Chocolate Factory N22 Open Studios, celebrating 20 years, is quite a milestone when you reflect back on how it all started in 1996.  A derelict building on Clarendon Road N22,  empty since 1990 and just crying out for artists who with Haringey Arts Council (the previous name of Collage Arts) having failed to persuade the owners to make a unit available for studios, decided to squat the building and finally convinced the owners  to make a unit available. That first unit was taken within two hours of being offered and the artists with Collage Arts built the studios, and so started the life of Chocolate Factory 1. The first Open Studios was promoted under a banner of “Imagine”……. and the public were invited to visit what was then an empty building and to imagine multi artform studios, performance spaces, gallery and lots more.

Over 20 years we have achieved almost what was imagined in 1996, we have the performance, dance, photography and film spaces, over 100 artists’ studios, a venue for music and theatre, and a restaurant. We have Chocolate Factory 1, Chocolate Factory 2, Karamel and now Chocolate Factory 3.

The N22 Open Studios in 2016 will for the first time promote the Wood Green Cultural Quarter.  The signs have been up for years but it has never been acknowledged or given the prominence deserved. This year, Collage Arts, in partnership with Haringey Council and the Green Rooms will promote the Wood Green Cultural Quarter starting with the N22 Open Studios.

A map has been produced to accompany the N22 Open Studios leading all visitors to the event through what is the current Wood Green Cultural Quarter and featuring all the highlights of the cultural quarter.  It will start from the Green Rooms, a brand new addition to the Wood Green landscape, and the UK’s first art hotel. The Green Rooms will be hosting a reception for all visitors to the Private View of the N22 Open Studios and will also feature the work of artists from the Chocolate Factories in the ground floor gallery; then why not discover the new Chocolate Factory space on the fourth floor of Chocolate Factory 3. This year we will also feature many of the successful musicians and music producers with performances throughout the event in both Chocolate Factory 1 and Chocolate Factory 2.

So enjoy the new and existing delights in the N22 Open Studios and let’s celebrate 20 years of the event and more importantly, the acceptance of the Wood Green Cultural Quarter, after all it has only taken 20 years of campaigning for it be finally recognised. Here’s to the Cultural Quarter becoming the key asset of Wood Green, which we creatives always knew it was….