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New Community Arts Initiative Now Open

SJT OutReach Rooms

The Stephen Joseph Theatre was buzzing with activity on Sunday 17 May as it welcomed the public to the grand opening of the SJT OutReach Rooms, a new community arts initiative for Scarborough.

Crowds of people turned out for the celebrations of the £350,000 facility and to take part in free workshops and events showcasing the work of the OutReach department which runs creative programmes for all ages in the community.

After a five-month building programme, the new centre was officially opened by the eldest and youngest OutReach participants, 90-year-old Harry Graham and five-year-old Jasmine Staton Hill.

Stephen Joseph Theatre Artistic Director Chris Monks said:
"The SJT OutReach Rooms start a new chapter in the story of this theatre. Stephen Joseph founded our company in 1955 and it’s fantastic that we can open these new spaces as part of our 60th birthday celebrations, maintaining our passion for theatrical innovation. These rooms are a community resource for all the people of Scarborough, we want people to get behind us and spread the word - SJT OutReach is inclusive, friendly, affordable and available for everyone to enjoy."
Head of OutReach Denise Gilfoyle said:
"The opening went incredibly well and we had such positive feedback from everyone who came. It was great to see people of all ages participating in the workshops, this is a new direction for OutReach in helping to promote creativity throughout the area."
Since it was established six years ago, SJT OutReach has continually expanded its range of arts-based activities for children and adults to include new youth theatre groups, adult drama, family performances, dance and choirs, reading and writing groups, the annual ReachOut Festival and much more.

Through the SJT OutReach Rooms, the department will further increase its programme of activities and training initiatives held at the theatre, in particular, by introducing classes concentrating on arts and health, employability, and arts and older people.

The SJT OutReach Rooms comprises four rooms and includes a multi-purpose studio, reception area and a new entrance accessible from Northway. The development has been made possible by a £275,000 award of Lottery Funding via Arts Council England and by generous grants from The Wolfson Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation and the JC & CM Mein Trust. Additional help has come from The Proudfoot Group, The Samuel Storey Charitable Trust, anonymous donors and public donations.

For further details about OutReach and to register your interest for upcoming events and programmes, please contact OutReach on 01723 370540 or email
New Community Arts Initiative Now Open Reviewed by Editor on 21:34:00 Rating: 5

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