Last year, I (Jenna Carrens, Founder/ Executive Director of Attendance Records), designed and taught a similar program to Attendance Records where I took student written work, gave it to several local Austin bands, and asked them to record an album. The impact this project had on my students and the community made me not only want to continue doing the project, but continue it in a way that will involve more people and reach more students! I decided to create a nonprofit that provides public school students the opportunity to explore the depths of their imaginations by designing, writing, and producing their own original album!
Students will participate in a month long workshop series where they will receive a one of kind arts based education and the opportunity to work with the creative community in Austin, TX. Our first project is set to start in October with a class of 24 sophomores and 7 juniors.
Here's what will be covered in our first project:
1. Local artists and designers will present lessons and activities to students on how they find inspiration for their own work. They will then help students turn their own ideas into design and artwork for the album cover and album artwork.
2. Local writers will come into the classroom to work with students on a variety of writing styles and most importantly, finding their own voice. Students will write poetry and short stories that will help them express something important about themselves.
3. Two local bands will visit the classroom to discuss with students the impact of music and songwriting. They will share some of their own lyrics and will then help turn students own work into actual song lyrics.
4. Bands will devise a split record of student written work and will record a 6 song album at Premium Recording for free.
5. Attendance Records board and staff will organize and compile student artwork, song lyrics, and actual songs into our first Attendance Records installation and will throw an album release show to showcase the work of so many on one amazing project!
With the changes in our education system, many arts programs are being cut from public schools. It's rare that students are given the opportunity to be themselves at school anymore, so why not provide a safe space where students are allowed to be open and honest about their thoughts and feelings, and in the process learn something unique about themselves?
Volunteers will be a vital part of our organization and we feel as if it is just as important to learn from our students as much as they will learn from us. Each semester project will be catered to whatever class we are working with, so volunteers will also have the opportunity to discover something unique about themselves during a project whether that be through inspiring student stories and lyrics, inspiration for their own artwork or writing, or looking at music from the perspective of a student.
What We Need & What You Get
If we reach our campaign goal we will use the money for:
1. Journals and classroom supplies for our participating class, so that students are able to take their journals home at the end of the project and continue writing, drawing, or creating music from where they left off.
2. Recording fees, so the two participating bands can record an album for free.
3. Design work, so we are able to create a compelling and visual worthy installation as our first project.
4. Printing fees for cd's and vinyls, so we are able to give our students and volunteers a free copy of their hard work and are able to have enough to sell at the album release show.
5. Venue rental, so we are able to host an album release show where the community can come together and experience all our students and volunteers hard work.
6. Merchandise, so we are able to get our start up nonprofit on the grid in Austin and be able to reach more students in the future.
7. Application fees for 501(c)3, so we are able to cover application fees and receive our status that will provide us access to more grants.
If we do not reach our campaign goal we will still continue on with our project and hold off on printing the album and having an album release show until we are able to raise the funds to do so. If we raise more than our campaign goal, we will begin planning our second semester project for the spring with a new class of students!
Please help us get off the ground and fund our first project! We have incredible perks for all donation levels and every dollar counts to help us achieve our goal!
Other Ways You Can Help
1. Spread the word to your family and friends! Send our project to any and everyone you think might be interested.
2. Go to our facebook, twitter, and tumblr pages and like/follow us! While you're at, sign up for our newsletter under email sign-up!
3. Share your artistic talents! We are always looking for new writers, artists, and musicians to discuss in our classes. Send me your work and I'll be sure to share it in the classroom as inspiration or on our website!
We cannot thank you enough in advance for your generous contribution and constant support throughout this process! With you, we are able to bring creativity back into the classroom and create an awesome community project that will have a lasting impact on all who are involved!