Creative.Life.Support is responsible for the wide-range of philanthropic services offered in conjunction with Mr. Smalls Theatre and Recording Studio, providing learning, artist career development and professional opportunities for Pittsburgh area youth. Creative.Life.Support’s mission is to bring advanced technologies & opportunities in media arts to the hands of aspiring artists, musicians & creative professionals.
Started over 15 years ago by husband and wife team Mike Speranzo and Liz Berlin, Creative.Life.Support’s evolution into the non-profit arm of Mr. Smalls was a natural extension of their desire to share their resources of Mr. Smalls with artists in need and provide positive recreational activities for the youth culture of Pittsburgh. Mike Speranzo is a musician, producer, former pro-skateboarder, fearless entrepreneur and expert builder. Liz Berlin is a musician, producer, teaching artist, a manic workaholic, and a member of multi-platinum Pittsburgh band Rusted Root as well as several other musical projects. Their collaboration has harnessed their passion and desire to help area youth based on the culmination of their life experiences.
Since the year 2000 concerts at Mr. Smalls Theatre and Creative.Life.Support activities have brought approximately 1.5 million people into the Borough of Millvale. Through these efforts we have continually tried to revitalize and rejuvenate how we interact with our community and how our community interacts with us. Beneath the surface of all our efforts, is a desire to continually help and push our community forward, and to create a scene that could foster the next generation’s great artists.
For more information on Creative.Life.Support programs visit www.creativelifesupport.com
REAL LIFE MUSIC CAMP, directed by Liz Berlin of Rusted Root is a unique opportunity, providing young artists with invaluable knowledge, experience and resources, to help guide them towards success as working musicians in the music industry. All participants will walk away from the camp with a professionally recorded demo of their original music, professional band photo, bio and a wealth of printed resources to guide them in their careers.
Ages generally range from 10 to 18, but anyone (younger or older) who feels they would benefit is welcome!
Downstairs, a music and technology center will offer a full recording studio and video production facility, where students will experience and learn audio recording and video production. Lessons and classes will be offered in many aspects of musicianship and the music industry. Chief among these programs will be a year-round multi-media education seminar that will operate in conjunction with The Sanctuary’s show schedule. All aspects of these shows will offer opportunities for students to shadow, and learn each position within show production.
Creative.Life.Support currently offers two youth arts programs. The We Rock Workshop offered in conjunction with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services has had a direct impact on the lives of over 85 current and former foster kids ages 14 through 25. Real Life Music Camp, a one-week intensive program, has provided a unique opportunity for over 130 young artists to gain invaluable knowledge, experience and resources, to steer them towards success as working musicians. Creative.Life.Support’s educational programs will continue to expand with the development of the new facilities in The Sanctuary At Mr. Smalls.
This program spans all aspects of Mr. Smalls and Creative.Life.Support. We have hosted interns in the areas of Marketing and Video Production as well as Graphic and Web design. Students who show sufficient aptitude and motivation are able to see first hand how the business operates and are able to gain hands-on experience in their specific field.
Creative.Life.Support has sponsored many performance opportunities over the years to provide the people of Pittsburgh with the opportunity to support local music as well as a vehicle for area talent to excel. The Revival Series has provided a new model of local music showcase that provides an alternative to the typical “pay-to-play” scenario common at most venues. Performers are given personalized tickets that they hand out to their fans, friends and families. The bands are then paid for each ticket that comes back through the door and a tip jar is circulated for them following their performance. This creates a dynamic where the band’s compensation is directly correlated to their promotional efforts and the quality of their performance. It also helps musicians to bridge the gap between playing a showcase and a full, ticketed concert by removing the barriers many bands face in playing larger venues. The motto of the Revival Series is: Because in our perfect world, shows are free, people show up, bands get paid, and local music reigns supreme.
Creative.Life.Support Records is a non-profit record label formed to help musicians develop their talents into multi-faceted, financially sustainable careers. Our past programs have provided recording grants and financing to selected local and regional artists, enabling them to develop recordings with minimal or no front-end investment; a nearly unprecedented concept in the industry. Creative.Life.Support Records has provided more than $100,000 in assistance, fostering an environment where bands can jump-start their careers and sustain their long-term visions as touring and recording artists. Current label artists include Black Coast Royals, Drowning Clowns, StarHeadBody, Liz Berlin, and Cordell Gibson.
Street parking is available along Lincoln Ave and on the surrounding streets. Valet parking will be available for select shows in the future. Check back for more info.