Welcome to AudioActive's Crowdfunder for Bottega Rooms, a space for young people to create their futures.
We've been offered an amazing opportunity to take over and breathe new life into a large disused space in Brighton. We want to revive it as a hub for young people, music and social innovation and we need your help. By donating to this project, you will be helping to transform this run down dead-space into a beacon of hope for talented, often marginalised young people where they will be able to:
- Access high quality facilities and equipment
- Participate in positive activities & communities most nights of the week
- Nurture talents that are often neglected in mainstream education
- Collaborate with and be mentored by professional artists
- Develop skills and networks for the future
By helping us to develop accessible creation spaces your support will also be helping to supercharge Brighton's music scene AND make it more inclusive.
'This is such an important project because services for young people are disappearing fast and young people, especially the ones who get left out, need more places where they can thrive'
Rag'n'Bone Man - AudioActive Patron
AudioActive is a Brighton-based charity working with up to 1000 young people per year across Sussex. Music has the power to change lives and through our many projects we are helping to create better futures for young people.
- Room to Rant our groundbreaking mental health project brings young men together to get stuff off their chests through rap and spoken word.
'AudioActive saved and changed my life: it gave me an opportunity to not only showcase my musical abilities, but it also allowed me to freely explore my multiple personalities and become a lot more confident with the person that I am'
Marshall - Participant
- Equaliser our electronic music project for young women working to create a fairer, more inclusive music industry from the bottom up.
- Break4Change is a partnership with RISE and Brighton & Hove Council working creatively with families in crisis due to Child-to-Parent Violence. The project has even enabled young people to leave the care system and live with their families again.
'Break4Change gave me hope when there was none...'
Music for music's sake...
We’re not just using music for social innovation though… to us, music is an end in itself and we run loads of free open-access inclusive projects where teenagers of all walks of life can collaborate with each other and work with professional artists to learn, create and perform music.
‘Without AudioActive I don’t know how long it would have taken me to realise that I had more freedom to be creative than I thought I did’
Jordan Stephens, Rizzle Kicks - AudioActive Patrons
In a nutshell, AudioActive needs a base to be able to do our best work with young people. We currently work from multiple locations, usually community rooms hired by the hour across Brighton, Hove and Sussex. Our community has not been given the chance to develop and thrive from a sense of place & identity.
Through 18 years of operation we’ve been privileged to have met lots of awe inspiring young people. However by the age of 16, many very talented young people have been let down by, or simply did not fit into the conventional education system. As a result, many of our most promising young creative minds plateau in their late teens and sadly never fulfil their potential. As notable business leaders and innovators reflect, many of them once fit this ‘square peg in a round hole’ profile, describing negative experiences of, or dropping out of education. Think Da Vinci, Einstein, Steve Jobs... but how many incredible young people will never make their mark because they were let down by our education system?
AudioActive is committed to championing these ‘square pegs’. To give them an equal chance to create their futures we need to provide access to resources and provision of equivalent or higher quality to those enjoyed by their counterparts in mainstream education and its hard for us to offer this, working in a pop-up way from other people’s spaces.
In the summer we launched Square Holes, a vision to pioneer the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for non-formal talent development. Bringing together high-end facilities and mentoring to develop high-level skills and opportunities for our young people through real life projects first and foremost, as opposed to delivering courses and qualifications. This is what we mean by non-formal…
With support from Arts Council England, our Centre of Excellence project is gaining momentum and we expect to realise the centre in the next 2-3 years, but in the meantime we have been offered an amazing opportunity to take on a large ‘meanwhile space’ as a proof of concept for the Centre of Excellence.
The space is currently an empty shell but comprises 13 soundproofed rooms including; rehearsal spaces, class rooms, an office, a presentation space and studios just sitting there waiting to be equipped and used!
What will the finished space be? Introducing BOTTEGA ROOMS...
Partnership & collaboration is in our DNA and one of the concepts we want to explore is:
'bottega [bot-té-ga] the studio or workshop of a major artist in which apprentice artists may participate in the execution of the projects'
To put this into action we have invited some of the professional artists that we work with to set up their own studios in the space. We will give them a heavy discount on their rent and in return, they will open their doors, once a week, to provide a free masterclass where young people can get involved or collaborate. We're also working with local heroes and vibe ambassadors QM Records to develop and manage the space.
Resident artist studios include:
- AudioActive x Rum Committee Community Studio
- Cate Ferris (loop-based singer songwriter)
- Leroy Horns (Resonators/Barnacles)
- Normanton Street
- Hatter (rapper/producer)
- Rob Thomas (Drummer - Loyal/Holy Vessels/ex-Macabees)
- Synaesthesia Creative (videographers)
In addition to this Bottega Rooms will also include:
- A dedicated project space for Equaliser our female-only electronic music project
- A Mac suite for large group music production workshops
- 3 x large rehearsal rooms with high quality back line and P.A. These will be available for public hire at competitive rates and will generate the revenue to fund ongoing activity for young people
- A multi-use live lounge/stage room/film & photography studio & performance space also available for public hire
- Reception area & Communal Area with refreshments available
- We are excited about creating a hub of such a diverse density of creative and musical luminaries (and we're quite jealous of our young musicians and emerging artists, getting such an opportunity in their formative years). We're convinced that the project will give rise to some significant collaborations and music. Spaces like this really matter
How will the money be spent?
- Making the space safe; fire extinguishers, electrical certification, insurance
- Materials; paint, minor repairs
- Equipment; mainly computers for the Mac suite, Microphones, back line, P.A, leads & cables
We already have some of the equipment needed for the spaces and we have been lucky enough to secure all of the furniture we need through donations. The vast majority of the money raised will be spent on the missing equipment for the communal use rooms. The professional artists are equipping their own studios and our Patron Rag'n'Bone Man has kindly donated lots of equipment for the community studio.
Once open, the space will be able to generate enough revenue to pay for more work with young people, but we need your help to get the project off the ground. As this is just a meanwhile (temporary) space, only a small proportion of donations will be used on works or infrastructure.
WE HAVE ALREADY SECURED A PLEDGE TO HELP WITH NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE AND REMEDIAL WORK SO ANY PLEDGES RECEIVED FROM HERE ON IN WILL ONLY PAY FOR THINGS THAT WE CAN PICK UP AND TAKE WITH US. THEY WILL FIND A PERMANENT HOME IN OUR CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE LONGER TERM.
We would also welcome donations of equipment or time. E.g. if you're a manufacturer or a tradesperson who is passionate about our cause then why not get in touch to discuss donating some equipment, or help with electrical/gas work etc. Even support with painting and decorating would be a massive help.