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We’re pleased to announce our newest Membership partners (drumroll please) – plant-based burger company, The Vurger Co.After making their name at festivals and pop-ups in recent years, the folks at The Vurger Co have set up shop in Rich Mix Square (a hop, skip and jump from our main entrance on Bethnal Green Road).Offering burgers as they should be – fresh but indulgent the menu includes their best-selling Tabasco Auburger, made from aubergines, chickpeas, red onion and vegan cheese, as well as the company’s infamous mac’n’cheese and shakes.Rachel Hugh, founder of The Vurger Co, says: “We have traded in the area for 2 years through various pop ups, events and festivals so moving into Shoreditch was the perfect match for The Vurger Co. We just can't wait to get started and continue to revolutionise fast food through the power of plants!”As a Rich Mix member, you’ll get 20% off at The Vurger Co (alongside a bunch of other perks). Coming to visit us for a gig or film? Swing by The Vurger Co first and see what all the fuss is about!
We asked Rich Mix New Creative Laurice for her top tips for being a great producer. The New Creatives produced their event called Firsts here in February 2018. Laurice has been kind enough to share some top tips for young people hoping to produce their own events too...1. Communication, communication communication!Whether you’re liaising with artists; finalising the guest list or relaying the artist’s technical requirements to the tech team good communication is paramount as a producer.  When relaying important information it’s so important to be clear and concise and focus on what the main points are; who needs the information and if there’s a deadline. Also, never be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t understand or missed something please do ask someone for clarification (and nine times out of ten you’re probably not the only one who was bit confused). Furthermore, when we talk about good communication we often forget that being an active listener is just as, if not more important in a conversation. Don’t just sit and politely wait for your turn to speak, actually listen and be present, taking notes is good too. Lastly, always try to remain positive and respectful while communicating, even when, especially when things aren’t going to plan.2. Take initiative Taking initiative is honestly absolutely essential when producing events and in life in general. Don’t sit there and wait for someone to ask you to do something, be proactive, be confident, get involved and just do it. If someone has forgotten to gather the Artist’s social handles for example (and you’ve completed/can manage your tasks) then don’t wait, communicate with your team, collate the artist’s email addresses and send the emails. To be more proactive it’s crucial that you’re more observant and aware of your team and don’t always just solely focus on your own tasks. Also, if you see someone struggling give ‘em a hand and offer them help. If everyone is proactive it saves precious time, enables the day to run more efficiently and reduces the chance of things being left last minute.3. Interpersonal skills Interpersonal skills are described as “The ability to create good relationships between yourself and other people”. Creating good relationships with other people from your artists to the front of house team is imperative as a producer, first impressions are everything! The arts world is pretty small and if people don’t find you pleasant to work with you may burn some potential bridges that may have been truly career changing, you never know who your next client could be. Being friendly and polite with everyone and actively listening to their interests and passions will enable you to make great connections with other professionals (and can sometimes be fun). That ability to network and be able to maintain those relationships is important and will allow you to have a large and diverse network of people with different talents which will only aide you when you’re producing your event.4. Being detail oriented and organised Being organised and detail oriented is essential when producing an event because as a producer you are basically the middle man between the programmer, marketing team and the artists – that’s a lot of information to manage. Having your tasks in one separate folder and then separating them into sub folders e.g Artist info, Technical info will keep the information organised and easy to find. In addition, you should always have a detailed plan of your event from start to finish (including the rehearsal and sound check) and the tasks that need to be completed, so everyone knows exactly what they need, what they’re doing and when. This will allow things to run more efficiently and eliminate any confusion which will also ease nerves on the day. (Don’t be afraid to be flexible and amend your plan on the day though as things can and probably will change).5. Time management   “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” – William Shakespeare. Okay, so maybe not 3 hours early but he definitely has a point, it is always better to be really early than to be late. Being early gives you time to settle in and go over any notes or tasks that need to be completed. It also leaves a good impression on clients and/or artists and shows them that you respect and value their time and the event itself. Know your deadlines! Deadlines are like antagonists in horror movies, they haunt you until you finish ‘em and finish them you must. Try to put all of your deadlines in your calendar and then plan when you’re going to complete them and for the love of God, please try and not leave everything to the last minute. 
