The Clay Studio to open in South Kensington

KENSINGTON (WPVI) -- The Clay Studio has helped mold and mend neighborhoods in Philadelphia for decades and now it has a new home in Kensington, the epicenter of the opioid epidemic.

The non-profit is hoping through its new space, it can help underserved communities through art.

At four stories and 34,000 square feet, the Clay Studio has a new home at 1425 North American Street.

"(We're) excited to be opening a brand new building in south Kensington," said Josie Bockleman, Deputy Director of the Clay Studio.

The nonprofit is expected to be a bright spot for Kensington.

We are excited to join one of the city's most vibrant arts corridors, said Executive Director Jennifer Martin. Our new building will allow The Clay Studio to expand its ability to serve even more people, from our local neighborhood and from all over the City.

Their new space will be a hub for professional artists, but also a place for residents - specifically children - in the immediate area looking for respite from what's unfolding on their blocks.

"We will also, for the first time, have a classroom that's dedicated for youth. To be able to serve the youth in south Kensington with after school programs, summer camps, classes on the weekends," said Josie.

For decades, the organization says the only way to reach underserved communities was through the nonprofit's Clay-Mobile, a van that goes to neighborhoods and engages kids from all across the city.

Its prior location in Old City was inaccessible to most children in need.

"The kids would say oh it's Second Street, it's too far, I can't get there. But hopefully being on American Street, they can walk to us for our after school programming and take advantage of some our scholarship programs," said Nitza Rosario, Community Engagement Assistant.

The Clay Studio officially opens April 9th with a ribbon cutting and open house for the community they serve.

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