Our community projects
Through DeepBlue’s Cultivate+ programs we have supported, worked and collaborated with a variety of cultural organisations, local and global schools and many community focused and charity organisations such as the Smith Family, Dharavi Rocks, ACORN foundation, Hear and Say, Starlight foundation, and Autism QLD. We have also worked with a community in Zimbabwe to help support their project the ‘SCHONA Music School’. You can read more about our Cultivate+ programs below and if you’d like to find out more about how you can partner or collaborate with DeepBlue and Cultivate+ please get in touch we’d love to hear from you.
BUSKING FOR GOOD
A big part of the DeepBlue show and approach is our roving buskers. Before each show and tour DeepBlue will find and decide on a worthy and relevant charity, group or project to fundraise for. During the show we let audiences know that we will be coming out during the interval to meet them as well as providing roving ‘busking’ style entertainment in which they can throw loose change in a bucket to raise money for these charities.
Busking during our shows has raised well over $10,000 for these charities and helped to inspire change and support young people across the world to help realize their dreams.
DHARVI ROCKS & ACORN FOUNDATION
On DeepBlue's tour to India in 2012 we worked with the Dharavi Rocks foundation with young musicians located in Mumbai’s largest slum, who make percussive instruments from recycled rubbish. Dharavi Rocks is part of an educational project of Acorn Foundation, working for the welfare of slum children and waste collectors/rag-pickers. The group started a few years ago with children in the age group of 7-17 years. With a mission to give slum kids a voice by initiating them into music, Dharavi Rocks create music out of waste materials like drum barrels, coffee shakers, paint cans, plastic boxes and all other type of junk stuff found from the areas of Dharavi Slums emphasizing on the concept of Recycle, Reuse & Respect. www.dharaviproject.org
Dharavi Rocks believes that music can make a difference. Music educates, improves learning skills, self-discipline, self-confidence, encourages teamwork, improves social skills, temperament and community life. Abhijit Jejurikar a musician at heart is an active volunteer at Dharavi Rocks.
These workshops led to a collaboration with Dharvi Rocks, the ACORN foundation, Siddhi Yadav (Mumbai sand artist) and DeepBlue to produce the show "India Stories" which premiered at the Woodfork folk festival and Brisbane Powerhouse.
DeepBlue worked closely with the Smith family’s IMPACT program to provide a semester-long series of extra curricular music and performance workshops for disadvantaged high school students. The SummerSchool program was adapted to cater to the students and culminated in a Performance with DeepBlue. The workshops spanned learning new instruments, composition and improvisation, technology, stagecraft and performance, dance and choreography and not only helped students learn new or further musical and performance skills but allowed, in a supportive environment, to empower and build self worth and confidence. This was an enriching experience for the students and DeepBlue alike. Here’s what some of the participants had to say.
“I enjoyed that it was all of us creating something together. I liked making our songs and having our individual input…I would definitely like to do some more work like that because we got to show everyone what we’d done…I felt like we accomplished something.”
“I was learning guitar and the people were awesome… I enjoyed performing and would like to do some more.”
“I liked learning keyboards and guitar and hanging out with them (DeepBlue) was really cool.”
“Performing with Alex Hills was heaps of fun as well – everyone enjoyed it a lot…I found that I actually can play keyboard, that I’m not hopeless at it…I’d like to learn more singing.”
“I enjoyed being able to play and perform…I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it – the variety and getting up in front of an audience…I enjoyed meeting a lot of different people.”
AUTISM QUEENSLAND & STUDIO G
DeepBlue collaborated with Associate Professor Michael Whelan and Autism Queensland to curate a workshop and performance program for Studio G participants.
Studio G is an online digital media program for young adults (18+ years) on the autism spectrum. The program aims to see these young adults build social skills, a sense of inclusion, and confidence in their own potential to achieve goals through completing projects, as well as supporting them to transition into paid work, volunteering or further education.
Super Conductor and the Big Game Orchestra premiered at the Queensland Music Festival 2017. The students designed and developed a computer game which invited members of the audience to play the game while DeepBlue performed the music according to how the characters were going in the game. The show was so fun and a big success for everyone involved and audiences alike!