About TAKEOVER TAKEOVER is an arts festival for audiences and artists aged 16-25 which has been taking place at Rich Mix since 2013. Last year we collaborated with over 30 creative partners, reaching an audience of over 3,000.Every summer we present work across a range of genres: music, spoken word, theatre, dance, performance & live art, film & multimedia and everything in between. The TAKEOVER programme provides learning & artistic development opportunities by established artistic partners and organisations.This year we are piloting TAKEOVER Micro-Commissions, which is a development programme aimed at East-London based individual artists, companies and collectives who work in performance, theatre, dance and multimedia.This year’s theme: Culture for a Changing CityRich Mix is located in London Borough of Tower Hamlets. This neighbourhood is a place where many paths cross and many new journeys begin with incredible stories to be told. Through our Culture for a Changing City programme and theme for Takeover 2018 we wish to celebrate these stories, to create new stories, to imagine the best future for our neighbourhood, to find ways to bring the many different communities together, and to remain a constant in an area of constant transformation.We are open to a wide range of interpretations of the theme, however we would like you to consider some of the following facts about the area: - Tower Hamlets is a microcosm of the world with one of the most diverse populations in the country, home to many communities including the largest Bangladeshi community in the country and home to 30,000 EU nationals- The East End has a rich local history and culture- Tower Hamlets is one of the most unequal boroughs with the highest child poverty rates in the UK- It’s the birthplace of grime music, home to a number of young artists living in the area- Area with one of the largest numbers of chicken shops, and trendy places vegan restaurants & Cereal Killer Cafe …to name just a few facts and quirks about Tower Hamlets.We will host a TAKEOVER Drop-in on Fri 23 Mar, 11am - 1pm, where you will be able to ask questions and discuss your ideas with the Rich Mix team before submitting your proposal.Spaces- Main Space - a performance area and bar, max. capacity 375- Venue 1 – 100 seater theatre- Venue 2 – a naturally lit flexible space, with built-in bar, max. capacity 100Click here and scroll down for a virtual tour of each floor.Who can apply- Emerging artists and producers who work across all art forms and are aged 16-25;- Collectives and networks run by and for target young people;- For Micro-Commissions: artists, companies and collectives who work in performance, theatre, dance and multimedia, who are aged 16-25;- Arts organisations and established creative partners who provide development opportunities and support for young people.We are particularly keen to hear from artists and organisations based in East London and Tower Hamlets or have links with the area, but proposals from further afield will be considered as well.Whether you have a solid track record of producing events or making your first attempt at realising an idea you’ve had for a long time – we want to hear from you!What we are looking for- Proposals for live events, across all genres: music, film, performance, spoken-word, live art, comedy, multimedia and everything in between which reflect Culture for a Changing City theme;- Artist led workshops, peer-to-peer skills share sessions, networking events, and panel discussions;- Proposals from arts organisations and established partners for daytime workshop, masterclasses with industry experts, and practical sessions with a specific learning or development outcomes facilitated by artis, e.g.: fundraising, DJing, script writing, film programming etc.- Ideas proposals for Micro-commissions (please see below.TAKEOVER Micro-CommissionsThis year we are piloting TAKEOVER Micro-Commissions, which is a development programme aimed at East-London based individual artists, companies and collectives who work in performance, theatre, dance and multimedia. Up to 3 artists or companies will be awarded up to 40 hours of rehearsal time in June/ July, small budget of £150, mentoring and feedback from Rich Mix producers and partners, and a public sharing during Takeover (Fri 3- Sat 4 August). This opportunity is intended to give artists time and space to explore and experiment, without pressure to produce a fully formed show at the end. We only ask that you share between 10-30 mins of your development during the public event in August – this could be a scene, script reading, a choreography or anything