Could you first introduce yourself for the reader?
My name is Batuala Alexander, I am the founder of Creators House CIC and InZone Agency.
What happens at Creators House?
At Creators House we exist to empower and support underserved young creatives. The creative industry is growing exponentially, yet we are still seeing many inequalities and barriers that are affecting young creatives, especially those from disadvantaged and underprivileged backgrounds. Our aim is to change that.
What do you offer to young people?
We support young creatives through four pillars;
1. We have a multi-purpose creative studio in Kentish Town, North West London, that young people can access completely free. Here they can do things such as podcasting, photography, graphic design, music production etc.
2. We offer free therapy to 18-25 year olds.
3. We offer free educational workshops as we want our organisation to be educational as much as it is experiential.
4. We offer free mentoring programs. The key program we offer is a podcast where we help connect young people to industry leaders that will help them build a successful career within the creative industry.
Looking just at the therapy offer, why did you think this was so important? How is it funded and delivered?
We feel it’s important to support young people’s mental health because there’s a clear need, the numbers speak for themselves. Mental health referrals across the NHS are higher than they ever have been and waiting lists can be up to 18-24 months long. And unfortunately, not everyone can afford private therapy. We want to support their 360 needs as a creative and their mental stability is a big part of that. We currently have two voluntary therapists, but we are in need of more funding to continue this service as it has become hugely popular.
And more widely, who supports the young people with multimedia creation?
We have a team of creative assistants that support our members with any creative needs they have, and they are present at every booking. However, we also run more specialised workshops which are delivered by industry experts.
What activities are most popular for young people and why?
It changes to be honest, but at the moment podcasting is huge. This is because the podcasting industry is growing massively but spaces like ours don’t really exist. We have a professional standard studio that can rival any top end podcast studio in London, yet we are offering it for free! For young podcasters this is a dream come true!
Could you give an example of a recent project you have run, and the impact it had?
Since opening in May 2022, we have impacted close to 600 young creatives, through either studio time, workshops, mentoring or therapy sessions. We are quite proud of this considering the length of time we have been open. In addition, our Google reviews speak volumes to the impact we are having on young people. Here is just one of many 5-star google reviews we have online: “Creators House is literally an answer to my prayers!!! One of the most needed platforms for young people of this generation!!!”
Do you have any examples of the work that young people have created?
Here is an example of some music content that was created at our space: https://www.instagram.com/tv/Cfd5Nv2g5kg
But there is so much more great stuff that gets created that we don’t always get to see or share. You can find more content on our Instagram page.
How did Creators House get started?
It’s important to note that Creators House wouldn’t exist without InZone Agency. InZone Agency is a youth led creative agency that undertakes consumer insights and strategy based work for the likes of Nike, Jordan, Foot Locker and Urban Outfitters.
As an agency that specialises in youth culture, InZone felt it had a duty to give back to the community and help empower the next generation. I grew up in a disadvantaged area with a lack of opportunities for young people, which has driven me to ensure the next generation in my community have the support they need to become the best versions of themselves.Have you got any plans for future expansion, either new venues or new provisions?
Yes, our plans are huge. Our big audacious goal is to impact 1 million young people within 5 years. We aim to do that by scaling up through both bigger spaces and more locations across both the UK and Europe. We hope our podcast mentoring program will also reach millions across the world.
Have you seen any change in the industry over the last few years? Is it positive or negative?
The Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 was a pivotal moment to shine some light on the inequalities that exist across the world, across all communities. The positive aspect is that a lot of people are starting to take action towards a better world, but we still have a lot of work to do. So we are going in the right direction, but organisations like ours are still very much a key part of the journey.
Is there anything you particularly want to promote to young people at the moment? (You can also publish events and opportunities directly onto Voice)
The main thing for us to promote is our upcoming podcast. Do also keep an eye out on our Instagram account as all upcoming projects will be announced there.
Where can people find out more about the work you do?