Crowdfunding success will help create Croydon art hub

TURF PROJECTS Gallery & Workspace, Keeley Road, Croydon PIC: Turf Projects

Turf Projects Gallery & Workspace, Keeley Road, Croydon PIC: Turf Projects

Croydon’s first successful crowdfunding project will see an empty shop on Keely Road host a year-long programme of artist-run events, exhibitions and workshops.

Turf Projects, the not-for-profit charity behind the initiative, exceeded their fundraising target and raised almost £23,000 to secure a permanent Croydon base after announcing their plans on crowdfunding website Spacehive.

A total of nine funders supported the initiative including Croydon Council and the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund which aims to make London’s high streets better places to visit, live in and do business.

Funds were used to secure a permanent base on Keely Road where Turf Projects will continue to curate free art projects for the public, support emerging artists and develop Croydon’s cultural offering.

Previous schemes by the charity include an artist-designed crazy golf course at East Croydon train station, drawing workshops and the installation of a series of newly commissioned billboard posters at Wandle Park.

Artist-designed crazy golf

Artist-designed crazy golf PIC: Turf Projects

Alice Cretney, Founder and Creative Director of Turf Projects, said: “It has made a massive difference to us as a charity to reach our fundraising target and to receive this sum of money, which has enabled us this year to open a gallery and workspace on Keeley Road to provide a base for our activities.”

“This money will help us support artists locally and nationally by providing exhibition and employment opportunities for them; whilst presenting the Croydon community with a great opportunity to experience and become involved with contemporary art in their locality through free events and workshops.”

Allison Butler, Cabinet member for Homes, Regeneration and Planning, said: “Spacehive is a really exciting new initiative where communities can come together and raise money through crowdfunding for civic projects. Turf Projects is a great example of how to make this a success, by turning an empty shop into a space for artists to stage their work.”

Other Croydon projects hosted on Spacehive include plans to regenerate College Square and create a new street market, four ‘experiential shops’ and a Croydon Christmas wonderland.

Croydon Council is looking to support other community groups looking to launch civic projects thorough Spacehive. Contact Shujah Iqbal for details.

To learn more about crowdfunding and to kick-start a new creative project Phundee and Rich Mix are encouraging the creative community to enter newly launched competition Crowdfund East London. Held at Rich Mix on August 1 between 12-2:30pm, the event will see 25 entrants pitch their ideas to a panel of crowdfunding experts. For details on how to enter click here.

By Scarlett Alexander

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