Rising Starr Middle launches Hall Pass Entertainment, recording studio

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The rising stars of Rising Starr Middle are building up an entertainment empire. A project a decade in the making has come to fruition with the formal launch of Hall Pass Entertainment, a self-funded, student-run label that connects teens with tools, training, and experiences to explore their passions.

School system and community members were invited out to learn more about Hall Pass and tour their recording studio and space, while experiencing the art created with the guidance of the artists themselves.

Beginning with collaborations with creative industry partners and growing with the launch of the Community for Creativity in 2018, the initiative builds off of literacy class standards to read, write, reflect, and create on individual interests.

By fall 2019, students started turning their dreams of an entertainment label into reality. They envisioned a platform to distribute their original content, including music, podcasts, audio books, commercials, short films, virtual reality tours, and video games. They came up with a name for their venture, designed a logo, and formulated a mission statement and brand guidelines. Next would be a launch in May 2020, but COVID-19 slammed the brakes.

Students continued on creating content through the end of the school year and into the next, releasing the album “Breathtaking” on SoundCloud.

“What the pandemic made clear was that we had built an infrastructure for creativity that classrooms could use, whether students were working at home or in a school building,” said Community for Creativity Program Facilitator Christy Todd. “When you sit back and recognize the work that hundreds of students, teachers, and industry volunteers have done over the last 10 years to get us to this place, it’s pretty astounding. We are ready to support the production and distribution of high quality student-made content, and are thrilled to officially launch Hall Pass Entertainment as the content distribution arm of our Community for Creativity initiative.”

Thanks to the generous support of 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 classroom learning,” said Rising Starr Principal Kathy Smith. “We also dream that the content our students produce will serve a purpose outside of the classroom. Maybe Netflix will call us one day wanting to talk to a 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.