else you want to share at this stage with the audience. We see the public sharing as an opportunity for a wider conversation about performance and subjects.Unfortunately, we are not able to accept proposals from individual bands or artists, however, please keep an eye on the Takeover website for call outs and other performance opportunities during the festival’s main events.The DealWe are offering in kind support of space, technical, admin and marketing, and there’s no fee to host an event at TAKEOVER. Our aim is to keep the festival as accessible as possible so by offering free and low cost (£5-£10) ticket process for young people. Typically, there’s an 80/20 box office split on all ticketed events. We reserve 10% of all tickets to give out for free to Tower Hamlets residents, so please bear this in mind when planning your strategy. Please talk to us if you in advance if you are considering applying for funding to the Arts Council England or any other body. If your proposal has costs attached, please let us know, so that we can take this into account when we come to programme.To ApplyPlease download the relevant application form below. All submissions need to be emailed to Margot Przymierska at events@richmix.org.uk with an appropriate subject line - ‘TAKEOVER Submission’ for all general submissions, or 'TAKEOVER Micro-commission Submission’. - Download ‘TAKEOVER Submission’ application form - Download ‘TAKEOVER Micro-commission Submission’ application formApplication deadline is Wed 4 Apr, midnight. We will aim to get back to everyone by the end of April.Please note: General submission is now closed. The deadline to submit Micro-commissions is Fri 27 Apr. If you would like to attend the TAKEOVER Drop-in on Fri 23 Mar, please reserve your space via email events@richmix.org.uk with a subject line ‘TAKEOVER Drop-in booking’.Key dates:- TAKEOVER Drop-in: Fri 23 Mar, 11am -1pm, Rich Mix- General submission deadline: Wed 4 Apr, midnight- Micro-commission sumission deadline: Fri 27 Apr- TAKEOVER will launch on Fri 27 July and will run till Fri 10 AugImage: Allo Mate Live, TAKEOVER 2017 - Credit William Adoasi 
Janet Onabanjo, one of our very own New Creatives is a young photographer/ videography with lots of ammbition. She recently won this years VFX Scholardship with Escape Studios, I managed to catch up with her and find out more about her journey. I’d love to know more about you and your journey into visual effects…  'I was always into creative things when I was younger; I wasn’t allowed scissors at the time so I used sneak and take scissors from my mum to just start making things. We used to have a lot of cardboard left from stuff we’d buy that I’d use. When I got a bit older I started drawing and my mum was really impressed with what I was doing so she was always supportive and leading me to draw more. Before my mum passed away she’d always try to get me jobs that related to drawing – she always told me to find something in the creative field which isn’t the norm being from a Nigerian background as parents usually want their children to be doctors or lawyers.I remember being 14 and being really interested in photography but couldn’t afford a camera, and when I got to 16 I had enough money to buy myself a camera and that’s when I started doing photography. I would just shoot a lot of things and a couple of years later I remember doing documentaries where I’d just go to my school and just ask people about their lives and I’d take pictures – I always found that interesting. Around that time I wanted to apply for a foundation course before I went into University as I wanted to get into film. So I started doing the film foundation course and that year was awful for me until I got into my first year of my Degree, now I’m in my second year, doing editing and post production and it was through University that I found out about the VFX scholarship as Escape Studios came to my University let us know about the scholarship. Once I’d heard about it I really wanted to do the scholarship. I’ve always liked visual things, art and I like creating things. I just think it’s a nice way to stimulate the mind'. It’s quite a shift from drawing; you could’ve easy gone down the animation route – what was your main inspiration for getting into photography and shooting live things?  'I feel like they sometimes can go hand-in-hand so when I started seeing photography I just always thought it was visually amazing rather than drawing. With photography and film it’s all already there for you to bring to life'.  What does winning the VFX scholarship mean to you and how to you hope it’ll impact your career going forward? 