In the Beginning
In 1996, a group of individuals gathered to dream about a vibrant downtown core that would be inclusive of the arts. A survey of 1000+ Londoners confirmed the need for a space that provided a venue to showcase emerging artists.
From this early gathering, TAP (originally called The ARTS Project) was envisioned to provide a destination for the arts that could help revitalize downtown London by providing education, artistic presentation, and job creation. In 1998 and 1999, grants from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and HRDC, and a successful membership drive, helped anchor TAP as an emerging artist cultural hub in the downtown core.
Finding a Permanent Home
In the summer of 2000, TAP moved to its present location. Previously and most famously known as Hawthorn’s Hotel/Rowland Hill Shoe store, the building was purchased in 2003. This gave TAP a permanent home. Resident artists moved into unfinished studios upstairs and the main floor was converted into a gallery and theatre. New programs were established as the organization continued to gain supportive patrons.
Modernizing TAP’s Space
In 2008 under new leadership, TAP’s Board of Directors and staff initiated a business plan and a variety of fundraising efforts that resulted in more consistent operating income. The facility was made more useful and vibrant after extensive renovations to expand gallery space, rebuild the box office, and update the studio spaces.
Since 2010, TAP has partnered with community organizations like Sunfest, London Fringe Festival, Western University and Fanshawe College, alongside dozens of others, to bring fantastic programming to the core. New communication tools were developed, and the organization re-focused on program growth and education in visual and theatre arts. The organization has continued to provide a range of classes, festivals, and programs that enrich and inspire emerging artists while maintaining a sustainable business model through membership, rentals, sales, and fundraising.
Re-dedicating to Emerging Artists
With a new brand in 2018, TAP is committed to maintaining relevancy as a central creative arts hub, communicating our accomplishments, and continually striving to achieve our mission and vision for London and the surrounding area. As TAP Centre for Creativity, the organization enters an exciting new chapter that realizes a 45-year long vision to put our city on the map as an arts and culture incubator.