Bradford United Church is more than a church, it’s a community hub.
Not only does the historic building, located at 66 Barrie St. in Bradford West Gwillimbury, host the weekly Bradford Community Meal on Friday evenings, its rooms are used by groups that range from Girl Guides, to women’s organizations, and it houses the Bradford Arts Centre, a performance and workshop space.
Under the guidance of Rev. Jim Keenan, the church and the not-for-profit Bradford Fine Arts Society operate the Bradford Arts Centre, and they have partnered to design a new Arts Café community arts program for youth.
“Part of the Arts Centre’s mandate is to nurture young artists and provide opportunity for exploration of self-expression through the arts to youth,” explained Keenan.
During the summer, the partnership launched Supporting Youth and Community through the Arts (SYCA). The Arts Café is the latest incarnation of SYCA, providing mentorship, as well as opportunities for youth leadership and creativity.
The Arts Café is looking for teens ages 14 and up to act in a murder mystery production that will be performed as a fundraiser for a charity. No acting experience is required.
The young actors will decide on the charity of choice. Rehearsals will begin this Thursday, Jan. 24 from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Bradford United Church. Anyone interested can call 905-751-5335, or email [email protected].
The program also includes a visual arts program for youth ages 11 to 13, starting Jan. 31, from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., under the direction of youth mentor Kylee Morris – the young actor who played Dorothy in a recent SYCA production of The Wizard of Oz. For more information, call 905-751-5335, or email [email protected].
Both programs are available free of charge and are open to all youth.
The goal is to “provide low-barrier access to opportunities,” Keenan said, to ensure “that the program’s opportunities will be available to all youth in Bradford.”