Former students returned to MAP (Music and Production) Charity yesterday to help mark the graduation of more than 30 young people who have attended its education programme over the last year.
Live performances, DJ sets, film screenings and workshops showcased the students’ talents - but also gave the charity’s backers a chance to see them in action, as it seeks to win support to help it stay in its home of 10 years.
The charity is currently trying to raise £2.4m to buy Hope Foundry in Mabgate, which will go up for sale when its lease expires next year.
Its location - once primarily industrial on the outskirts of the city centre - is now prime for development, and if it cannot raise the cash, the building will be turned into luxury flats.
MAP has already raised £50,000 to keep it going until then, but is confident it can raise the sum.
Development project manager Gaia Rosenberg Colorni, who was herself supported by MAP in its early days after she graduated from university in Leeds, said : “There is still a lot of work to be done, we’re just at the beginning, but we’re confident.
“We’ve never fundraised for that amount of money before but the groundswell of support we have been shown since beginning the campaign has been really moving. If we’re not able to buy the building, anything raised will be used to find a new home - either way, the future is looking positive for MAP.”
The charity provides creative education for students aged between 11 and 16, as well as ensuring they work towards traditional qualifications in maths and English.
By linking up with people working in creative industries, they are able to apply their skills in real life.
Returning to MAP yesterday was former student Taylor Jay Hogan, 19. Now an award-winning filmmaker, at studying at Leeds City College, she showed her own work and held workshops with current students.
Ms Rosenberg Colorni said: “Taylor is now an ambassador for MAP and a real role model for the next generation.”
Vision for the future
Hope Foundry is a 16,000 square foot, Grade II-listed building on Mabgate in the city centre, a short walk from John Lewis.
It has been the home to MAP since 2008, but its lease runs out next year. The charity is hoping to buy the building from its landlord for £2.4m - if not, it will be turned into luxury flats.
MAP plans to create a kitchen, cafe, roof-garden, studios, plus spaces for co-working, events and retail, for use by its students, partners and the public.