'Winning this scholarship is really amazing, it’ll give me the opportunity to do so much more that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise – I have all these ideas in my head that I wouldn’t be able to execute and materialise without what I’m about to learn.Especially being that being a female of colour in the film industry is not easy – I just hope I can be a source of inspiration to others who would also want to go down a similar path. What are some of your dreams and aspirations in the VFX industry? 'I really want to get into directing documentaries, I would love to document peoples lives because everyone has a story that can be learnt from and everyone’s story should get the opportunity to be shared as you never know what that story will give to the world. I also want to direct music videos too – videos that have really visually stimulating effects because I just absolutely love that and maybe do some documentary photography. I also want to do something people who would like to get into this industry but may not want to go to University and offer another way to get to get to where they want to. Showing that there is hope and opportunities out there'. Is there anything else you’re working on at the moment?'I’m doing a lot of things at the moment, most of which are for other people. I’m currently in the planning and research stage of a documentary series that I’m working on. I’m also part of the New Creatives and recently held an event called FIRSTS – where people all share stories relating to their first time experiencing something. On the night I will be documenting and filming as well as editing the content. I’ve learnt so much while being on the New Creatives programme honestly, in terms of organising, planning, promotion and getting your work out there – its been really beneficial'.A huge thank you and congratulation to Janet! It was a pleasure getting to know you. 
For the past (almost) five months I have had the most wonderful opportunity to work with Rich Mix and thirteen other fabulous young people attempting to employ all of our artistic ability and channel it into an event we can be proud of. Sounds easy enough, right? So, so wrong. I had literally NO IDEA the level of work and professionalism that goes into orchestrating an artistic event, especially when they appear to play out so seamlessly from an audience perspective. I can guarantee this; every creative event you have ever gone to was ultimately a product of a lot of stress, a lot of laughs, SO many emails and a hell of a lot of arty people using every inch of their brain power. This is what you can expect from the New Creative programme (emphasis on the laughs and the arty people). So, because of how blindly I went into this experience thinking I was unstoppable, I’m going to share my tips on how to successfully put on an event as a young person who also works, goes to university and still needs to have somewhat of a social life.1. Accept and Appreciate the work of others.It is often to easy in the creative industries to fully believe your ideas are the best, and I mean, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of confidence! I often wish I had less doubt in myself. Saying that, do not be afraid to place your trust in others. The team I have been working with over the past 5 months are completely incredible and I have learnt more from listening to them than I ever would have if I had only accepted my ideas and concepts. Get inspired by people the same age as yourself doing totally admirable things as it will only help you in elevating your stance in the creative world.2. Do not even think about leaving things last minute!Fundamental. Cannot stress this enough. I guess it is self-explanatory but coming directly from the perspective of someone who continually extended the artist deadline date on a callout sheet because they left the editing of the document to the last minute, I wouldn’t recommend it because the anxiety is real. Also if you, like me, have tons of university deadlines and bills to pay, organisation when it comes to fitting in time for your event is key. There will ALWAYS be time to sort out important aspects of life; it’s just about prioritising and sticking to a schedule (as best you can, we’re all human!).3. Be comfortable talking to and taking advice from those who have done this before you.A lot of the aspects of artistic events managing we learnt as a New Creative team were, naturally, from those generous enough to pass forward their wisdom on to us. I cannot thank these individuals enough; speaking to them proved utterly priceless