National youth organisation Zeal has secured funding to open a creative arts youth facility in the Hamilton CBD in 2013.
After raising over $300,000 toward the facility this year, Zeal has recently received a further $500,000 toward the project from the Lottery Community Facilities Fund, enabling building to begin in February.
"There is no shortage of young talent in Hamilton," says Zeal Hamilton Manager Pete Allely.
"Zeal Hamilton will be a creative hub for young photographers, film-makers, musicians, audio engineers, graphic designers, and event managers to up-skill, collaborate, and get a real creative leg up."
The Zeal facility will be located in a large upstairs warehouse space off Victoria Street, with a pop-up business space below offering young entrepreneurs a rent-free opportunity to create new business for the city. Partnerships with agencies such as Te Ahurei a Rangatahi Trust and IDEA Services will ensure that Zeal's resources and venue are accessed by all demographics of young people.
This year Zeal has built a steady following amongst young people through its workshops and events, enabled by its Virtual Zeal Mobile Unit. "In May we put out the call for young artists to play our first acoustic event," says Allely.
"We had over ten eager responses, so we immediately booked our second show. Since that night we have had the pleasure of providing a stage to over 30 young artists from the acoustic scene alone."
The Hamilton facility will be the third Zeal in New Zealand, after Wellington and West Auckland.
"Our vision is to positively influence every New Zealand young person through the creative arts," says CEO Brook Turner.
"We believe young people aren't a problem to be solved, but potential to be harnessed and encouraged. The creative arts are a great vehicle for young people to express themselves as they figure out life."
Fit-out of Zeal Hamilton will begin in February and will take 100 days to complete. In the meantime Zeal continues to run events and workshops out of its Mobile Unit.