Ten years ago, artsdepot opened as a landmark cultural centre, with the sole purpose of the enjoyment and development of the arts.

Since 2004, the centre has brought the best of performing and visual art to north London, attracting performers from around the world, and it has become an exciting cultural hub for local audiences as well as a key player on the London arts scene.

With its public spaces, two state-of-the-art, fully accessible performing spaces, and vibrant programme of theatre, dance, music, comedy, exhibitions and family events, artsdepot works with more than 400 artists and welcomes in excess of 100,000 visitors every year.

To celebrate its tenth birthday, the team looks back at its highlights of the last decade.


artsdepot opened on 23 October 2004. Prince Edward visited and artsdepot was officially named.

The high profile launch event featured performances by artists including Paco Pena, Evelyn Glennie and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance amongst others. We were invited to a reception at Downing Street hosted by Cherie Booth.


First full year of operation. It featured artsdepot's first theatre co-production, The Trouble with Asian Men with Tamasha Theatre Company, a show created from real life interviews which went on to be enjoyed by sell-out audiences throughout the UK.

In this year, artsdepot started hosting events by Barnet Folk Club. These still continue today in the form of Folk in the Foyer, a free monthly evening of folk music hosted by JJ Dunne.


Asobi!, an all-day festival for families which saw artsdepot filled to the brim with Japanese culture, in celebration of Japanese Children’s Day.

Thefamily Christmas show this year was The Twits, a co-production with Pilot Theatre. To celebrate, Quentin Blake (illustrator of Roald Dahl’s book) created a bespoke Twits cover for Time Out.


The launch of Sunday Buzz, a monthly afternoon session of free music, featuring a wide variety of musical styles in a relaxed atmosphere.

Performance by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and an associated education project with Northgate School based at Edgware Community Hospital for young people age 13-19 with mental health challenges.

2008 & 2009

The launch of Clive, the night for young people aged 13-25 with learning disabilities, their friends and families. This event has grown over the years, and now also features a programme of workshops with professional companies leading up to a performance by young people at Clive. There are also DJs, open mic performances, and a space for parents and carers to relax too.

In 2008 and 2009 artsdepot won the Smooth Radio Love London award for Best Neighbourhood Theatre award, as voted by the public.


artsdepot celebrated its fifth birthday and launched its Associate Artists scheme to support and nurture artists. The first Associate Artists were writer, producer and DJ Charlie Dark, theatre collective Parrot {in the} Tank, children’s theatre company A Thousand Cranes, and digital artists igloo.


As part of the LIFT festival (London International Festival of Theatre), artsdepot hosted Israel’s deafblind Nalaga’at Theatre Company for two weeks, with a sell-out run of Not By Bread Alone.


In 2011 artsdepot faced local authority funding cuts of 100 per cent – that in itself isn’t a highlight but the fact that it survived this definitely is!

Co-commissioned The Talent by BalletBoyz. A new venture for the dance company, this saw BalletBoyz founders Michael Nunn and William Trevitt hand the baton to a new generation of dancers, all young men between the ages of 18- 24 with a broad spectrum of training and experience.


In the Olympic year, we lined the streets and watched the Olympic Torch being carried past. artsdepot was pleased to be part of the Cultural Olympiad presenting two free outdoor events in nearby Victoria Park as part of the London 2012 Festival: 3,000 people came to watch Bells, a breath-taking spectacle created by Theater Tol (from Belgium) and Akademi (from London) which combined aerial theatre and Kathak dance.

On a sunny Saturday at the end of July, 2,000 people attended Labyrinth, a free outdoor arts festival for young people and their families.

With Dance City, Live at LICA and La Breche, we co-commissioned Not Until We Are Lost by circus artists in residence Ockham’s Razor. The show premiered at artsdepot. It was a thrilling performance in which the action unfolded above and around the audience, with by some spine-tingling singing from a local choir recruited for the project.


Higher education vocational dance college London Studio Centre took up permanent residence at artsdepot. More than 300 students now study there.


artsdepot is celebrating its 10th birthday with a season of special events, including The Secret Theatre Festival, Simon Callow’s one-man show The Man Jesus, circus-theatre-dining experience Façade by Crashmat Collective, six performances as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival, Mark Bruce Company’s Dracula, story gathering in a 1960s airstream caravan at The Knowledge Emporium, heritage project Tally Ho! A Place to Meet, celebratory exhibition The Big Birthday Bash, and the world premiere this Christmas of new children’s show Beegu, co-produced by artsdepot.

artsdepot is also launching a fundraising appeal for a new Creation Space. This will increase the studio space available for artists to create new work, and will provide opportunities for audiences to gain an insight into the creative process. In addition, the space will include a new children’s play area and a community meeting room, and will also increase the space available for workshops and classes for the local community to take place.

“It’s been an amazing ten years,” says Tracy Cooper, chief executive, “and we’re grateful to everybody who has supported artsdepot. We look forward to many more decades as a cultural hub for the local community; nurturing young talent, entertaining and inspiring visitors, and presenting artists from around the world.”