as the advice assisted endlessly with the orchestrating of FIRSTS and indeed I truly believe will stick with me in later life. From Rich Mix’s own CEO Eddie Berg, to Road Gal’s Jasmine Kahlia, to Last Mango in Paris aka Shane Solanki and more, all of our guests provided different outlooks and advice that culminated into a pretty well-rounded idea of how much persistence it takes to be successful in such a competitive and always-moving industry.4. See as many artistic events relating to yours as possible- gather research!It may seem like a simple one, but honestly just viewing as many varied artistic events as possible that have some sort of link to your event (even if not) and investigate aspects you wouldn’t usually think about as a passive audience member- i.e. lighting design, stage management and general organisation of the evening. Take it all in and on board. As an example of this, earlier this year, two of the New Creative girls and I went to the ‘Dirty Feet’ poetry progress evening at the Roundhouse, after which I felt our event had to be just as informal in order to create a level of comfortability required for the purpose of FIRSTS. Taking inspiration from other events is fundamental; much like with number 3, learning from those who manage creative events as their day job is going to massively make a positive impact on your event.5. Document EVERYTHING!This is of utmost importance. Whether it is in blog form, journals, voice notes, vlogs, literally any format just so long as you document every step of the journey. Not only does it help to be able to refresh your memory and reflect upon the decisions made toward your event, but also it has been hugely beneficial, personally, to be able to send my blog to people to 1) inform them of the event and all the effort put into it and, more significantly 2) have the opportunity to get critique back on not only on the event itself, but also on writing style and technique. Logging week by week has had an immense difference on how I’ve handled this experience and kept track of all the ideas and discussions that occur each week in our Rich Mix meetings. Honestly, I cannot recommend documenting everything enough. It will help you in numerous ways.Hope this is useful for any young people wanting to take on the challenge of orchestrating their own event or take part in the Rich Mix New Creative programme which I would seriously recommend, by the way. If you did find this helpful I urge you to come to see our event FIRSTS, the culmination of this amazing experience with Rich Mix. FIRSTS is a multidisciplinary performance based around people’s firsts; from the first time they made a coffee to the first time they put on a hijab. The evening will be a celebration of the human experience and the acceptance that we all make mistakes! Happening on the 15th of February in Rich Mix’s Main Space, come along to hear and see hilarious and moving first times- maybe even share a few of your own!Thanks for reading!Grace KirkFollow our journey as a New Creative Team through my eyes here!: https://gracekirkblog.wordpress.com/Grace is a 20 year old English and History student from ‘up north’ wanting to be successful in the arts as a writer, actor and mainly a teacher, to those who (wrongly) believe they can not have an active role in the creative industries due to societal factors or pressures. She will be performing an original piece at FIRSTS.
This month, we caught up with Bryan Lewis our Building Manager.Part of the Rich Mix team since April 2017, GCSE Drama was the reason Bryan forged a career in the arts "I got an A and I never looked back."  He's worked in venue management for most of his career across many West End theatres, as well as spaces in East and South East London. You can also catch Bryan on stage as well as backstage, as he is also a successful stand-up comedian.  What is your favourite thing about working at Rich Mix?We make a difference to so many people. What is the best thing to happen to you since joining the Rich Mix team? I have my own overalls. What do you wish more people knew about Rich Mix?We’re more than just a cinema! What do you like most about working in Tower Hamlets?The mixture of cultures from all over the world. If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be, and why?Tom Hanks. Because he seems nice. What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in your field?Bring tools and a change of clothes. Who inspires you?Anyone that overcomes difficult circumstances to make the best of themselves. How do you pass the time on your commute?I’m on a moped so most of it is spent screaming.  
