ASA: Supporting women working in music and sound in Brazil

At Lighthouse, we specialise in finding and developing talent, and over the years have devised and delivered a number of pioneering programmes to support more people to establish and progress careers in the creative industries. These include: Guiding Lights, The Sound of Story, BFI Shorts, and Lighthouse Young Creatives.

Building on this work, and as part of our Lighthouse consultancy services offer, in 2018 we were appointed by the British Council to develop a new programme to address the underrepresentation of women in the sound and music industries in Brazil.

Working in partnership, we created the programme Arte Sonica Amplificada (Amplified Sonic Art), since shortened to ASA, which appropriately means 'wings' in Portuguese. Our partners on the programme are shesaid.so, an international community of professionals dedicated to increasing gender equality in the music industry; and Oi Futuro, a leading, Brazilian arts and cultural organisation.

Initially piloted in Rio de Janeiro in 2018, ASA is delivered by women for women working in sound and music to develop their skills, careers and creative practices through training, talks, network building, access to facilities and technical support.

Offering a wide range of creative, technical and business expertise, highly experienced women working in the UK and Brazilian audio and music sectors are invited to share their skills, knowledge and experience through talks, mentoring and workshops. The programme covers diverse topics: from music production and performance, audio storytelling, and sound design for screen and immersive environments; to developing a personal brand, building audiences and effective networking. Read on for a full list of contributors to date.

Since ASA was launched, the programme has engaged with more than 750 women across Brazil. As a result, multiple new collaborations and projects have been established, a thriving ASA community has been born, and new business ventures have been launched.

These include podcast production company Podsim, which was set up by a group of ASA participants who met during an audio storytelling workshop with acclaimed radio producer Cathy FitzGerald.

Emily Kyriakides, Business Development & Partnerships, who leads on ASA for Lighthouse says: “ASA is a joy to work on, combining the experience and knowledge we’ve built up over many years of designing and delivering talent development initiatives, with the new lessons and challenges that come when working in a very different cultural, political and socio-economic context. I’ve learnt a lot from my Brazilian colleagues and the participants themselves, and it’s wonderful to see the programme going from strength to strength, and the many successful new businesses and projects being born as a result.”

Participant Suyanne Keidel said: “A programme like this that gives space and shows that there are productive, creative, hard working women who make it happen is very important to this visibility. I thought I’d only talk about music; we ended up talking about the world.”

Cristina Bokel Becker, Head of Arts, British Council (Brazil) says: “The British Council in Brazil is delighted with ASA's outstanding outcomes so far, reaching and delivering impact to more than 650 women from 25 states in the five regions in Brazil. This is a remarkable legacy around artistic and cultural exchange between UK and Brazil, brought about through new opportunities to foster creative collaboration, knowledge development, artistic practice, skills and networks, and contributing to greater prosperity between the two sides of the Atlantic.”

About the partners

ASA is a programme produced in collaboration by Lighthouse, the British Council, Oi Futuro and shesaid.so. As one of two UK partners on the project, Lighthouse has been instrumental in the design of ASA. Incorporating mentoring and aimed at sound and music practitioners, the programme has been heavily informed by The Sound of Story and Guiding Lights, two of our development initiatives aimed at emerging talent.

British Council contributes to the development of Brazilian creative industries, exchanging and showcasing quality Brazilian and UK artistic content and providing skills training.

Oi Futuro is Oi’s institute for innovation and creativity, promoting Education, Culture, Social Innovation and Sports to improve people’s lives and transform society. The institute propels collaborative and innovative initiatives, fosters experimentation, and stimulates connections that enhance personal and collective development.

London-based, shesaid.so is a network of women who work in the music industry. The organisation was founded in 2014 and it aims to create an environment that fosters collaboration, creativity, and positive values.

Watch our short film about ASA below:

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