Hero photograph
Photo by Isla Huffadine

Launch of pop-up Youth Space with Art, Music, Dance & Kai

Isla Huffadine —

Artworks, creative workshops, gigs, wellbeing clinics and a warm welcome will greet rangatahi as they enter a pop-up central city youth space. Organisers are putting the finishing touches to a packed programme over the two week initiative called Ōtepoti Youth Space which coincides with the national Youth Week.

A launch event will take place on Sunday 8 May from 2pm and will feature an exhibition of youth art, live music, dance and kai. Special guest, Jane Zintl, CEO of Youth Week/Ara Taiohi will speak at the opening.

Timed to coincide with the National Youth Week, the pop-up youth space aims to celebrate the talent of young people while providing information about opportunities and support available.

Located on Princes Street at the Community Gallery and neighbouring performance space Te Whareo Rukutia, the Ōtepoti Youth Space will have a focus on creativity and community connections. 

A welcoming hangout space, open each day from 3pm-6:30pm, will feature a range of activities each afternoon with youth mentors on hand to korero with and support youth as needed. Free workshops each afternoon, presented by youth organisations, range from stencil art, slam poetry, zine making, hip hop and drumming. Friday and Saturday nights are open late until 9pm and feature an open mic night and youth bands.

“This a great opportunity for rangatahi to express themselves and for us all to celebrate the role young people play in the community in a positive and supportive way,” said Ōtepoti Youth Space coordinator, Jo Taylor. 

“Young people have been telling us they want more youth friendly spaces so we would love to see young people make the most of this opportunity. Now’s the time to get involved.”

The initiative is being facilitated by a collective of creative and youth organisations and has been supported by the Otago Community Trust, the Creative Communities Scheme and Dunedin Casino Charitable Trust.

The full programme is available on the Ōtepoti Youth Space Facebook page.


Monday - Saturday, 4pm-6pm, FREE 

WEEK 1 Monday 9 May: Slam Poetry on the theme of Five Ways to Wellbeing including developing writing skills and with a te ao Māori kaupapa. Presented by Adventure Development.

Tuesday 10 May: Find out about the Mana Rangatahi app and how it supports youth leadership, aspirations and resilience, including creating your own pepeha. Presented by INNOV8HQ.

Wednesday 11 May: Virtual Production Dojo presents the technology and steps to follow to create a digi-human - Digital Game Design.

Thursday 12 May: Multiple activities including creative writing and movement, nature-connected art, and bath bomb making. Presented by Stopping Violence Dunedin.

Friday 13 May: Arts, craft and kai for mindfulness. Presented by the Youth Division of the Dunedin Public Library.

Saturday 14 May: Canvas graffiti stencil lettering for self-care and self-discovery. Presented by Stopping Violence Dunedin. 

WEEK 2 Monday 16 May: Join us for a reading of poetry and short fiction. Hear the latest work from the Young Dunedin Writers Association.

Tuesday 17 May: 'Creativitea' a Zine making workshop accompanied by drinking and sharing tea. Presented by Ōtepoti Collective Against Sexual Abuse.

Wednesday 18 May: Fun Creatures: make your own colourful mini-sculptures using air-dry clay and paint. Presented by Artsenta.

Thursday 19 May: Hip hop and drumming session with Te Hou Ora Whānau and Le Apatonga Performing Arts.

Friday 20 May: Rainbow Youth Q & A and whakawhanaungatanga session, & Volunteer South clinic about youth volunteering in Ōtepoti.

Saturday 21 May: Māori Rock Art drawing with Te Hou Ora Whanau Services.

Contact: Jo Taylor, 027 584 7733 or otepotiyouthspace@gmail.com

Paul Smith, 021 150 9207 or director@artsenta.org