Meta Housing’s history is marked by many innovative and community-centered initiatives within the affordable housing space, one of which is the ‘Arts Colony’ concept. The Arts Colony was born out of an intention to weave connection, purpose, and joy across various properties through the practice of community art projects and creative expression.
For instance, NoHo Senior Arts Colony, in North Hollywood, CA, marks the third generation of Meta’s evolving arts concept. The Meta team forged a partnership with local, professional theatre company to engage their senior residents with inspiring activities that foster friendships and a sense of purpose.
Not only was Meta Housing successful in delivering a unique, open-to-the-public theatre, available for the local community to watch and participate in, but also in providing novel ways for residents to engage and experiment in the unique and cathartic techniques of acting.
The 78-seat professional theatre is now run by the award-winning Road Theatre Company, which produces a series of professional plays and musicals each year. Residents, in turn, enjoy the opportunity to get involved in the work from assisting with costumes to managing fully staged productions.
In addition to the theatre, the apartment community, which Meta Housing opened in late 2012, offers free creative arts classes run by longtime nonprofit partner, EngAGE.
EngAGE provides lifelong learning classes at many of Meta Housing’s developments, and Meta and EngAGE continue to collaborate on programming at the NoHo Senior Arts Colony. Residents are given access to professional-level arts classes in the community’s unique spaces, including visual arts studios, film editing rooms, rehearsal spaces, and more.
Meta continues to work to incorporate community arts programs at select properties as they evolve the Arts Colony concept given its great success and fulfillment it brings to the residents, especially seniors.