Crescendo, a creative space for rangatahi, has finally found a permanent home in Avondale, Auckland.
Until September, Crescendo (formerly Crescendo Trust of Aotearoa) has been working out of Corbans Estate and various community centres in Tamaki, East Auckland.
Dominic Hoey, the events coordinator at Crescendo since mid-2019, likes the fact that all of Crescendo’s work will now be in one place.
“Crescendo has been working out of various spaces around Auckland for years, so the chance to have all our services under one roof is really exciting for us,” he says.
“Now our recording studio, radio and workshop space are all under the one roof. It means the rangatahi working on the radio can meet the kids who are recording, and all the mentors will be able to share their knowledge and skills more easily. Hopefully this will lead to collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas among the young artists.”
Crescendo works with about 200 young people aged 12 to 24, providing an environment where young people can express themselves creatively and are supported to overcome barriers to success. It delivers mentoring programmes in the arts where young people get to engage and connect directly with people working in the creative industries.
Dominic says that as well as being a creative space, “The new space will act as a drop-in for the rangatahi we work with. It will also be a chance for us to offer our support to young people within the Avondale community. We were looking at other spaces but are really excited about being part of a vibrant community like Avondale.”
A new chapter for Crescendo
Gary Silipa, Auckland Community Engagement Advisor, Arts Access Aotearoa, says Crescendo has done a lot of great things with music and youth over a long time.
“I’m excited to see this new chapter for this organisation having its own dedicated space to call home. I know Crescendo through its work at Te Oro and it’s been great to see its work with local youth. I’m excited for Avondale to have them planted within their community.”
Crescendo started in 2012. Dominic says Crescendo founder Marcus Powell did some work with musicians in high schools and felt that there was a lack of professional development for young musicians.
“I’ve known of Marcus and the work he’s done for a long time,” Dominic says. “A friend was working at Crescendo and told me they were looking for someone, so I applied for a role. I used to be a musician in a different life, so know how difficult it can be when you’re getting started. I love the idea of helping people not to make the same dumb mistakes I did.”
Guiding and helping to upskill
Dominic helps teach youth how to set up and run events. He describes the young people he works with as “amazing” and adds, “It’s really awesome guiding them and helping them upskill. I also run workshops teaching lyric writing, which is always fun.”
Commented on the impact that COVID-19 has had on Crescendo, Dominic says, “It’s been really tough, to be honest. Like a lot of organisations, we’ve lost a lot of funding and have had to let go of some key staff.
“That said, we’re really proud of the way everyone at Crescendo quickly turned around and brought all our mahi online and continued to support the young people during this crazy time.”