Transforming lives through creative and performing arts! Targeting underrepresented and underserved youth, aspiring artists, musicians and creative professionals, the goals of Brandon House programs are facilitated through three pillars: Creative Education Programs; Creative Career & Workforce Development; and Performing Arts & Cultural Events. Brandon House is licensed by the Arkansas Department of Human Services - Division of Child Care & Early Childhood Education as an out of school time program and holds a Level 1 Better Beginnings rating through the Arkansas’s Quality Rating Improvement System.
Affirming its core belief in urban renewal as it relates to promoting job creation, urban renewal, economic development, and creative economy, Brandon House uses the power of the arts to embrace creative talents of local, regional and global artists and performers. Brandon House provides a gathering place where cultural activities illuminate, educate and entertain through affordable cultural opportunities that can enrich the quality of life of diverse audiences in a venue located outside of downtown Little Rock.
Brandon House is unique in that it uses the arts to engage high-risk youth in untraditional ways to address their career development, as well as their personal, academic, and social issues and to prevent them from engaging in negative behaviors that lead to juvenile delinquency. Additionally, Brandon House uses creative and performing arts as a way to generate increased economic activity and social viability; and as a way to engage and expose community residents to digital, visual, literary, performing and creative arts.
Brandon House is a nonprofit tax-exempt organization that was co-founded in 2010 by members of the Bax family: Paul and Pam – husband and wife; daughter – Patrice; and son – Dion Bax, with the organization receiving its tax-exempt status in March 2014. Brandon House’s programs and services are designed to expose high-risk youth to creative arts, enhance youth development, promote the development of artistic skills and talents of youth, and to transform their artistic skills into a creative economy. As a creative arts organization, our goals are to promote a variety of performing and creative arts activities that are accessible to diverse audiences through music, drama, plays, open mics, poetry slams, dance, comedy, arts education and commissioned art work.
During its formative years in 2010-2012, Brandon House engaged in several community needs assessments to assess the need for creative arts programming to high risk youth. A year-long project by the co-founders and members of the Brandon House Development Team resulted in a document and video called Shaping the Vision which were presented to potential investors, community based organizations, faith-based entities, school districts, and other constituents. The Shaping the Vision document served as Brandon House’s business planning efforts and the vision for the organization for years to come.
During the spring of 2013, Brandon House met with various youth organizations and faith-based groups to introduce these organizations to Brandon House and to develop collaborative partnerships. By the fall 2014, Brandon House had solicited interests in incorporating its arts-based programming into afterschool programs at two organizations. Since its inception, Brandon House’s philosophy has been that all school-age students should be exposed early in life to arts integration so that they can connect academic learning to their own experiences and perceptions as a basis for developing skills for life.
In 2016, Brandon House offered DreamStarters as a pilot afterschool contract-based prevention program at a local charter school. This program served middle school students and activities exposed these students to the arts by incorporating arts-infused experiential learning experiences to increase improvement in writing, reading comprehension, verbal expression, science and math and to deter them from engaging in negative behaviors that lead to delinquency. Students were engaged in hands-on arts integration that incorporated activities and projects that fostered awareness of skills for life through STEAM activities, music production projects, anti-bully stage plays, and literary arts competitions. Brandon House utilized upper class students from Philander Smith College who were trained as positive peer mentors. The college students from Philander Smith were assigned to the DreamStarters students by their fields of study and their own career interests. The Philander Smith students were then matched to the middle school student by grade level. The mentors had the responsibility to engage the students in prevention activities that promoted their self-esteem, increased their academic performance, and exposed them to the arts by serving as peer role models and facilitating positive youth activities.
In January 2017, Brandon House began a fruitful partnership with Better Community Development, Inc., (BCD) a local community-based organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of the residents in the Midtown community of Little Rock Arkansas. Through its partnership with BCD, Brandon House moved into a renovated facility at 3802 West 12th Street in the Midtown area of Little Rock where youth afterschool and summer programs were held.
By the Summer of 2021, it was clear that Brandon House had outgrown its current space in Midtown and needed additional classrooms, as well as space for workforce and career development services and production activities. As a result of the need to expand, in October 2021, Brandon House moved into 16,000 square feet of space in West Little Rock (WLR) which has three separate suites in one building. BH Productions, has an established production lab that houses audio and movie production activities for youth and creative professionals to have hands-on experience in recording, the sound design of mixing and mastering, producing albums, and music CDs; gaming equipment for youth to create and develop electronic video games and animation; private music rehearsal suites to practice vocal lessons and voice-overs; photography lab to create and produce still photos; videography lab for youth to have hands-on skills in video production, filming of documentaries and films; and interview space for creating podcasts and broadcasts. Brandon House’s administrative offices have a media technology lab that doubles as a classroom to offer technology and an educational learning environment. Brandon House's event center encompasses an art gallery for aspiring artists to display their visual art pieces, an art to advance the arts in innovation and design for youth to create textile arts, crafts and other project-based learning activities. The event center also houses a state-of-the-art theater that is outfitted with staging, sound and lighting for individuals and groups to book for performances or cultural events.
Today, Brandon House offers both school-based and center-based out-of-school after-school and summer programs as well as we offer creative services to artists, musicians and creative professionals. Through our various partnerships with community-based organizations, faith-based groups, and schools, Brandon House continues to provide quality creative arts education to strengthen the career and technical skills of underrepresented youth who are the next-generation workforce; and we continue to excel in offering creative services that support the creative talents of local artists, musicians and creative professionals throughout Central Arkansas.