Hey, my name’s Fred and I’m Rich Mix’s new Digital Marketing Intern. I'm on a mission to get to know all things Rich Mix; this place is home to 24 different creative businesses and this month I got a chance to sit down for a chat with one of our residents; meet Skye from Phrased DifferentlyWho are Phrased Differently and what do you do? “We are a publishing company. But we’re a small team so we all end up doing a lot more; we handle admin, sign, manage and develop writers/ producers and all round A&R.”How did you end up working at Phrased Differently? “Just knowing the right people. I was in my second year of uni when I had a conversation with my songwriting tutor Mark Vallance who is signed to PD. He said that my song writing was pretty good but songwriting just didn’t seem like the career I wanted to go down. He kept telling me that I had good ears and I didn’t know what that meant. Now I know its basically A&R. He introduced me to Hiten (PD Founder) who then interviewed me and then offered me a six-month internship which half way through I got offered the full time job”What do you enjoy most about working at Phrased Differently? “I know it sounds cliché but literally everything. I can honestly say at 22 I’m working my dream job. Between the people in our office, the writers and producers there’s such a family vibe. Hiten and Dan (the big bosses) are always busy but are always trying to teach me more and take me under their wing. Before Hiten hired me he said he wants me to be the next Dan - Now they call me The Female Dan.”  It was a pleasure sitting down with Skye and I hope to be able to do the same with many of our other residents. See you soon!
From Sydney, Australia, to London, UK. For 22 of the 30 years since she hopped across the pond, our Schools and Outreach Officer Tracy Barbe has lived and worked in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.Her professional journey started with Secondary Art teaching, and Youthwork with Girls & Young Women, with detours though Newham and Hackney delivering schools sessions on a floating classroom on the Victoria Dock to facilitating the ‘Cities for Children’ programme for schools and communities for Groundwork East.She’s been involved in Heritage, Public art and Environmental Education, facilitated curriculum focused workshops as part of the LBTH Parental Engagement in schools, teacher Librarian in Primary Schools and an Early Years Facilitator of Learning though Play Arts/Literacy work in Children’s Centres. She's been part of the Rich Mix team since May 2016. What is your favourite thing about working at Rich Mix?Never a dull moment. Extremely hard working, talented colleagues. What surprises you most about working at Rich Mix?Incredibly varied programme…often surprised by what I find out about myself and others most days in my interactions with it. What is the best thing to happen to you since joining the Rich Mix team?    Watching the work I feel passionate about take shape. What is the most unique thing about working in a multi-arts venue?Meeting a wide range of practitioners all driven to express ideas and passions in such diverse mediums What do you like most about working in Tower Hamlets?Being at home, comfort of authenticity, feeling I’m welcome and belong. If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be, and why?My mum, apparently she was one cool lady and incredibly imaginative and hard working. How do you pass the time on your commute?Listening to snippets of people’s lives and piecing together stories about them. Sometimes eating my breakfast! How did you end up working in the arts?I always had a lot to say and this was the best way to say it, hopefully bringing others along for the ride! What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in your field?Believe in people, don’t make assumptions, from little acorns do tall oak trees grow!  
This month we talk to Gemma Unwin, the Private Hires Manager at Rich Mix. Hailing from Nottingham, Gemma has worked in events for many years on varying scales and timelines. She came to Rich Mix in 2015, and continues to drive the success of the private hires department, which supports our charity and outreach programmes as all profits from hires go back into this work. How long have you been part of the Rich Mix team?Two and a half years What do you wish more people knew about Rich Mix?That we’re fiercely independent. Tell us more about your professional background. I come from working on festivals for Continental Drifts in a production capacity. Then I moved in the Arts & Culture department at Lewisham Council, where I programmed large festivals and supported community event organisers with various projects for over two years.This lead me to Camden Council where I was an Event Manager for their venues and parks, raising income for the council and duty managing large scale events, among many other things!I was over the moon to get the job at Rich Mix as it is a truly unique place where good quality entertainment meets strong community work all under one roof. How did you end up working in the arts? I come from a musical background, with both parents being full time musicians as I was growing up. It was inevitable that I would work in the arts in some way but I found my niche back stage rather than on stage. What do you like doing in your spare time?I love cooking, yoga and most importantly going out dancing!  
