Co-oPepys Community Arts Project was set up in 1981 in response an outreach arm of the Albany Empire at Pepys Estate. It was managed by The Combination Ltd. the managing company of the Albany and its arts development projects.
The aim of the project has always been to increase community access to the arts to nurture the cultural life of the estates and to “bring people together to work and play in a spirit of celebration”. It established a program of ongoing arts classes, festivals events, exhibitions and theatre productions the Pepys Show which were performed on the estate and in the Albany Empire. Co-oPepys also estabilished the Pepys Diary, a local magazine which went free to every household in the catchment area and it was edited, designed and printed by local residents. Over the years Co-oPepys has worked consistently with older people, young people, children, adults and empowering women.
Nowadays Co-oPepys has provided its Monday Art Club for more than 10 years. A time and space for local artists to meet up, have a cup of tea, talk about art and relevant things and make art. The members are able to pursue their own projects in a variety of media and receive support and guidance from the Co-oPeyps voluntary staff who shares a good body of knowledge of art.
In addition to the Monday and Wednesday sessions Co-oPeyps also provide support to the wider arts community in Evelyn Ward, recently being the base for a puppet project in collaboration with Magic Book Theatre, performed at Pepys 50th Anniversary Festival. At Pepys 50th, Co-oPeyps also was responsible for delivery a range of performances, films, historical context of the area, fun activities and arts and crafts for the festival in collaboration with 2000 CAC, Mad Cap, Ucadelix, Fire Men, John Evelyn Garden and PCF – Pepys Community Forum.