Also written by Cheree Ridder
Cheree Ridder / 28 Feb 2022
Cheree Ridder / 17 Feb 2022
Urban Dream Brokerage and Mouthfull Collective come together to fill an essential gap for the city's youth - presenting ‘Commonspace’!
For three months+ in 2021, the doors at 113 Taranaki St, will be open for an inclusive, safe, creative, welcoming and much needed, central city youth lounge.
Current covid restrictions don't just hit our arts sector, hospitality industry, theatres and retailers hard, they're also a big hit to those who can't either afford large homes or to spend money in restaurants and bars. In addition to this, rangitahi of Wellington have been finding it increasingly difficult to have safe common spaces in Wellington over the last few years, and that's just got harder.
Answering that call and Wellington City Council's concern over providing such spaces is Commonspace, a recently opened central city free youth lounge that is billed as inclusive, safe, creative, welcoming, as well as much needed.
After a soft opening late in July, the lounge at 113 Taranaki Street has reopened under level two through until the extended date of Oct 31st, run by arts collective Mouthfull under space brokerage and with support from Urban Dream Brokerage, alongside funding from Wellington City Council & Creative NZ.
The space operates Wednesdays to Sundays, 10am to 10pm daily and is importantly free for all who enter. A mix of predetermined engaging events, along with a place to just be, Mouthfull creates an enlightening mix of offerings from their vast array of creative partnerships. From album launches, yoga & meditation, community dinners, film screenings, creative workshops, to their peoples choir.Their weekly calendar is updated HERE
Commonspace, located at 113 Taranaki St, is the second in a series of commissioned works from Urban Dream Brokerage. The commissions are led by artists who are interested in creating space, that aims to engage and encourage the public to participate, whilst often bringing new life to vacant spaces. The first of these commissions, released earlier in 2021 was Electromagnetic Geographies, an artists workshop and exhibition lead by critical engineer Julian Oliver, which has since been nominated for the NZ Open Source Awards.
“The 'Commonspace' kaupapa is to empower young practitioners to share techniques, knowledge, and activities as well as enliven an inner city community through participating in different forms of being. We've had over 30 events after our first month open, giving well over 400 people a place to be in the midst of Wellington winter” - Jack Gittings - Mouthfull
Commonspace originally opened its doors softly late in July. Quickly finding their feet, a solid groove and an ever growing community. This was unfortunately but rightly paused with the recent reappearance of Covid 19 in the community. Commonspace, like many, responded, transformed its space and took its community and ideals online and onair via radio, and continued tp support the Commonspace community throughout the recent lockdown.
They are now excited and ready to open their doors again to welcome people back both in person and online.The reopening under Level 2 will be dutifully handled with all relevant protocols followed and based on government advice. More details available HERE.
This reopening is particularly important as lockdowns can prove to be isolating for many, Commonspace will, as such, be a welcome antidote. Doors were open again officially from Sept 9th through to the extended date of October 31st, with an even stronger offering.. Workshops and events will take place in a variety of formats, either online, indoors with social distancing, or outdoors in a variety of the cities ‘Common Spaces’.
“It’s a reviving feeling to be in the middle of the whirlwind that is an inner city community space; at a time where places of genuine whakawhanaungatanga and beingness are scarce to come by. So many people have come in and out of this temporary living room for the city in the first month, it has hosted numerous wonderful events and provides both a platform and a safe space for young creatives in Te Whanganui-a-Tara to connect, inspire and empower one another. There is mutual gratitude and respect in the process of listening, coordinating and facilitating - between the growing network of participants, the artists and supervisors, and the incredibly supportive people of Urban Dream Brokerage, Letting Space and WCC.” - Ollie Hutton - Mouthfull