'Being in bands & choirs made me feel valued. Music ensembles are welcoming places. People need to feel valued and part of something authentic, meaningful, and purposeful. Music ensembles provide this, and more. Being in an ensemble teaches you to think about, & value, those around you. The magic of collaborative creativity is manifested through friendship. Just as music strengthens our neural pathways, it also strengthens our connection pathways. When you make, rehearse, and perform music with others, you bond beyond the norm. You bond for life. Music bonds us. The Arts is where we finds our voice, where we realise that our unconventional thinking makes sense, where we discover that we're not alone, where we come out of our shell; where we find ourselves.’ [Adapted from tweets @VFleischfresser]
"Always remember that the reason that you initially started working was that there was something inside yourself you felt that if you could manifest it in someway, you would understand more about yourself and how you co-exist with the rest of society." (Bowie)
I wanted to provide a space for musicians, to educate, empower, encourage and inspire them to connect with other people who could help them and create somewhere where I felt like I fitted in, to make friends. I set up Cheeky Promo in 2013 as a Facebook group. I want(ed) to help them to use social media, to be social, to communicate. I help you to think about what, how & when to share your stories / content / work. I’ve done countless (written) interviews with musicians & entrepreneurs. I gradually created the Facebook page, Flickr group, Instagram, LinkedIn page, Mixcloud, Pinterest, Soundcloud, Spotify, Tumblr, @CheekyPromo, YouTube profiles.
Having been involved in an accident in Sept 2011, in 2016 I started thinking about organising an event to fundraise for the London Air Ambulance service who rescued, treated me and took me to hospital. Then I wanted to fundraise for another charity - Nordoff Robbins; the UK's leading music therapy provider as I had music therapy at the age of 3 or 4 - as well, so I thought ‘let’s split the profit 50/50'.
Whilst talking with a friend in the USA, the idea of a one off music gig grew into a UK-USA music festival tour, then into an arts community & series of festivals — initially in London, and hopefully happening in other cities / countries in the future. In Cheeky Fest we help humans, including artists, creatives, entrepreneurs & performers, through the arts; art, dance, film, music, opera, performance, photography, poetry, sound, theatre and/or video.
The creative & performing arts are experiencing an emergency due to the CoronaVirus. With campaigns such as #SaveOurVenues, we need to encourage, enable & inspire collaboration, communication & community, provide relevant education and empower artists, creatives & performers in all fields as well as those in associated roles to continue to be active and to make money doing what they love.
With your help, CheekyFest will re-embolden the arts around the world! As most of the world struggles with the social, economic and mental health impact of the CoronaVirus through 2020-21, artists need to be able to pay rents / mortgages, buy enough food to feed themselves & their families and maintain their wellbeing. Creatives are not a priority for most governments; for the arts and the people to survive the pandemic, we must keep our them alive.
Cheeky Fest supports creative / performing artists; the Cheeky Foundation will provide funding to keep artists, creatives & performers alive & venues open through the pandemic and post-Covid. A number of groups and platforms / businesses are enabling, curating & promoting online / livestream events.
Artists have long struggled to access to affordable arts education / funding / performance opportunities; through social entrepreneurship, we can change that. In the future, Cheeky Space will be the physical home of all things Cheeky.
We all have mental health, but we don't all have mental illness. Many people have mental illness at some point in their life. Mental health issues such as depression and bipolar disorder are a terrible thing if left untreated. I have struggled with depression at various points, and have family members with their own challenges. I have 2 friends who live with forms of psychosis / schizophrenia. We've experienced the correlation between creativity & mental health. In late May 2019 tragedy struck in my own life, and I lost a friend & musician with whom I used to play between 2004-2012, who had died by suicide after struggling with bipolar disorder. I (Rupert) have struggled with depression at various points in my life. A number of famous musicians have died by suicide as a result of mental health issues e.g. Chester Bennington.
Cheeky aspires to raise awareness, approach and challenge any stigma, provide safe space(s) for people to share their challenges and provide resources to help artists, creatives, entrepreneurs & performers to manage their mental health. What mental health resources are specifically aimed at artists? Are artists such talented and creative communicators because of trauma and difficulty in life? Do artists have particular mechanisms or processes or brains/minds to understand & manage mental health?
Through our experience, we have come to recognise that there's often a correlation between creativity and mental health. As a society we need to create and maintain timely access to support for those who communicate life's stories through their own creativity. We can come together and support struggling artists so that they live rather than survive and keep entertaining & delighting everyone. We are committed to active listening, advocating, educating, and supporting people through the arts. We remain focused on ensuring that help is at the ready for people struggling with their mental health.
I'm looking for people to join the team, who are looking for an exciting, human-focused social enterprise to work on for 5+ years. If you have, or would like to build experience in; any or all of the arts, business, education, events/festivals, funding (business / arts), marketing / social media / partnerships / sponsorships / legal / social enterprise or non-profits or startups, PLEASE email email@example.com and let me know how you'd like to help.
Join our Mighty Network for £250/m