Kids on the Green: Arts pop up turned cultural hub
by Big Dada
Kids on the Green is a cultural hub that was born as an emergency response to the fire at Grenfell Tower. What began as an arts pop up to create a safe space amongst the affected community, just with a bag of felt tips and a guitar under a tree in Latimer Road, has since grown into an aspiring arts and culture hub.
The main idea behind the hub is to allow young people to develop their skills and talents in various roles associated with music and video production. Professionals and volunteering mentors focus on providing the training that they know young people will benefit from.
Music is at the heart of the organisation; Kids on the Green has built and created a thriving music studio, digital radio station, and workshops such as DJ Skills and Radio Training. Now it has also expanded to develop a visual department and a podcast suite.
Adrian, who handles the tech side of things, says “once we get to know the young artists we match them with the skills that are right for them. They might come with one role in mind but be more suited to another role, so we have artists who have turned producers and producers who turn to artists. We also have one who wasn't even interested in music, all of a sudden he wants to give it a go and he turns into one of our best artists. With the most thought provoking material, well beyond his years.”
Kids on the Green strives to reflect London’s heritage, cultural richness, diversity and raw artistic talent that flows through the community and that is passed down through generations. They seek to nurture this and simultaneously offer a platform for self expression to enable young people to tell their stories on their terms. Many young people are referred to KOTG because they either have an interest in the arts or are facing adversity and in need of mentoring.
Andrew, the Managing Director, points out that the young people develop so rapidly that within six months they don't want to use their old tracks because they have improved so much, he says, “In a way it is a bit of a boot camp because we are real with them.” Andrew was the freestyle champion of Europe and Adrian was on Channel U back in the day so they are both familiar with the landscape of the music industry, they explain, “We were artists when we were young. We have the experience, we've been on shows, on stage, we know the importance of audience participation, what it takes.”
Kids on the Green is focused on developing solid pathways and connections to the creative industries. Their members have performed in London-venue KOKO, Notting Hill Carnival and Portobello Summer Festival to name a few, and have helped young people secure places in prestigious arts schools and colleges such as The Brit School, The Rhythm Factory and Elstree Screen Arts. Kids on the Green is an Arts Awards accredited centre and is working towards becoming NCFE accredited. They are also about to launch their Youth Music funded Phoenix Award which is an artist development course.
Kids on the Green is now ready to release a compilation album of the tracks made by the young people which they plan to release with industry professionals.
For more info on Kids on the Green, head over to https://www.kidsonthegreen.com/