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Blackspace is a hub for Afrofuturism, digital media and social entrepreneurship based in Durham, North Carolina. #SpaceIsThePlace
Blackspace is a hub for Afrofuturism, digital media and social entrepreneurship based in Durham, North Carolina. #SpaceIsThePlace
272 backers pledged $24,008 to help bring this project to life.

About

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BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET

Blackspace founder Pierce Freelon is an Afrofuturist. Born and raised in Durham, North Carolina his parents and grandmother fed him a steady diet of Star Trek: the Next Generation, the Museum of Life and Science, and Afrocentricity. After graduating with degrees in Black Studies from UNC Chapel Hill (BA) and Syracuse University (MA), he started searching for ways to answer his calling to art and activism. Pierce found early success co-founding the Emmy-award winning PBS web-series, Beat Making Lab™.

Beat Making workshop at the Mariposa Center for Girls in the Dominican Republic
Beat Making workshop at the Mariposa Center for Girls in the Dominican Republic

BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED

In 2014, after several years teaching beat making and songwriting across Africa and the Caribbean, Pierce's ancestors communicated a clear message: go home. Inspired by his Grandmother's mantra "bloom where you are planted" he returned to North Carolina and opened Blackspace Chapel Hill at 179 E Franklin Street. 

Pierce's Grandmother, Queen Mother Frances Pierce with her friend, Dr. Maya Angelou
Pierce's Grandmother, Queen Mother Frances Pierce with her friend, Dr. Maya Angelou

SPACE IS THE PLACE

Blackspace provides free Pan-African centered social entrepreneurship and digital media resources for Carolina youth. Pierce has worked with a team of Artivists to teach workshops in beat making, computer graphics, videography, radio, spoken word and puppetry - with a particular focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculums.

Read about BLK AGST summer camp in the Huffington Post
Listen to a story about "Cristo Negro" on PRI's The World.
Read about 5P1N0K10 in The Indy

Field trip to Detroit for the Allied Media Conference - a gathering for media based organizing (June 2015)
Field trip to Detroit for the Allied Media Conference - a gathering for media based organizing (June 2015)

 

Scene from "Crown Jewel" a sci fi short film produced by 18-year old Mashallah Salaam during BLK AGST summer camp (August 2015)
Scene from "Crown Jewel" a sci fi short film produced by 18-year old Mashallah Salaam during BLK AGST summer camp (August 2015)

 

Panamanian rapper/dancer Jario Esquina at Blackspace Chapel Hill during "Cristo Negro" residency (March 2015)
Panamanian rapper/dancer Jario Esquina at Blackspace Chapel Hill during "Cristo Negro" residency (March 2015)

 

5P1N0K10 - Afrofuturistic puppet show produced by Blackspace debuts to sold-out crowds at The Nasher in Durham (December 2015)
5P1N0K10 - Afrofuturistic puppet show produced by Blackspace debuts to sold-out crowds at The Nasher in Durham (December 2015)

 

DURM

After two years in Chapel Hill, Blackspace is opening a second location in Durham at American Underground and needs your help! Your Kickstarter investment will help make Blackspace Durham a vibrant hub for tech innovation, Afrofuturism and social entrepreneurship. Resources will go towards:

1. Musical equipment: microphones, a mixing board, speakers and other basic studio machinery. 

2. Up-fitting: it takes a lot to transform a small American Underground office into a Cosmic Makerspace. A budget is required for flex-space storage units, shelving and work surfaces. 

3. Programming: there are several ongoing programs that need funding, including annual trips to AMC, international residencies and BLK AGST summer camp. 

4. Software: up-to-date software and apps, including licenses for Ableton Live, Adobe creative cloud, Final Cut X and more are needed. 

Help Blackspace raise some Harriet Tubmans! 

#SpaceIsThePlace

Risks and challenges

My father is an architect, and always told me to look at obstacles as opportunities. Here's an example: if Blackspace suddenly lost a key strategic partner after we were funded, we would simply reduce our capacity in the short term, go back to the drawing board, and aggressively seek out new sustainable partnerships. When one door closes, another one opens up. In other words, we are strategically optimistic and open to evolution. We tackle obstacles by seeing the silver lining in them, and taking advantage of the possibilities that they present.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About $5

    Blackspace Sticker Pack
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    "Thank you" shout out via social media.

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About $15

    Chronic The Hedgehog [Dr. Dre x Sonic the Hedgehog Mashup prod. by Pierce Freelon] *World Premiere
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    Blackspace Sticker Pack + "Thank you" shout out via social media.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About $50

    "Space is the Place" T-Shirt designed by Runaway
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    Chronic The Hedgehog [Dr. Dre x Sonic the Hedgehog Mashup] + Blackspace Sticker Pack + "Thank you" shout out via social media.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About $75

    "Black To The Future: Harriet Tubman vs. Marty McFly" poster and short story SIGNED by creators Pierce Freelon and Damita Hicks.
    +
    "Space is the Place" T-Shirt designed by Runaway + Chronic The Hedgehog [Dr. Dre x Sonic the Hedgehog Mashup] + Blackspace Sticker Pack + "Thank you" shout out via social media.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Woodville Wednesday!
    Donate $75 & get a grab bag of Woodville products.

