On this page you will find out more about who we are and what WAC Performing Arts and Media College is. Please scroll down the page for more sections on our ethos, our training methods and our history.
In this section, you can also find out more about our people and our funders and partners. You can have a look at our annual report, the news archive and WAC blog, and also our fantastic centre, with its many purpose-built facilities.
To reach all this information, please click on the links above, or in the menu bar that drops down under 'About Us' on the left of this page when you open this section.
What is WAC Performing Arts and Media College?
Our priority is to ensure that low income and disadvantaged young people can take part in the performing arts at all levels. This extends as far as members want to go and especially if they choose to develop their skills into a future career in the arts.
We offer drop-in sessions for the under-fives and weekend classes for five to twenty-five year olds. There are evening sessions, holiday courses and playschemes. We also organise alternative education provision and professional level Diploma training. We even provide a range of business and career development projects for those entering the performing arts as a career. To see full details of everything we provide at WAC, please follow the courses and projects link. This lists all our activities and also gives details of who they are designed for.
Our facilities are state of the art. Based at the Hampstead Town Hall Centre in the London Borough of Camden, we have performance spaces, dance studios with sprung floors, drama and recording studios, digital arts facilities, soundproofed music rooms, and a range of crèche, café and common room facilities. For a look around our performance spaces, rehearsal studios and common rooms, including the spacious atrium, please click on this hireable spaces link.
We aim to provide equality of access to high quality performing arts training for each one of our students. We work hard to be inclusive and to offer dedicated training for young people with learning difficulties that meets their special needs.
In this way, we may all benefit from harnessing the often boundless creative energy of our young people and whatever their individual circumstances may be.
Our training methods
We have a national and international reputation for innovative ways of teaching and learning. This has evolved so that we are now involved in a number of strategic research projects and partnerships and aim to influence the development of the education system both in this country and across Europe.
We started with drama classes on Saturdays in a community hall for a handful of students. From these beginnings, we grew and developed and, in 1980, moved into the Inter-Action building in Kentish Town. There, we were able to take advantage of the studios and large hall space available. We extended the range of subjects we offered and increased the numbers of young people we could take.
As the first intake of children grew up, we began to offer classes for older pupils and Senior WAC began to take shape. We offered holiday courses and playschemes and employed our first administrator to deal with the increasing demands of all our new projects.
In 2000 we moved into our new premises at the Hampstead Town Hall Centre which gave us access to a new generation of state of the art facilities. It also provided the opportunity for us to extend our provision still further to include weekday and term time projects for young people who have difficulties within the mainstream education system.
Over the years, WAC has developed a comprehensive portfolio of arts training opportunities which take children and young people from drop-in projects for the under-fives all the way through to the professional Diploma for the eighteen plus age group. Throughout our history, we have worked hard to ensure that we are fully inclusive so that we can sustain equality of opportunity for all our students. In this, we have developed a significant reputation in the field. We are known for providing a platform for those who want to excel, but lack support, or who would otherwise be unable to gain access to mainstream provision.
We look forward to taking this further in the next thirty years!