Arts organisation Second Floor Studios and Arts (SFSA) has announced it will run 26 long-term affordable studio spaces for creatives in the same development as the new Boxpark in Wembley Park. Following a similar model to another successful initiative in Somerset House, the studios are apparently the first of their kind in the area and are being fitted out with support from the local council.
Boxpark announced it would be coming to Wembley’s “infamous Olympic Park” last week, making it the third iteration of the London pop-up retail hub after Shoreditch and Croydon. Opening in 2018, it will house restaurants, a bar and a 2000-capacity arena for events.
SFSA is a member organisation founded in response to the lack of affordable professional space available to the arts community in London. It supports its artists, designers and makers by providing work space as well as education, exhibitions and partnerships. Alumni members include illustrator Rod Hunt, furniture designer Sebastian Cox and artist Anne Krinsky.
Located in a building nearby Boxpark’s events and retail site, SFSA’s studios will host workshops, exhibitions and educational programmes, hoping to reach the local community. Part of this initiative includes a “time bank system” where, in exchange for the lower rents, artists will set aside an hour per month to dedicate to the community.
This is part of a wider regeneration of Wembley Park – which SFSA director Nichole Herbert Wood calls “one of London’s newest up and coming areas” – that aims to change the area’s reputation for lacking cultural activity outside its huge gig venues. The developers behind the regeneration have also supported the delivery of the SFSA spaces.
Applications for the studio space have now opened, with local residents being encouraged to apply.
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