    Includes:
    • Grab bag of limited edition Woodville products ($50 retail value)
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About $100

    We got beats. Have one. Blackspace students will produce a beat for you to rap/sing on. Hot beats guaranteed.
    +
    "Black To The Future: Harriet Tubman vs. Marty McFly" poster and short story + "Space is the Place" T-Shirt designed by Runaway + Chronic The Hedgehog [Dr. Dre x Sonic the Hedgehog Mashup] + Blackspace Sticker Pack + "Thank you" shout out via social media.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About $150

    Song-o-Gram - forget flowers! Blackspace vocalists Brentton Harrison and Pierce Freelon will grace the person of your choice with a song and/or freestyle. Great for birthday presents, anniversaries, or cyphers!
    +
    "Black To The Future: Harriet Tubman vs. Marty McFly" poster and short story + "Space is the Place" T-Shirt designed by Runaway + Chronic The Hedgehog [Dr. Dre x Sonic the Hedgehog Mashup] + Blackspace Sticker Pack + "Thank you" shout out via social media.

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About $200

    Movies and Cornbread - host a movie night at Blackspace for up to 12-friends. You pick the movie, we'll serve hot, buttery cornbread!
    +
    "Black To The Future: Harriet Tubman vs. Marty McFly" poster and short story + "Space is the Place" T-Shirt designed by Runaway + Chronic The Hedgehog [Dr. Dre x Sonic the Hedgehog Mashup] + Blackspace Sticker Pack + "Thank you" shout out via social media.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About $250

    Private beat-making lesson at Blackspace (Durham or Chapel Hill) for up 5 people.
    +
    "Black To The Future: Harriet Tubman vs. Marty McFly" poster and short story + "Space is the Place" T-Shirt designed by Runaway + Chronic The Hedgehog [Dr. Dre x Sonic the Hedgehog Mashup] + Blackspace Sticker Pack + "Thank you" shout out via social media.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About $500

    Need a DJ for your event or party? Hakuna Matata. DJ and producer K-Hill or Durham's Falcon X will set the party off right!
    +
    "Black To The Future: Harriet Tubman vs. Marty McFly" poster and short story + "Space is the Place" T-Shirt designed by Runaway + Chronic The Hedgehog [Dr. Dre x Sonic the Hedgehog Mashup] + Blackspace Sticker Pack + "Thank you" shout out via social media.

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    Pledge US$ 750 or more About $750

    Private puppet show with renown puppeteer Jeghetto - the genius behind Missy Elliot and Pharrell's music video "WTF." He will bring dinosaurs, robots and other creatures to your home, birthday party or event and wow the crowd with the magic of puppetry.
    +
    "Black To The Future: Harriet Tubman vs. Marty McFly" poster and short story + "Space is the Place" T-Shirt designed by Runaway + Chronic The Hedgehog [Dr. Dre x Sonic the Hedgehog Mashup] + Blackspace Sticker Pack + "Thank you" shout out via social media.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About $1,000

    Voice lesson or recording session with 7-time Grammy nominated jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon at Blackspace (Durham or Chapel Hill).
    +
    "Black To The Future: Harriet Tubman vs. Marty McFly" poster and short story + "Space is the Place" T-Shirt designed by Runaway + Chronic The Hedgehog [Dr. Dre x Sonic the Hedgehog Mashup] + Blackspace Sticker Pack + "Thank you" shout out via social media.

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    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About $1,500

    5P1N0K10 performance!!! 5P1N0K10 is a critically acclaimed Afrofuturistic hip hop puppet show about a robot boy who wants to be human. Think Broadway's Hamilton meets Blade Runner - this is show is entertaining for all ages!
    +
    "Black To The Future: Harriet Tubman vs. Marty McFly" poster and short story + "Space is the Place" T-Shirt designed by Runaway + Chronic The Hedgehog [Dr. Dre x Sonic the Hedgehog Mashup] + Blackspace Sticker Pack + "Thank you" shout out via social media.

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    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About $2,000

    The Beast with special guest Nnenna Freelon - private show. Durham-based hip hop and jazz quartet will perform alongside Grammy nominee Nnenna Freelon for a 1-hour private show for you and your friends.
    +
    "Black To The Future: Harriet Tubman vs. Marty McFly" poster and short story + "Space is the Place" T-Shirt designed by Runaway + Chronic The Hedgehog [Dr. Dre x Sonic the Hedgehog Mashup] + Blackspace Sticker Pack + "Thank you" shout out via social media.

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Funding period

- (38 days)