Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival’s flagship project Miss Represented is an arts collective, which works with young women who face challenging life situations. Miss Represented is a lifeline to many of its members. We create a safe space, using the arts to explore life experiences, to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Miss Represented helps young women develop their self-worth, build resilience and discover purpose and passions.
We want to shine a light on the young people whose humanity, intelligence and talents have been obscured by simplistic labels and a lack of opportunity to discover their potential.
Using the arts as a vehicle for self-expression and investigating themes and topics, Miss Represented delivers tailor made workshops resulting in cross-art exhibitions, events and performances of high artistic quality.
We want to reach out to our community and embrace common ground, asking questions and sparking a dialogue through our work.
Since its establishment in 2011, the project’s immense achievements have included:
- A collaboration with multi-award-winning rapper Plan B,
- An appearance on BBC Radio 1xtra,
- A cross-art piece of experimental theatre investigating forgiveness, Facebook and friendship
- A retrospective of work at Brighton Dome to celebrate International Women’s Day
- Sell-out performances of recent show Home: Life which explored experiences of being young and homeless with little or no support system.
Miss Represented has now been awarded Big Lottery Funding allowing the project to expand and develop new ideas.
For the next, exciting phase of Miss Represented we are developing a new piece of work to take on tour in Autumn 2017. We will visit local schools, theatres and Pupil Referral Units with a performance, Q&A's and in some cases a workshop too. We will also tour Universities using our work as an enhanced learning tool, as well as visiting theatres further afield.
The second year will see some of the older long-term members of the project begin to co-facilitate Miss Represented Satellite sessions in Pupil Referral Units and schools, alongside ongoing creative work and an exhibition.
We want to reach even more young people, especially those who feel isolated, so will also be making video diaries and producing more online Miss Rep content to connect with people and share our experiences.
Rebecca Fidler (Creative Learning Manager) who has been at the forefront of this project says:
'We are so excited to be able to continue this important and transformative work as we expand and spread our wings. Creating a show is such a powerful process for personal development and group bonding. To now have the opportunity to take this work out into our wider communities and amplify the incredible insight these young women have to offer is just fantastic. It is essential that we, as a society, listen to the voices of these young people and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges they face asking ourselves questions about what kind of society we want to live in.'
If you would like to find out more about this project or make a referral, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Miss Represented is part of the Beating the Odds research at the University of Sussex
Thank you to Big Lottery Fund, The Chalk Cliff Trust & The Austin Hope & Pilkington Trust for their kind support on this project.
Here’s what previous audiences had to say about Miss Represented:
'Really creative, emotive and diverse. You have raised so many topics in a beautiful and striking way. Love the pictures and the music (including sound effects!). Well done, be proud.'
'Thank you for allowing us, for inviting us, to see it through your eyes. Please all carry on being you. You are amazing! I am delighted the F word is alive : feminism today.'
'The show was amazing - brilliantly and sensitively put together. So awesome to see the young women having that platform and sharing their experiences. So brave and true . I’m sure the support and opportunity you have given them will have such positive lasting effects for them. Also the set and music was great and all the lighting, it held the space perfectly and allowed for anything to happen within it and for it to work. Great you were all on stage too - nice one'
'Massive piece of work – the word I kept thinking of was RESILIENCE'
''I just wanted to say how impressed I was but the Miss Represented show on Friday night. I hope the other performances went as well. I was very moved and impressed by the strength and resilience of the performers and in awe of their bravery. I was also very moved by their stories, great that you enabled them to have an arena to share them. Well done all of you and thank you for a wonderful experience!'
'Provoking and important'
'I cannot believe how much you have achieved in only ten weeks. This is one of the most positive experiences of my 25 year career with young people. Amazing to see the thoughts and beliefs of strong, artistic, intelligent and powerful young women. Thank you. Wish you could get your messages across to more young women / men (and some not so young!). FANTASTIC. (YOS Manager and mother of teenage girl)'
Here's what our Miss Represented Participants think about the project:
'Made me feel much more confident and stronger.'
'felt anxious coming at first and was worried about who was coming and how they would treat me. But it gave me a massive confidence boost.'
'I feel that I have learned how to control some of my feelings and I believe that there is good in me.'
‘I never really cared about anything when I was at school or college, like if I done like a piece of work I thought mm s’justa bit of writing whereas now if I finish a whole sketchbook I get well excited.’
‘We just wanted to get the message out to everyone like there’s a reason why everyone acts the way they are when they get into trouble […] like things happen at home or with friends or family or something like that and then it all builds up […] we just wanted to get the message out to everyone […] to explain yourself really, you never get a chance to.’
'I can’t believe this is us. This is what we’ve created, us.'
‘I think I understand people’s feelings a lot better cos about 2 or 3 years ago I wouldn’t of cared about anyone else but myself […] I never really got how everyone else felt […] it’s made me respect people a lot more as well, like to understand where other people are coming from.’
‘I've done like two shows and an exhibition like since I've been at Miss Rep… it just shows that I can achieve things.’
‘Miss Rep makes me realise like I can stick something out and like go to college or get a job and stuff.’