A unique collaboration between puppet theatre company Box Tale Soup, Music Action International and refugee music collective Stone Flowers comes to Rich Mix on Sunday  24 September, 5pm.Gone is a remarkable tale of resilience in a fantastical world, told with beautiful handmade puppetry, physical theatre and poetry, inspired by the writing, experiences and true stories of refugee collective Stone Flowers, interwoven with their vivid, atmospheric score. This is a fictional fantasy about the realities of hope and survival. Here Alice (Music Action International) talks to Anahita* a refugee torture survivor who sought safety in the UK and joined Stone Flowers in 2013.What can you tell us about Stone Flowers? How has the music collective impacted on your life in the UK?I've always been fascinated by music but when I first arrived in the UK, I did not think about music at all. I felt like I was drowning and struggling with the difficulties of my life. I was introduced to Stone Flowers in March 2013 and after couple of sessions a miracle happened; Stone Flowers was pulling me out from the dark world that was surrounding me and, session by session, my world was getting brighter.Stone Flowers have developed and performed Gone in partnership with Box Tale Soup. Can you briefly describe how the show was developed and what you think the most interesting aspect of this unique collaboration is?It started with the true story of Stone Flowers members’ journeys from the beginning (fleeing their home country) to the end (arriving in the UK), and what they have gone through during this journey. Every one of us has a story that sounds hard to believe when it is told and you think it is a tale, but it's not!We shared and wrote our story and Box Tale Soup developed it into a play with their handmade puppets. Stone Flowers wrote their songs, poems and music with Music Action International. Then we all put everything together and the result was fantastic! When we practised the whole show for the first time, I couldn't stop crying because the show was alive: it has our souls.Why would you encourage someone to come and see Gone? What do you think is its most important message?Gone gives the audience a clearer idea about refugees and helps them to understand the true story of a refugee's life and why they come to the UK. We come here to seek peace, which is one of the first requirements of humanity, and which has been taken from us in so many different ways.What does the future hold for Stone Flowers? What do you think is the most important thing someone can do to support refugees?Stone Flowers has been a big support for all of us, helping us to cope with the difficult times we've had. We all hope that we can develop our shows and activities with Stone Flowers to continue to raise awareness about refugees.By supporting organisations that work with refugees and help them in different ways, like Music Action International, people can show their support for refugees across the world. Trying to understand the truth about their life rather than judging them without enough knowledge is also very important. Gone gives you really important knowledge about that truth.The 1-hour show will be followed by a short Q+A session with members of Music Action International, Stone Flowers and Box Tale Soup.*Name has been changed
In this issue we find out more about our Programming Coordinator, Natasha Clark...In the role of Programming Coordinator, once the Artistic Director has curated the programme she organises the nuts and bolts of the events and makes sure Rich Mix deliver the artistic vision, within the capabilities of our building. This can mean a lot of running around, admin and coming up with creative and practical solutions to artists requests.Natasha studied Arabic and French BA at Leeds University, and as part of this lived in Alexandria, Egypt for a year during 2011/2012, just after the revolution. · How long have you been part of the Rich Mix team? 2 years. · What is your favourite thing about working at Rich Mix? The every day variety of it! One of the less obvious reasons why I love working at Rich Mix, is that I have fallen upon so many amazing rehearsals – operettas, Syrian Music Ensemble, big bands – during my lunch break. Not many other people can say they got to listen to live music whilst eating a sandwich, at work! · What surprises you most about working at Rich Mix? The stories and questions artists pose in so many different ways. · How did you end up working in the arts? I studied languages and wanted to find out more about different cultures, beyond grammar, so I delved into the arts. · What do you like doing in your spare time? I’m a dancer, so dancing, eating up new cultures (not just food!), and studying Arabic. · Who inspires you? My mum. · Describe Rich Mix in five words. Open, eclectic, affordable, educative, determined. · How do you pass the time on your commute? I’m a cyclist, so avoiding lorries and buses, or if on the tube, I’m nearly always reading a book.  
