anecdotal experiences of 4 Black British men and women who are currently dealing with or have dealt with mental illness.
Current Creative Talent Programme artist, Tanvi Ranjan, will exhibit four pieces from her studio. Ranjan's work explores subjects of the human-machine relationship while elaborating on the techniques of textile making and the role of women in sculpting the future of digital and information age.
Commenting on Creative Youth's latest project, Kingston Council leader Andreas Kirsch, added: "Kingston Council has been working with partners to regenerate this area under John Lewis as part of its heritage-led Transform Kingston programme, to bring new opportunities for the borough's young people and entrepreneurs.
"I am thrilled to see FUSEBOX opening. This is an amazing project, which will bring people together, giving them a space to be creative, to explore, and to enjoy. It will be a wonderful addition to Kingston's great cultural offer, filling the historic place it will be located with new life."
For more information on FUSEBOX and how you can get involved in workshops and programmes run by Creative Youth, visit their website here.