Empowering Young People to Change Their World

Our mission is to empower young people to change their world. Creating a centre of excellence in performing arts and media for all children and young people.

Located at the Old Town Hall, Hampstead, Wac Arts has been home to thousands of talented young people, harnessing their extraordinary potential every year, equipping them to make positive choices for themselves and a positive contribution to society. Our work has opened countless doors for young people, creating life-changing opportunities that may have been otherwise inaccessible to them. Our mission is to be a sustainable arts-inspired educational safe haven for generations of young people, providing high quality training at low cost in fantastic facilities.

Wac Arts is proud to offer innovative programmes and cutting edge training taught by industry professionals in a safe, fun and creative environment. At the forefront of performing arts and media training, Wac Arts proves its dedication to providing young people with the best training opportunities by nurturing diverse talent, empowering young people with disabilities through inclusive technology, celebrating all performance arts such as aerials training and using a creative curriculum to bring out the best in every young person.

“Attending Wac Arts every Sunday as a teenager transformed my life. I cannot overstate the continuing importance of having such institutions accessible to young people in London”
Sam Beste- Wac Arts alumnus and professional musician

In 1978 Camden struggled to provide local young people with adequate and affordable training in the performing arts and media. With this in mind Celia Greenwood, Teresa Noble and Ed Berman set up Wac Arts, with 12 students on a Sunday. Now we have approx 1000 young people benefiting from our performing arts and media training every year!

  • Worked with over 30,000 students in past 35 years
  • 78% of attendees are BAME and 19% has a disability or special educational need
  • Open 7 days a week, 50 weeks a year!
 

Our vision: Everyone has the right to experience an education in the performing arts and media

We believe that:

  • Every young person is entitled to high quality performing arts and media education
  • Learning the arts gives you tools for life
  • Arts education is transformational and helps people fulfil their potential in life
  • Experience of the arts can build confidence; self-esteem and help people overcome great difficulties
  • Regardless of background, every person deserves to gain through the arts
  • Every single young person has talent in some form –it’s our job to help them find it

Our values: Innovation, Equality, Empowerment, Excellence, Love

Our values seek to guide our activities and reflect how we aim to work as an organisation.

  • Innovation: at the cutting edge of arts education
  • Equality: free from hierarchy
  • Empowerment: nurturing self-belief
  • Excellence: outstanding levels of training and performance
  • Love: the family you choose to trust

Our Alumni

A number of our students have marked their presence in the performing arts and media industry. Amongst our Alumni Wac Arts counts 1996 Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominee Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Robo Cop, Secrets & Lies, Without a Trace, Broadchurch), 2004 Oscar nominee (Hotel Rwanda) and 2014 Tony Award Winner (A Raisin in the Sun) Sophie Okonedo, Stage and screen actor Danny Sapani (Trance, Penny Dreadful, Medea), Director, Playwright and Offie Nominee Che Walker, world famous jazz musicians Courtney Pine and Julian Joseph and four Mercury and Mobo Award winners including Ms Dynamite and Zoe Rahman.

“Wac Arts gave me an invaluable experience not only the chance to develop as an actor but gave me an appreciation of all arts ballet, jazz, music. We were encouraged to try everything and to create. I don’t think you get that type of training anywhere else”
Marianne Jean-Baptiste- Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe Nominee

Although many do go on to work in the Arts, what young people learn here are life skills.

For over 35 years we have watched thousands of children escape the poverty trap and go on to have successful careers as youth workers, teachers, lawyers, administrators, and entrepreneurs.

However long the journey takes, Wac Arts provides education, training, holistic support and guidance, aiming to open up opportunities and improve the lives of young people in Camden and across Greater London.

“To lead an organisation whose vision is to empower young people to change their world is an incredible privilege. Since its inception it has been an organisation committed to the best possible outcomes for disadvantaged young people, for diversity and for the arts, and it deserves far more of a light to be shone on it. I deeply believe the arts changes and touches humanity for the better and that everyone has a right to have access to it. I am thrilled to have the chance to be part of an extraordinarily talented, dedicated and compassionate team at Wac Arts, committed to developing the extraordinary arts and cultural organisation that our young people so need it to be.”
Karen Napier, recently appointed Chief Executive, Wac Arts

Our unique offer

Wac Arts prides itself on being a fully inclusive and diverse performing arts organisation. In all our work and especially our work with children and young people who face challenges and hardship, we stand out from the mainstream in many ways:

• range and quality of programmes
• ability based progression
• lifelong engagement
• inclusivity
• … and the Wac Arts extended family.

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Our building

We believe that young people need and deserve access to great facilities in order to achieve. Since 2000 we have been very fortunate to have our base at the Old Town Hall in London’s Belsize Park. Here we have a complex of three buildings connected by a light and bright atrium space and incorporating a purpose-built performing arts and media block.

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Room hire

Hire space in our beautiful building. Increasingly recognised as one of London’s top venues for performing arts clientele and corporate or private hires the building’s flexibility also enables it to function as a vibrant community arts hub. Whatever the occasion, Wac Arts Events can help to create the perfect setting.

Contact us for more information on room hires and our events management services:

020 7692 5809

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Wac Arts
020 7692 5800