A brand new arts hub for Kirkcaldy is preparing to open its doors this weekend.
The Arts Hub, based at the heart of the Lang Toun, in The Postings Shopping Centre is the culmination of months of hard work behind the scenes and on Saturday it will welcome members of the public to see the new space for the first time at a family open day.
The community arts space is being delivered by ON Creative, a partnership of Youth Music Theatre Scotland (YMTS) and ON at Fife, which is designed to get people in the Kingdom engaged with creative learning.
Janet Robertson, creative director for ON Creative, is the woman behind the plans.
YMTS, which she is also creative director of, has been running since 2008 and Janet has been working with the Adam Smith Theatre for more than 14 years.
She explained: “Over the past two years, with YMTS, I have been delivering projects with ON at Fife and the time seemed very right to bring all of these strands together to begin to build on the opportunity for an exciting new audience development and outreach programme.
“ON Creative was born.”
The pilot programme is being delivered in partnership with ON at Fife, which runs four of the Kingdom’s theatres, and other agencies.
ON Creative aims to strenghten established youth and communty creative learning and integrate the work with the area’s cultural programme; develop new links with community and education groups through arts forums; use currently under-used building capacity to offer new opportunities for creative engagement for all age groups; maintain a register of mentored and trained teaching artists; develop a functional booking structure through data capture and blended events and activites and deliver an effective model capable of repetition.
The hub will act as a focus point for groups and individuals, offering a wide range of classes in areas such as theatre, music, crafts and play.
There will be something suitable for all ages and the space is also going to be available for hire by the creative community.
Janet continued: “It was very obvious from the beginning that this venture would need an accessible base to work from and with the support of Fife Council we found three units in The Postings just sitting there waiting for us to arrive.
“We have converted the largest unit into a rehearsal studio and community space for events, classes and rehearsals.
“The one next door is our office and information base with pop up retail and a meeting space.
“At the end is our wardrobe and create craft space with costume for hire and a space for all our craft classes to be delivered.”
From September, ON Creative will have a very full programme of classes, events and activities happening in spaces at the Adam Smith Theatre and in the Arts Hub.
Among them will be classes such as ‘Cut-a-Coffee’ to help get people fit, ‘Krafternoon teas’ and ‘textile dabbles’ and there are plans for a Rock Gospel Choir.
Janet told the Press: “We will launch the full programme early in August, but this Saturday we have our family open day as a little taster of what is to come.
“The Arts Hub is about growing our own talents and ambitions. here are so many creative and skilled people in Fife – particularly in Kirkcaldy – and the Hub is there to make sure we can be at the centre of creative change.
“As ever, it’s back to the ‘Wizard of Oz’ for inspiration - ‘If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard’.
“ Saturday is just the beginning...”
But it’s not just Janet who is behind the project, she’s been working alongside others to make it happen.
Jane Rigby will lead the craft and costume work in ‘wardrobe’ and Amanda Glover is producing.
“Two YMTS young artists – Paul Copland and Mark McLellan have also been key to getting the Hub happening,” said Janet.
“ON at Fife have been very helpful too and we could not have made it happen at all without the input we have had from Adam Smith College interns – in everything from market research, graphic and design to back stage and prop making!
“Fife Council have been really supportive too – lots of advice and input and some very, very welcome funding!”
Janet and the team hope that everyone will take advantage of Saturday’s free family open day and take the time to pop in, see the space and find out more about what the hub has to offer the whole community.
There’s also a chance to take part in taster sessions for some of the types of classes that will be running at the Arts Hub in future.
Taster sessions in the Studio
10.00 - 10.45 a.m: Creative Storytelling for two to five year olds and their families - pirates and fairies. Join in and be the story.
11.00 - 11.45 a.m: DanceON for six to 10 year olds. Get groovy and join the fun - no experience needed.
12.15 - 1.00 p.m: Lunch and Listen to Youth Music Theatre Scotland’s talented cast of young people in a free performance open to all.
1.30 - 3.00 p.m: Come and Sing Les Mis. Ever fancied ‘Dreaming the Dream’? Join in for a taste of our show experience.
Running throughout the day
Drop in sessions in ‘Wardrobe’:
Make a rag doll
Drop in sessions in ‘the green room’
Chance to sign up for more.
The family open day is free and is your chance to find out what’s going on in this new creative space.