Beatfreeks Arts Becomes We Don’t Settle: More than a name change
Before there was a logo or a limited company, there was Poetry Jam. In 2013 our Founder, Anisa Morridadi, asked if we created the space for young people to convene and put the world to rights, would anyone come? Would they have anything interesting to say? Would anyone care? They came. They shared. People cared. [That poetry night became Beatfreeks Arts – art and cultural organisation which has spent the last nine years making spaces for young people to share the stories that matter to them – and has worked alongside its sister company, Beatfreeks Consulting, to make sure they are heard.]
From that very first night, stories of identity, culture, place and history have been central to Beatfreeks Arts’ work. In 2017, we recognised the importance of these untold and unheard stories through the creation of the “Don’t Settle” project, funded by Kick the Dust which is a part of the National Heritage Lottery Fund’s strategic projects funds.
Led by Andreea Chelaru and her team, over the course of its three-year life, Don’t Settle has worked with hundreds of young people in the Midlands to challenge the heritage and cultural sector to represent a more equitable, shared future by reconsidering how it talks about, preserves and promotes the past.
Over the last 18 months, with time to reflect on what matters most, we came to a realisation: Don’t Settle isn’t the only part of the work Beatfreeks does. It is the work of an independent organisation. Championing untold stories and unheard voices through arts, culture and heritage. This task feels even more urgent as the cultural sector starts to face its own structures of privilege and exclusion.
So, what does this all mean?
- We Don’t Settle is the new name of Beatfreeks Arts. This independent non-profit organisation remains under the leadership of Andreea Chelaru, with a team of 7. The Board of directors will continue to be chaired by Anisa Morridadi.
“It’s unbelievable to think that a single poetry night has been the birthplace of two independent organisations both seeking to advance young people’s power and agency in different sectors and through different practices. I’m so proud of Andreea and the team for bringing the work into this next chapter with vision, purpose and clarity.”
Anisa Morridadi, Founder and CEO of Beatfreeks and Founder and Chair of We Don’t Settle.
- With ongoing support from funders, We Don’t Settle will continue to drive a fairer, more inclusive heritage and arts sector by creating spaces in its programmes and events for 16 – 25s to share untold stories. This will include long-standing favourites such as Poetry Jam, as well as new and experimental spaces powered by our micro-funding programme FUEL. The newly renamed organisation remains in the National Portfolio of Arts Council England which are looking forward to working with us as we develop our strands of work.
“The organisation, We Don’t Settle, is an evolution of the Don’t Settle and Beatfreeks Arts projects and the legacy of the cohorts of storytellers, artists and leaders who have contributed to shaping and changing the sector with their creative activism. I am excited to work closely with the team and community to continue to champion untold stories and unheard voices through arts, culture and heritage.”
Andreea Chelaru, Head of Programmes, We Don’t Settle
- Beatfreeks continues as a brand working exclusively through Beatfreeks Consulting Ltd as a creative agency specialising in insights and engagement of young and diverse audiences driving its mission of helping organisations stay more relevant by connecting them to the largest generation of youth in human history.
“The team at Beatfreeks are incredibly excited about the journey of We Don’t Settle and are committed to working across organisations to ensure the community benefits from the varied opportunities made possible by this bold transformation project. We remain relentlessly committed to ensuring young people are heard through and get their share of power by giving them more influence within business and society.”
Amy Clamp, General Manager, Beatfreeks
To stay updated on We Don’t Settle follow www.wedontsettle.com and @wedontsettle
Notes to editors:
- Don’t Settle is a National Lottery Heritage Fund project between 2018 and 2022, which empowers young People of Colour from Birmingham and Black Country, to change the voice of heritage through the arts, research and governance.
- Beatfreeks Arts and Beatfreeks Consulting have been operating as two independent organisations under one brand. Beatfreeks Arts Ltd will become We Don’t Settle Ltd. and Beatfreeks Consulting Ltd will continue to trade as Beatfreeks.
- Beatfreeks Consulting will continue as a national insight and engagement agency specialising in young and diverse audiences with its HQ in Digbeth, Birmingham.
- It is led by Anisa Morridadi (Founder and CEO) and the leadership team including Amy Clamp (General Manager), Kyri Koni (Head of Services) and Tara Buckley (Head of Operations)
- We Don’t Settle Ltd will remain at Zellig in an office share with Beatfreeks for the foreseeable future
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