The Issue: Limited Artistic Outlets for Youth in Low-Income Communities
Three disparate locations: Bethlehem, Palestine; District Six in Cape Town, South Africa; and Bronzeville in Chicago. Though the youth in each community speak different languages, have different cultures, and come from different backgrounds, they all face one common problem: poverty and its dehumanizing effects.
Economic hardship makes it difficult to obtain the basic necessities, including food and shelter, but it also prevents youth from finding and building on their talents. Creative outlets can help young people express themselves and avoid the dehumanizing effects of poverty. These three neighborhoods have already tapped into their creative side by establishing community theaters, music styles, and museums to tell their stories. Helping build an infrastructure to connect young people with professional artistic opportunities will give them a way to showcase their art for the world and inspire social change in their communities.
The Campaign: Providing Portable Music-Production Studios
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Solidarity Studios to provide production-studio equipment to local arts organizations in three cities. For every $10 raised, Solidarity Studios can procure the necessary equipment to build three innovative production studios small enough to fit in a backpack, with each city receiving at least one backpack. This backpack contains one laptop, one set of portable studio-monitor speakers, one set of monitor headphones, one microphone, one mini MIDI keyboard, and one drum pad. Each student in Solidarity Studios’ community-partner organizations will get a chance to create their own original, fully mixed EP using this gear. In addition, the team will conduct classes on creating original music and will film three 6- to 10-minute webisodes in each community, showcasing their challenges and efforts at making better lives for themselves.
- Young artists with the Palestine Community Music Project can use the portable equipment to support its rap-songwriting workshops in nearby villages and produce music on the spot.
- The District Six Museum can use it to enhance its digital-arts archives and oral-history projects that keep the traditions of the community alive for future generations and get young people involved with its digital memory lab.
- Arts organizations such as the Inner-City Muslim Action Network in the Bronzeville and Englewood neighborhoods can use the equipment to create professional-quality records to help youth become musical entrepreneurs.
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Solidarity Studios exists to help people tell their stories. By delivering mobile music studios to underserved communities around the world, such as Bethlehem, Chicago's South Side, and Cape Town, the organization sparks not only creative enterprise, but communication among these diverse people. They can create and share their art and music, while also sharing and improving upon strategies to achieve social justice with help from friends from thousands of miles away. The organization creates this network of solidarity with state-of-the-art music-studio equipment and lessons on how to produce music, organize history, and document their stories.