Creating Songwriting Camps for Young Australians

by The Crossings Big Yellow Taxi Project

$4,262 pledged of $4,440 goal
Tipping Point: $3,165
Ultimate Goal: $4,440
$4,262 pledged of $4,440 goal
0 days to go
This Campaign has ended

Campaign Overview

Help us create songwriting camps for young Australians to sing stories for our environment and build youthful passion and energy in the Australian folk scene.

The Crossing is a non-for-profit environmental education camp that provides young people with the opportunity to see sustainability in action. The Crossing relies on donations, grants and many hours of volunteer time to deliver programs like The Big Yellow Taxi.

Inspired by songs like Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi, The Crossing needs your help to deliver a songwriting camp for disadvantaged young Australians. The Big Yellow Taxi Project aims to inspire remote and isolated youth of the far south coast of New South Wales, to share and express ideas through music and song, about sustainable and healthy living.

Young people from this area are often prevented from engaging in recreational activities and feeling part of the community due to issues such as a lack of social and recreational activities, lack of public and private transport, cost and long distances they have to travel to access extracurricular activities like professional music training.

With money raised from your support, the program will begin with promotional in-school sessions followed by a three day camp at The Crossing venue. With funds raised we will be able to subsidise the cost for students to attend the camp and be able to invite local professional musicians and environmental educators to engage young people in sustainability and song writing.

Through voluntary effort over the last six years, The Crossing has established a youth music venue at The Cobargo Folk Festival, building from 3 acts to 30 youth acts in 2012. 

Daniel Champagne, Australia's most exciting young guitarist grew up in this disadvantaged region and made his first public performance at The Crossing Youth Tent.  He also wrote his first song at a songwriting camp. As Daniel says, “…help the youth voice of the future of Australian music. Songwriting is a great chance for young people to express how they feel about what's right and what's good and what needs fixing before it’s too late. Just like the song says 'You don't know what you've got till it's gone'”.

By hosting a songwriting camp, The Crossing can provide other young people like Daniel with the inspiration to express their ideas about sustainable and healthy living. At the camp local professional musicians will encourage and mentor participants to write a song that reflects their ideas and feelings about sustainable living and healthy futures, which they can perform at the dedicated youth venue at their local Folk Festival in February 2013.

This campaign is striving to generate a renewed youth energy and voice in folk music and to build an Australian folk culture that celebrates and encourages young musicians to perform at folk festivals. The Crossing hopes to inspire other not-for-profit environmental education camps further afield that support similar initiatives, especially for disadvantaged youth.

If The Crossing can demonstrate the success of this program it will seek to fund an annual songwriting and music program, so that pathways for the next generation of storytellers can engage, connect and empower people through music towards a sustainable future.

Tipping Point Goal: $3,165

Total Funding Goal: $4,440

If we reach our tipping point goal of $3,165 USD* ($3,100 AUD), we will be able to secure placements for 24 students to participate in the program, and invite one professional musician to mentor the students on each day of the songwriting camp.

Of the tipping point funds, $510 USD ($500 AUD) will be used prior to the camp for a musician to visit local secondary schools, where they will talk to students about the aim of the program and promote participation in the camp.

$1,887 USD ($1,850 AUD) of the tipping goal will then be used for disadvantaged youth to provide a subsidy for costs associated with the three day camp (including food, accommodation and environmental education support staff).

Youth of this region are described as being from a disadvantaged regional and isolated area with low socio-economic status, limited education, employment and recreational opportunities.  While providing a rare opportunity in their local area, The Crossing acknowledges that some financial assistance is needed for students to be able to afford to participate in the camp.

The remaining $766 USD ($750 AUD) of the tipping goal will enable us to hire a professional musician to mentor the students on each day of the three day camp.

If we reach our total fundraising goal of $4,440 USD ($4,350 AUD), this means that we will be able to invite a second songwriter/musician with different skills to attend the in-school sessions and the songwriting camp. This will ensure there is at least two professional present on each day who can bounce off each other and to allow us to run multiple groups (e.g. two music groups and two environmental education and activity groups). This will provide the inspiration and time in nature for lyrics and words to rise to the surface and for a folk song to develop.

By contributing to The Big Yellow Taxi project you might be supporting Australia’s next Daniel Champagne, or who know the world’s next Janis Joplin!

*The slight difference in USD is due to currency conversions