FREMANTLE’S Old Boys School is quickly transforming from a dusty, disused and dilapidated space to a new home for disabled artists.
Newly appointed tenants of the 162-year-old heritage building, arts organisation DADAA threw open the doors to their future exhibition and artistic space on Thursday, inviting the City of Fremantle, DADAA members and the media to a tour and information session about how the former Film and Television Institute building will be used.
Artworks and installations covered floor and wall space as DADAA representatives unveiled future digital studios, visual studios, theatres, exhibition spaces, music rooms and a café.
DADAA executive director David Doyle said the organisation has had a special love of Fremantle since its inception 22 years ago and they were excited to continue operating locally out of a bigger space.
“When the expression of interest was announced for the Old Boys School we simply had to go for it,” he said.
“Relocating to the centrally located Old Boys’ School offers DADAA and our partners a great opportunity to make a positive impact on the needs of local residents of all ages and abilities through our arts and health-based programs.
“It’s not often a space as historically and culturally significant as this is available for lease so we are very excited and look forward to making the heart of Freo DADAA’s new home base.”
Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt, whose father attended the Old Boys School just before it closed in the 1950s, said with the City’s $2 million heritage restoration works nearing an end, they were excited to see the space used again.
“The City received several strong applications for a new tenant for this building and DADAA ticked all the boxes,” he said.
“They are 100 per cent community focused, have a very strong connection with the Fremantle arts and culture scene and have demonstrated their commitment to activating the building and the local area with a variety of uses for everyone to get involved in.
“The east end is already on its way to becoming a re-energised area with new residents and businesses so I’m very happy DADAA will become a big part of that.”