Brighton Dome and Festival's flagship Creative Learning project, Miss Represented, is a lifeline to many vulnerable young women in Brighton and its surrounding area. We use the arts to explore important issues, feel empowered and have a platform to be heard. Following its immense success to date, including a collaboration with musician Plan B and an appearance on BBC Radio 1 XTRA, we are seeking your support to develop and expand this important work.
"I feel that I have learned how to control some of my feelings and I believe that there is good in me."
"Before [involvement in Miss Represented] I didn't think... I genuinely didn't think I had a future before and now... there's so many other ways I can go, like there are more things to choose from."
What is Miss Represented?
Miss Represented operates as an arts collective working with young women aged 13 - 21 who face challenging and chaotic life situations. Many of the girls experience homelessness, the care system, exclusion from school and a host of other complex circumstances.
We create a safe space for sharing and discussion where the young women can reflect upon their experiences in a healthy, balanced, creative and supported environment. The girls are supported by a team of highly skilled professionals including artists and social workers.
On Miss Rep, the group learn new life and creative skills building confidence and resilience. The project allows the young people to try new things, to see themselves differently, developing empathy and a sense of belonging, reframing life purposes and abilities.
Miss Rep amplifies lesser heard voices and aims to build bridges in the community by asking questions and telling stories through exhibitions and performances of high artistic quality.
Using the arts, the project helps the young women to:
- Develop social, political and media literacy and awareness
- Feel they have a safe and supportive space for personal development
- Move away from reactive choices to informed decision making
- Develop self-worth and feel empowered
- Experience collaboration, group processes and form positive relationships
- Pursue purpose and passions
- Develop skills in the arts and in personal development, creating pathways for future employment, education and more harmonious relationships.
"I’ve got more wiser, and realised a lot [since taking part in Miss Represented]. When I was getting into trouble I never used to think much of it, like, I’m only, like, young and, still got the rest of my life to live. But if I’d carried on the way I was I’d probably be in prison."
How will your pledges help us?
Miss Represented needs your donations to be able to develop and expand. Key upcoming ideas from the group include:
- Our next phase of creative work which centres on ‘Being Female’ today including investigating social media, sex and relationships and motherhood.
- Working towards a Retrospective of work at Brighton Dome celebrating International Women’s Day.
- Forming and implementing plans to make substantial funding applications with the ultimate aim of making the project as sustainable as possible.
- Re-working, re-staging and touring our successful show Home:Life - which explored experiences of being young and homeless, the care system and navigating life with little or no support system as a young person.
- Helping to fund 'graduations' to focus on and support the different pathways of education, employment and apprenticeships for some of the older girls involved, so that they can continue to progress and thrive outside of Miss Represented.
Your donations will also go towards staff costs, food and transport and a whole array of arts materials and exhibitions/ performances.
"I feel at home here, I can be myself here, there's no judgement. I can feel free here."
What does Miss Rep mean to the girls involved in the project?
"We have all had different life experiences and we can now help other people who have experienced stuff by doing Miss Rep and doing the shows and moving on in our lives."
"It's giving people like us a second chance for life, people who have not had the best chances in life."
"It keeps us off the streets with something positive to do."
"Miss Rep gives us the opportunity to get our voices out and to find ambitions."
Visit our tumblr for more: http://brightondomemissrep.tumblr.com/
Or visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/brightonmissrep
Since autumn 2014 Miss Represented has been a partner in the University of Sussex’s ‘Beating the Odds’ programme which aims to explore, understand, and evaluate the impact of involvement in creative arts projects for young people across the South East, including those who are vulnerable or socially excluded.
To find out more about Miss Represented: www.brightondome.org/missrep
You can get in touch with us by contacting Bex on [email protected]
Miss Represented is a life line to many vulnerable young women in Brighton and its surrounding area. Please support us in continuing this vital work.