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™.
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.
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.
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!
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (38 days)