Road Gals LDN is making waves in the arts scene with their strong ethos of celebrating road gal culture, UK music and focusing on promoting and amplifying women’s voices.Following a week-long residency at Rich Mix, they presented PIRATES LIVE, an exciting showcase of emerging artists and musicians. I sat down with the founders of Road Gals LDN, Jasmine Kahlia and Abondance Matanda, to talk all things pirate radio and road gal culture...On Road Gal Culture:AM: We’re talking about the narratives and life experiences of different working class girls from inner city areas of any race but particularly focusing on black girls. And looking through the lens of grime and hip hop culture and the way we extract narratives through music.Road Gals LDN and what it means to be a women-a key theme of this year’s TAKEOVER festival:JK: So we’ve got an all female DJ line up and basically our ethos is to bring forward female faces and voices within UK music subcultures. We basically want to just amplify the voices and experiences of people, especially people that identify as women and non-binary, which want to express what they know through their art forms and through PIRATES LIVE.AM: And we are sort of rewriting history…we did a workshop yesterday and one of the girls said that there aren’t many female MCs from Britain and that’s not true! So we’re just letting people know that women have been about and they have been making music so there is kind of a historical perspective so that people can understand that they are part of a legacy and part of a story.On the women that have inspired PIRATES LIVE and Road Gals LDN as a whole:AM: One of the main ones is Shystie because of her TV series for Channel 4, Dubplate Drama. And we have been using it as a resource in our workshops just to introduce people to pirate radio culture but through a lens of outsiders because Shystie’s character is trying to find her way into that culture. Even through her acting we trying show how women are capable of more than one thing as she even influenced the writing of that show as well. I’ve been listening to her music and have also been inspired by the likes of NoLay, Ms. Dynamite, Lioness.JK: yeah definitely!AM: What’s sick about them is that they are still relevant now!On their previous events at Rich Mix:JK: This is the fourth event that I’ve done at Rich Mix! It was a year ago that I did my first event, which was completely different artistically! Each time I’ve done an event it’s always been something specific that has had a different theme.The first event was with Video VEXens that was called ‘Interface • ty’ which was about women and online media and being able to control your personal façade with your social media façade. And after that I did Road Gals LDN with Abondance! We’ve known each other for a year and a half now so it was really good to collaborate on that and from there we’ve kind of developed a whole body of work as well which is really cool!AM: The response from that event was really strong and people felt that what we were doing was necessary. And we love what we do and we do it regardless but it was nice to see that there is a demand and Rich Mix seems to be the place that supports our growth and there is not a lot of arts venues doing that and I think that’s what keeps us willing and happy to work here!JK: A lot of the creative work that we’ve made over the past year, with all the resources that the Rich Mix has offered us and supported us with, has been so important for our development as young artists.On this weeks residency at Rich Mix:JK: We’ve been doing a lot! It’s been really great to have the residency here at Rich Mix so that the resident artists are already comfortable in the space and they know what’s going to happen in the day and how to visual it so it’s been really important! To be here for the residency and have everyone break off into their own spaces and come up with work designed for this space has been really exciting.AM: On Monday everyone got given 35mm film camera and went around taking pictures as we are looking at pirate radio and grime music which was pretty much born in this area so that’s why Rich Mix has been important as well as it is in an area relevant to what we are looking at! And just getting people used to controlling their media that they are consuming and producing which is what pirate radio is all about.  And we’ve been having workshops looking at Dubplate Drama and discussing the role of women in the culture.JK: During the residency our aims have been to learn from each other and with each other about pirate radio and also each other’s art forms as we have a range of different types of artists. We have some connection to music. The event will also be British Sign Language (BSL) signed as for us it’s about looking at how we can translate music for people who might access music in different ways!Find out more:piratesliveldn.tumblr.com / @kaislegrai / @abondance_ / @videovexensPhoto credit: Jasmine Kahlia/Road Gals LDNWritten by Ayan Mohamed, August 2017.

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