On the 17th August 2017, in the orange hue of Brighton venue The Basement, local organisations joined forces to help young people broaden their skills and discover ways to get more out of their lives. This unique event saw crowds of 14 to 19 year-olds try their hands at new things, everything from portable pottery to screen-printing – all for free!
Staying true to its name, 1UP also hosted a range of innovative technologies to explore; one of which provided by BlockBuilders, an organisation who have developed a digital mapping system using Minecraft. This seemed a huge success among the attendees, for there was barely a spare computer. Users could also play in Virtual Reality mode. This appropriation of gaming technology to explore spaces using real geospatial data boasts real potential for the future of mapping and planning; success!
There was no shortage of music at 1UP. Reverbs and loops could be heard upon entrance to the venue, as ground-breaking music organisation AudioActive allowed attendees to try out a sound machine. I wasn’t brave enough to give it a go, but many were. It was incredibly encouraging to hear such budding talent fill the air, and to know I could have been watching some of the next big names in music production. Guitar hero could also be played at Health Bar, who create themed social gaming experiences for pop-up video game nights with a twist! Meanwhile, Rhythmix, a musical and social welfare charity providing musical opportunities for people in challenging circumstances, were also in attendance and an enlightening presence.
As an Environmental Studies student, I was overjoyed to see organisations such as Brighton’s Peace and Environment Centre and The Sussex Wildlife Trust represented. Although perhaps disadvantaged at times by the more technological activities on offer, it was promising to hear that some of the attendees had signed up for voluntary work with these vital organisations (including myself!). Mental health advocates were also a necessary presence, such as Brighton & Hove Impetus and Right There.
1UP was brought to Brighton & Hove as a joint initiative between three organisations, Our Future City, The RSA, and Digitalme, to encourage young people to connect with creative learning opportunities within the city. Peter Chivers, Director of Our Future City, summarised the day well:
‘1UP was a tremendous success. We saw young people taking part in interactive music workshops, live screen printing, pop up pottery and much more. As a city we have an extraordinary range of creative activities for young people and 1UP really showcased the opportunities Brighton & Hove offers to improve their life chances through culture and creativity.’
The Verse was kindly invited to this event by Long Run Works, an organisation dedicated to facilitating the growth of new ideas. The atmosphere was flowing with energy and positivity, and it was an honour to be involved.
If you are interested in finding out more about any of the organisations involved, you can follow the relevant link below.