The rising stars of Rising Starr Middle are building an entertainment empire. A decade-in-the-making project has come to fruition with the official launch of Hall Pass Entertainment, a self-funded, student-run label that connects teens with tools, training, and experiences to explore their passions.
Members of the school system and community were invited to learn more about Hall Pass and tour their recording studio and space, while experiencing the art created with guidance from the artists themselves.
Beginning with collaborations with creative industry partners and expanding with the launch of the Community for Creativity in 2018, the initiative builds on literacy class standards for reading, writing, thinking and creating on individual interests.
In the fall of 2019, the students began to realize their dream of an entertainment label. They envisioned a platform to distribute their original content, including music, podcasts, audiobooks, commercials, short films, virtual reality tours, and video games. They came up with a name for their business, designed a logo, and formulated a mission statement and brand guidelines. The next would be a May 2020 launch, but COVID-19 slammed the brakes.
The students continued to create content through the end of the school year and into the next, releasing the album “Breathtaking” on SoundCloud.
“What the pandemic has made clear is that we had built an infrastructure for creativity that classrooms could use, whether students were working from home or in a school building,” said Christy Todd, facilitator of the Community for Creativity program. “When you sit down and recognize the work that hundreds of students, teachers and industry volunteers have done over the past 10 years to get us here, it’s quite staggering. We stand ready to support the production and distribution of high-quality, student-created content, and are thrilled to officially launch Hall Pass Entertainment as the content distribution arm of our Community for Creativity initiative.
With generous support from the Rising Starr Middle School Parent Teacher Organization, the school built a new studio and classroom space dedicated to audio recording and editing.
“Our hope is that this studio will become a space that teachers and students can use as a tool to deepen learning in the classroom,” said Kathy Smith, Principal of Rising Starr. “We also dream that the content produced by our students will serve a purpose outside of the classroom. Maybe Netflix will call us one day to talk to a college student about using their music for a show. That would be cool.”
Learn more about the initiative and dive into a wealth of content at www.hallpassentertainment.org.