As a denizen of downtown Winnipeg I often find myself traversing the lengths of Portage Place mall. Those who know the history of this mall, and I won’t go into it here, know that it will not go down as the most successful mall in Winnipeg’s history. As a result, the storefronts often change or are being used for displays for other businesses in the mall.
The last few times I had been through, I noticed that on the second floor, northside, one of the empty spaces had been opened up, and there was a collections of plastic banquet tables, with a few people around, mainly youths. While there weren’t a lot of people there, I notice that there were always some doing something. So today, on my wander home, I decided to stop in and see what was going on.
When I first stepped in, I thought it was one of those design you own t-shirt types of store, except that the people that were doing the designing were creating everything. When I approached the young woman at the counter I discovered that it was something quite different. Studio 393, which takes its name from the street address of Portage Place, is a summer arts outreach program made possible through The Winnipeg Foundation. There promo material reads as follows:
Studio 393 is an exciting pilot project! An art studio located on the second floor of Portage Place Mall in Downtown Winnipeg, teens will be able to access quality arts instruction and community resources at this exciting new store front space! Studio 393 will be operating Summer 2011, offering amazing workshop opportunities to youth 13 and older in Jewelry Design, Silkscreening, Hip Hop Dance, Fashion Design, and Visual Arts. Summer 2011 Workshops will be provided by Martha Street and Graffiti Art Programming.
Join us for our Grand Opening, Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at Studio 393.
As for becoming a member:
In becoming a member at Studio 393 you will receive weekly emails regarding upcoming programming and the opportunity to register early for workshops that interest you!
All Workshops offered at STUDIO 393 are free or charge and designed for teens aged 13 and older.
Registration form are available at the counter in the Portage Place space, and there is more information available from GraffitiArt Programming Inc. 109 Higgins Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R3B 0B5, Phone 204-667-9960.
If you know any teens in the downtown area, this is something you might want to let them know about. If you don’t know any teens, tell your friends, because they might. If you know no teens and have no friends, come down to the site at Portage Place on July 6th, for the Grand Opening.