The Kirkland community has been celebrating the success of a new arts space that will transform the historic Old Town neighborhood.
The Kirkland Performance Arts Center (KPAAC) opened its doors last week to the community, and is set to attract some of the best performing arts talent in the region.”KPAac is a unique space that’s unique because we’re bringing people together who are all really committed to what they do, who love what they’re doing,” said Kim Raff, the centre’s artistic director.
“It’s a great opportunity to share the arts with people in a different way.
You get to see what’s going on in the community and also meet people in the arts community who have been doing it for decades.”
Mr Raff said the community was excited about the new space, and were looking forward to welcoming artists and performing arts professionals to the city.
“We think that’s a good place to be in the middle of the day and in the evening and to have that time to meet like-minded people,” he said.
“For some, that might mean going out and performing for 10, 15 minutes.
For some it might mean staying up all night watching television.”
In other cases, it might be just going for a walk and chatting and talking about music and movies and art and whatever it is.
“The idea is to really help people connect with each other in a way that makes it easier for them to come and hang out.”KPAACP has been running for six years and is funded through a grant from the Government.
“I’m not saying it’s a miracle that this is happening,” Mr Raff told ABC Radio Melbourne’s Morning Musket.
“But it’s been a long time coming.”
Karen Smith is one of the centre members who’s been working on the project for the past five years.
“You could see the excitement about it in the first two months and it’s very encouraging to see people come out and meet people and have a good time,” she said.
Ms Smith said the space was set up in collaboration with the community of Kirkland.
“As a young mother, I always loved to get out and see the sights and hear the music and see people that I grew up with.
I thought, ‘How can I do this to help people in their day to day life?’,” she told ABC News.”
When you have a young, beautiful, diverse community like Kirkland, and you’re bringing all that together, it’s really wonderful.”
What’s important to me is that it is all about people who are in the same position and that everyone is treated fairly.
“Kirkland’s Old Town community has become a destination for music and art festivals.”
Old Town is one the most diverse communities in the state and I think the arts centre is a really great place to have a community centre, just like it’s to have an art gallery,” Ms Smith said.KPA AC is funded by the State Government and will open to the public in December 2018.