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YMCA Christchurch gets $1 million to create urban culture space

YMCA Christchurch gets $1 million to create urban culture space
February 17, 2015

A $1 million redevelopment of the YMCA in central Christchurch will provide a new central city location and creative space for the city's young people.

The Todd Foundation has awarded the allocation, as part of its Our Christchurch fund, towards the Youth Art Place, a redevelopment of the YMCA’s Hereford Street premises into a free, collaborative space for young people to meet, be creative, engage in activities and reinforce their sense of community.

The initiative, part of a wider plan to convert the Y’s indoor arena into a ‘world first’ Street Art Museum, will create a facility for urban art-related activities, youth programmes and support, as well as a 200-seat community theatre.

The YMCA project was chosen from 31 local applications, with a youth panel - involving seven Cantabrians aged 15 to 18 - playing a central role in the selection process.

YMCA Chief Executive Josie Ogden-Schroeder said the Youth Art Place was an alternative meeting place to the street or shopping malls.

Ogden-Schroeder explained “the earthquakes took away a lot of young Cantabrians' safe meeting spaces. The Youth Art Place gives young people their own free place.

“But it will be much more than just a hang-out space. It is an urban culture space - a mall without shops or walls; a gallery where you can make noise and eat, a place for young people to be creative.”

Todd Foundation Chair Sir John Todd said the new venue was part of supporting a vibrant and inclusive post-earthquake Christchurch “where all children and young people thrive.”

Sir John added “the Youth Art Place will be a major contributor to this and we wish the YMCA and the youth of Christchurch every success in this innovative and forward-thinking initiative.

The YMCA project was selected following a rigorous process which started last August. The Foundation went to the community looking for a long-term project to celebrate what’s possible in the new Christchurch, with a focus on children and youth.

Todd Foundation Executive Director Kate Frykberg said the project stood out from the bunch, adding “the Youth Art Place was the top pick of both the youth panel and the trustees of the Todd Foundation. It is an exciting and innovative project that we are confident will help our young people in Christchurch.”

From the 31 applications, the foundation shortlisted four Christchurch projects for the $1 million fund.

Click here to visit the project page on the YMCA Christchurch website.



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