Theater secures new facilities in the city center

Theater secures new facilities in the city center
Mojisola Kareem-Elufowoju

A Sheffield-based African theater company has secured new premises in the city center for its recently opened Youth Academy.

Utopia Theater has secured a former 1,840-square-foot hairdressing unit on The Moor in Sheffield and plans to move in within the next few months.

The organization has worked with Leeds-based Hammond Associates, a company that specializes in making vacant commercial properties available to artists, arts and community charities, to secure the space.

The new space will allow Utopia Theater to host performing arts classes and workshops for youth ages nine to 19 along with a mentoring and training program in a dedicated space.

The Youth Academy opened earlier this year and has been running at St Mary’s Church on Bramall Lane ever since.

Founded by CEO and Artistic Director Mojisola Kareem-Elufowoju in 2012, Utopia Theater is also a resident theater company at Crucible Theatre.

Kareem-Elufowoju said: “I am absolutely delighted to secure a dedicated home for our Youth Academy. This will allow us to put a stamp on a building that is now destined to create even more opportunities for the next generation of creatives. It is important that our members of the Youth Academy, together with our brilliant team at Utopia Theatre, feel a sense of belonging and ownership and I am sure this will provide a fantastic collaborative, supportive and vibrant workshop and rehearsal space.

“It’s also important to us to be able to play our part in regenerating and reusing The Moor in Sheffield, so bringing new life to this area of ​​the city is a real bonus. We’re immensely proud of our Sheffield roots and it’s great to be able to play our part in shaping the future of the area by using commercial space that would otherwise go unused.”

In the agreement brokered by Hammond Associates, owner NewRiver Retail has made the new facility available without rent and service charge on a temporary basis.

Paul Hammond, Director of Hammond Associates, added: “We are very pleased to have supported Utopia Theatre. Yorkshire’s high streets have changed enormously in recent years with the rise of online shopping and continued declines in consumer confidence. Charities like Utopia Theater bring a vibrancy to the high streets that is missing when the blinds are down and the units are empty.

“NewRiver Retail realizes that vacant commercial properties do not improve an area and is pleased to open these premises to charitable occupancy, however temporary. This not only continues to regenerate The Moor, but also boosts opportunities for the local community We wish Utopia Theater every success in outfitting and utilizing this space as they continue to thrive.”


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