Our Story

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The story of Shopfront is a story of community, creativity and survival. Hear about our history from our very own Liv, who created this fantastic documentary on the history of Shopfront.

How Shopfront became the home of youth arts…


In 1977 the group moved to our current site, then consisting of a dance hall, two shops and an old house – all converted to an engineering factory which had closed down a few years earlier. They renamed the company Shopfront Theatre for Young People in June 1977 and became a registered co-operative owned by young people with a Board of Directors elected by shareholders, becoming the only youth theatre company in the country owned by its members.

Multiart image from 2014


We have a rich and successful history that includes national and international tours, the creation of multiple large-scale site specific works, and created music, films, plays, musicals, art shows, installations, dance pieces, festivals, posters, magazines and much much more. In 2015 we relaunched as Shopfront Arts Co-Op which better reflects the work we do: a greater integration of a range of artforms including performance, filmmaking, writing, physical theatre – all with a strong focus on developing young people’s creativity, confidence and communication.

New building exterior

We’re known for our daring, adventurous and socially relevant work with Young People across Australia and Internationally, and are still the only dedicated youth-led arts organisation in the Southern Sydney and Illawarra region.

View our 2023 Annual Report HERE

View our 2022 Annual Report HERE

View our 2021 Annual Report HERE

View our 2020 Annual Report HERE

View our 2019 Annual Report HERE

View our 2018 Annual Report HERE

View our 2017 Annual Report HERE

View our 2016 Annual Report HERE

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