For young people, by young people
All young people have something to say. And at Shopfront, we make sure their voices are heard.
Shopfront is a space where young people come together to express themselves. To learn, share and bring their imaginations to life. A space for celebrating the amazing ideas and creativity generated by young people and emerging artists.
We believe all young people have a right to expression – no matter their background or ability. That finding their voice and ensuring it is heard is crucial to them, as it is to Australia’s cultural landscape. This belief is intrinsic to the Shopfront process of creation.
As a youth-led arts co-operative, young people have a say in everything we do. Through Shopfront they gain invaluable skills in artistic leadership and community building, shaping and becoming the next generation of creative content makers and community leaders.
We may be in our 41st year, but we’re young at heart (just like our members). 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.
We’ve got big plans for the future, and we hope you’ll join us in our mission to empower the young artists and social change makers of tomorrow. Starting today.
In 1976 The St George Theatre for Young People was founded by Errol Bray and established in Penshurst. In 1977 the group moved to the current site 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. Through fifty hour actathons, costume parades, raffles, shows, donations, loans and $35000 from the NSW Ministry of the Arts, the young people at Shopfront raised enough to purchase the current site for $102800 in 1979. 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.
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