CREATING OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUNG CREATIVES
Supporting 16-25 year olds from diverse backgrounds in Brighton & Hove to develop a career in the creative and digital industries.
Viral is a project for 16-25 year olds who want to work in the creative and digital industries, but who don’t have the opportunities, facilities and connections they need. The project is for young people from diverse backgrounds, including those not in work or training.
Over six months the young people receive production training, business development, mentoring, showcasing opportunities and peer-to-peer support. The project focuses on a range of disciplines including music, film, photography and design.
At the end of 2018 we completed a successful first year of the project, and are now fundraising to make Viral 2019 happen for a new group of young people in the city.
Why does Viral exist?
As public funding cuts continue across all areas of life, many support services that may have been available in the past, through local authorities and other public bodies, have decreased or disappeared, with greater demand and competition for the support that remains. As an arts organisation that receives public funding, Lighthouse has a role and responsibility to help address this gap.
Brighton & Hove is home to a thriving digital and creative sector, full of jobs and potential for the next generation. But these opportunities aren’t always accessible, or visible, to young people from all backgrounds.
Viral aims to help change that, by supporting participants to develop their technical and creative skills, build their confidence and improve their professional prospects. The project opens up alternative pathways to creative and digital careers, benefiting both the young people and the industry.
We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to engage with culture and creativity, no matter who they are, or what advantages they’ve had.
How does Viral work?
The project is designed around the interests and needs of the participants. Over the course of six months the young people take part in weekly training sessions led by experienced artists and creative professionals, held in Lighthouse’s training spaces and at The Rose Hill, where they have access to a recording studio.
The participants work with artists and professionals including the team behind The Rose Hill – Kassia Zermon (AKA Bunty), Jules Arthur and Abraham Moughrabi. Our 2018 tutors also included MOBO award-winning video director Reece Proctor, illustrator and graphic designer Eva Bowan, and photographer and musician Sam Barrett (AKA Illiterate and founder of Yogocop). The participants were also supported by Bex Fidler, a skilled creative producer with years of experience managing creative projects that work with young people.
Through the practical advice provided by the mentors, the young people are also able to learn about the day-to-day realities of life as a professional creative.
The growing community of young creatives, mentors and businesses is hugely valuable. Past participants can return as peer-mentors, and many new collaborations emerge through the connections formed during the project. Lighthouse also holds regular Open Session events that enable even more young people to learn from the project and mentors.
Partnerships with local businesses
A vital part of Viral is bringing the young people together with professionals and businesses in the city. As well as providing sponsorship to help make the project financially possible, our business partners run workshops and skills development sessions for the participants, covering topics such as branding, budgeting, digital marketing and data analysis.
These partnerships enable the young people to build confidence and gain a greater understanding of how different workplaces operate, as well as offering the businesses a chance to get to know the younger generation.
We’re continuing to work with our founding sponsors Brandwatch and Brilliant Noise, and we’re looking for other sponsors in the city’s creative and digital industries. If you’d like to find out more about supporting the project, get in touch.
During the Viral programme we hold monthly, public Open Session events, featuring invited artists and creative professionals speaking about their career pathways. Lighthouse Open Sessions began during our Last Dance programme and continue to provide a social space for discussion and connection.
Past Open Sessions
Open Sessions #5: Making Your Way in Music as a Video Director
Open Sessions #6: How to be Everything Artist / Venue / Label
Open Sessions #7: Artwork & Design for Music
Open Sessions #8: Women in Music Today
The showcase of the 2018 Viral participants was held at Lighthouse on 12 October
Viral is supported by:
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