Studio 3 Arts hails move to Vicarage Field Shopping Centre with drums and cheers
PUBLISHED: 10:42 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:23 14 May 2019
A shopping centre's customers could be swinging to the beats of a samba band after an arts charity opened up a branch in an empty store.
Its director, Liza Vallance said: "Saturday's launch was fantastic. It felt like the start of something special. Thank you to everyone who came along to support us.
"We're really excited to have a space at Vicarage Field, right in the heart of Barking towncentre.
"We're hoping this means even more people will be able to get involved in our projects, and community groups will be able to use the space for their own activities."
Called Unit 46 the venue will play host to performances, workshops, exhibitions and meetings.
Activities including family fun sessions, a community choir and samba band are all lined up to get people singing, swaying and savouring the arts.
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Saturday's big launch saw a drumming performance, poetry readings, dance and craft session with the official opening marked with the cutting of a ribbon.
Liza said: "Studio 3 Arts's space at the shopping centre is a creative and friendly space open to everyone from all ages to pop in for a chat and use."
Studio 3 Arts's mission is to break down barriers so that anyone and everyone can enjoy theatre, dance, music and much more.
At its new Barking outpost, visitors can take part in Samba Saturdays every week from 11am to 1pm; join Singing Collective Tuesdays from 6 to 8pm and enjoy Family Saturdays on the second Saturday of every month from 2 to 4pm.
Studio 3 Arts has also invited performers to apply to present new and existing work ahead of Barking's version of the Edinburgh Fringe Theatre Festival, called Clout which runs from July 4 to 14.
The charity, set up by young people frustrated by a lack of arts opportunities in the borough 30 years ago, is looking for challenging and interesting work aimed at attracting diverse audiences.
Some of it could be performed at Unit 46, which has space for 80 people.
Applications need to be sent in by midday on May 20. Visit studio3arts.org for details.