Bay Area Solutions B.A.S.

Creativity builds community

Photo of Jean Black

Written by

Date Started

May 2016

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

I am Leo, 26 year old Rap Activist and community organizer from Oakland, CA. Co founder of B.A.S. Ronnie Bo is a 17 year old senior at East Bay Arts HS. Artist, youth advocate and community organizer. My name is Jean Black, I am a 24 year old Activist, Filmmaker from Oakland, CA and co founder of Bay Area Solutions, B.A.S. As teens, life at school and home was challenging. Going to community centers that were accessible to us, occupying ourselves with classes and having the support of others as well as each other, prepared us for our lives today. It is the biggest reason we look to give back to our community, and create resources we did not have as youth. We were able to transform our lived experiences into digital products and interactive art experiences that by its very nature transforms, impacts and intimately touches our audience all around the Bay.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Media is a powerful tool that is not always produced in the most responsible way. This can have damaging effects on developing minds and those with limited outlets. Unhealthy media sources can prevent people from getting involved in their community, building with one another and treating each other fairly. People of color are often misrepresented in media and are negatively influenced by the bad examples of behavior shown.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Art was an instrumental factor in the development of our businesses and personal achievements. B.A.S. is a collective where we provide youth with technical skills (editing, cinematography, music producing) equipment, encouragement and opportunity to tell meaningful stories in their communities. This access to training and support directly impacts the wellbeing of our community and creates the following outcomes: Decrease violent behavior for participants by creating an outlet to express themselves Create more diverse representation of people of color in media Create more jobs and stability for participant

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

B.A.S. holds workshops, trainings and youth camps that teach video and music technical skills while guiding them to capture stories and events in their communities. Empowering each participant to tell stories that they feel should be told. In addition, this prepares each participant for jobs in the media field. Community members would be able to sign up for classes, workshops, camps and access to the co-creation space by signing up for monthly memberships. Artists, organizations, and other community groups looking to showcase or celebrate their impactful work can contact B.A.S. for event space.. We look forward to collaborating with and co-hosting 25-30 events annually. We will also provide spaces for local vendors at co-hosted, independent, and private events where local artisans and small business owners swill be able to share in the benefits of a strong local economy.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

We are not only using passion for art as a way of expression but also in a responsible way. Supporting and encouraging meaningful art that enlightens and uplifts others. We are confident in our ability to train youth in the community we grew up in to tell their stories through B.A.S. Not only because we know these youth but because we were some of them.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Roy: We have had many political victories, one being the reversal of direct file, by proposing proposition 57. Proposition 57 made it so that the District Attorney has no authority to jail youth for long periods of time for petty crimes. Along with a music video to top it off, this demonstrated leadership that can be created when we come together for a cause. Jean: Through film, we have documented and distributed short film content for a number of political movements including Close Rikers while initiating Kalief Law, Shirley Chisholm local Child Services, Let’s Talk, a short series on gentrification, and a Restorative Justice miniseries. We have also held multiple community events and film/music class and workshops (ranging from ages 6 to 20) as specialist teachers, collaborators, and volunteers.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

B.A.S. is excited to hold bigger events for the new and established artists looking for an accessible platform. We plan on collaborating with restorative Justice orgs and at-risk-youth programs to offer B.A.S. services where they are most needed, in communities searching for resources and a way to express themselves, like we did.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

To further our efforts, we are in search of additional assistance with marketing, getting the word out about B.A.S. Upgrading our website to accept donations and subscriptions. Larger spaces to hold activities and events. As well as equipment such as Cameras, audio, lights, mics, speakers, and laptops so we would not have to rent equipment for every event making this a repeatable model.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Sales
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations less than $100
  • Donations between $100-$1k
  • Donations between $1k-$5k

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

B.A.S. works with all different types of art to make an impact. We would be able to host events showcasing paintings, fashion, food, ect. Through the creation of music and promo videos for local impact organizations and enterprises BAS intends on building greater awareness and participation in BAS activities and offerings. Healthy and healing based companies and products that look to cater to our audience can pay one time or recurring fees for advertisement on the B.A.S. platform. Community members who are also interested in supporting BAS content digitally will be able to subscribe to our privately hosted media distribution channels via our website. We will have video on demand, subscription video on demand, and pay per view options for all media created within the center and by any affiliate community member. We will also host networking events where our cohorts and local companies seeking to hire skilled talent can connect. We will also offer a suite of video production services direct to consumers by hiring our cohort graduates.

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others

Evaluation results

6 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 66.7%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 16.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 16.7%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 50%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 16.7%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 66.7%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 16.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 16.7%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 100%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 50%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 50%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 50%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 16.7%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Armani Simmons

You have a very innovative platform! I am eager to network with fellow changemakers.

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