Altered States premiered at CreateX Festival in 2016 which was then restaged at the Autism CRC’s annual general meeting recently. Autism CRC is the world’s first national, cooperative research effort focused on autism. The Altered States performances saw Studio G participants and mentors create a sci-fi narrative and a fantasy 3-D video which audiences experienced through 3D glasses. The participants also developed immersive foley sounds in which DeepBlue’s musicians performed in and around this immersive environment.
DeepBlue have worked directly with schools and universities right across Australia to India, Vietnam and California. DeepBlues ignite programs aim to assist these institutions to revive, renew, inspire and ignite their arts and music programs, bringing the passion back and often providing a way to fundraise for the program and even the institutions cultural programs. Find out more about our ignite program and how you can get your schools involved.
SCHONA MUSIC SCHOOL
The SCHONA music school began a few years ago when Sophie met Emmanuel, a musician residing in Zimbabwe. He had a dream to start a music school for kids who can’t afford an education in a high density township in Harare. Sophie told DeepBlue about this dream and together we started raising money for the school. DerpBlue and their audiences were able to support him to help him build a couple of school buildings, start a farming project and buy a school bus.
This project sparked us to start the process of setting up a foundation and charity which can support projects like these.
Through the generous support of Australian audiences through and busking for good program the SCHONA music school:
– Bought the lease of the land for 99 years, a school bus and complete two buildings
– Build and set up a chicken rearing program and set up basic farming land
– Fix and send a second hand computer
– Build and complete two buildings
– Buy a school bus
– Set up basic farming land
“We are well sheltered from the sun, wind and rain thanks to the generosity of the Australian people and deepblue for helping us put up a classroom at the school! Currently we have some very cool and smart children and at our school, a day looks like this…. We start with music theory and the basics of a normal school day then mid morning we move into practical, which we all love because we get to make sense of the music by playing. The instruments we have are a small xylophone, a set of African drums and some shakers, the kids are on the floor because we don’t have desks and chairs but they don’t seem to mind. We go for a lunch break after another hour and we make ourselves a plate of sadza and vegetables or eggs when the chickens have laid some. After lunch, we take to feeding, watering and bedding the birds in our chicken rearing program and also watering the vegetable garden! Then we go back in class for vocal training, the results are amazing, I really believe I am rearing some of Zimbabwe’s future superstars! You are shining stars in our lives keep shining! And a BIG THANK YOU to the kind people of Australia and deepblue from all of us here. We love you all and please keep supporting us."
Yours thankfully, Emmanuel Chimbakura
THE SCHONA MUSIC SCHOOL STORY
“I appeal to you and all to try and raise this money for me and for this school if you can’t I will understand and pray that it comes from somewhere, I cannot do performances anymore here hence my inability to raise the money I need for me to keep my school. I am surviving on the greens that we have planted in a garden at home and the maize that comes from my mother and father’s field that we harvested earlier this year. There are no jobs here and I cannot raise any money at all. I would appreciate it if you can help but will understand if you can’t.” Emmanuel Chimbakura
Emmanuel is a very talented musician whose freedom music is banned by the politically corrupt government. With an 80% unemployment rate work is difficult to find and Emmanuel finds himself in a position where he cannot sit back and watch what is happening around him for any longer. Although he is not financially in a position to help the people around him, this has not stopped him. He has managed, with the help of his friends, to build a school on a block of land and although the building is incomplete he has 12 students already.
He teaches musical skills to children that can’t afford school in the hope that this will not only fill their days with learning but give them the motivation and endurance needed to live a poor life as a Zimbabwean. These are children that are otherwise spending their days on the streets. Not only is he giving these kids an opportunity to learn valuable and lifelong skills but he is giving them the gift of expression through music.
“We have twelve children that have already started to show a sign of understanding and enthusiasm for what they are being taught, the Achilles heel of this project is the lack of food as the children end up spending up to four hours or more at my place for they don’t have anywhere else to go, their parents are too poor to pay school fees for them so they are sent away from school and this is the only from of education that they are getting.” Said Emmanuel.
“We are using one set of Mbira Xylophone, African drums and box guitar, but we are happy to be doing this for the kids you know, it feels good.” Explained Emmanuel.
Emmanuel’s plans are to build a staged area for the students to put on alcohol and drug free family performances and to set up a small recording studio. To keep the project afloat Emmanuel has plans to have a chicken rearing program on the land for the pupils to partake in, as well as small sections of farm land.
By supporting this program you are supporting the Zimbabwean people directly. There are no big organizations here; the money you donate is going straight to the project and to these kids