The campaign is being run by AudioActive, a Brighton-based charity which supports over 1000 young people a year across the region. It aims to raise money for a community base with facilities and equipment where young people can develop their skills, build networks for the future and have access to opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have. The charity has set a target of £27,000 to reach by 21 December. So far, over £11,000 has been raised through donations.
AudioActive have been running projects in Sussex since 2000. Hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks launched their careers after attending AudioActive’s rap and performance workshops and their Hip Hop Foundation project.
The charity currently works from multiple locations, usually from community rooms hired by the hour across Brighton, Hove and Sussex. They are now looking for a base where the community can develop and thrive from a sense of place and identity. To put this into action, the charity has invited professional artists to set up their own studios in the space. They will be given a discount on their rent of the space and in return, they will open their doors, once a week, to provide a free masterclass where young people can get involved or collaborate.
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. The money raised through the crowdfunding campaign will help transform the run down dead-space into a beacon of hope for talented, often marginalised young people.
In the longer term, the charity aims to establish a Centre for Excellence in Sussex. They now have support from Arts Council England and expect to realise the centre in the next 2-3 years. In the short term, the Bottega Rooms will be a ‘meanwhile space’ providing a base for the AudioActive community and a proof of concept for the Centre of Excellence.
The charity’s Patron, Rory Graham aka Rag’n’Bone Man has lent his support to the campaign, saying: “AudioActive are doing something to ensure that regardless of wealth or background, young people get a chance to be creative. I can’t support that enough. This campaign is a real opportunity to help people at the grassroots of our community and I encourage everyone to get behind it; all donations big and small will help.”
Adam Joolia, CEO of Audio Active, said: “The support so far has been amazing and we’re really grateful to all those who have donated to the campaign. Music has the power to change lives and the money raised through this campaign will have a direct impact on the lives of young people living in Sussex.
“We’ve been offered a fantastic 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.
“With just 10 days to go, the clock is ticking and we need as many people as possible to join us and help us reach our target. Please dig deep.”