BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET
Blackspace founder Pierce Freelon is an Afrofuturist. Born and raised in Durham, North Carolina his parents and grandmother fed him a steady diet of Star Trek: the Next Generation, the Museum of Life and Science, and Afrocentricity. After graduating with degrees in Black Studies from UNC Chapel Hill (BA) and Syracuse University (MA), he started searching for ways to answer his calling to art and activism. Pierce found early success with his PBS web-series, Beat Making Lab.
BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED
In 2014, after several years teaching beat making and songwriting across Africa and the Caribbean, Pierce's ancestors communicated a clear message: go home. Inspired by his Grandmother's mantra "bloom where you are planted" he returned to North Carolina and opened Blackspace Chapel Hill at 179 E Franklin Street.
SPACE IS THE PLACE
Blackspace provides free Pan-African centered social entrepreneurship and digital media resources for local youth. Pierce has worked with a team of Artivists to teach workshops in beat making, computer graphics, videography, radio, spoken word and puppetry - with a particular focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculums.
Read about BLK AGST summer camp in the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kendrick-lamar-black-lives-matter_us_55d76c60e4b08cd3359c05de
Listen to a story about "Cristo Negro" on PRI's The World: http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-02-20/panamanian-carnival-tradition-manages-make-blackface-playful-and-emancipatory
Read about 5P1N0K10 in The Indy: http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/a-master-puppeteer-and-familiar-emcee-pair-to-reimagine-the-story-of-pinocchio/Content?oid=4967762
After two years in Chapel Hill, Blackspace is opening a second location in Durham at American Underground. The Durham Blackspace will officially launch this Fall 2016.