PROM NIGHT DIARIES..
So this was originally written a few years back on my Wordpress blog site. I'm planning on shutting down the wordpress, but wanted to keep this article.
We've been waiting for this for awhile, the moment has finally come. The behind the scenes of the PROM NIGHT: ROMANCING SUSTAINABILITY event. An event that was made for youth and young adults to showcase their talents whether it be painting, photography, crafts, spoken word, performance etc.. To other youth and young adults and family and friends to raise money for underprivileged or disconnected or "at risk youth" if you may. We successfully raised 300$ for TAKE a HIKE FOUNDATION in Burnaby with support from the BURNABY NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE , John Woods (sound guy) and volunteers that helped set up, cater, serve and supported the show. This is the end result of a 4 month long or longer preparation, organization, headache and joy filled adventure, which I will be talking about right now, 4 months later.
It all started over a bottle of wine, which sparks a lot of great ideas. I'm a beer drinker personally, but that day my creative spark was found in the bottom of a wine glass. "I want to host an art show" I stated to my spouse. That is exactly what we did.
Writing this diary entry I have goals I am trying to accomplish. I'm trying to show people how youth can be misunderstood, judged, manipulated and under appreciated by some. Putting together this art show was far from easy, and that places where things should've been "easy" were made harder in some circumstances. I want to show its hard being a youth or young adult with a dream, that's its not always going to work out the way you planned it. We had a mission, vision and a who we are, all written out and that's what we were trying to accomplish with this event. We were promised sustainability and future commitments. Sure we left the art show with ideas of what to do next time and what not to do, but we also left the art show behind. Which was not our goal what so ever. I'm trying to protect peoples identity's for my intentions are not hurt anyone, to make anyone angry. I am simply trying to open people's eyes, and to maybe spark the dream back up.
I presented the idea to friends and family whom have pulled off art shows in the past, or who have attended such events or similar too. I had no clue what I was doing, where to go or who to talk to. I gained some wisdom through these family and friends and was ready to take on the world, so I thought. The first organization I presented the idea to, I asked them if they knew where I could host an art show and where I could find a "homeless youth organization" within New west or Burnaby of neighboring cities (anywhere but Vancouver). I asked them how one would potentially start this project, if the had any ideas or would like to partner with me and create a collaboration art show for youth. I was told "I will bring it up at the next meeting and get back to you." l was also told there are no homeless organizations within this area, because there are "no homeless youth." This blew my mind. Secondly I felt like I was being talked down to, I didn't feel like I was being heard at all. I left the building confused and unsure if maybe I presented the idea wrong, or what just happened.
I never received a follow up. Close one door and another one opens?
Feeling frustrated and stuck for ideas, I exhaled frustrations too a couple people. They were shocked. Immediately "I" became "we" which became a team. We were connected through a few different people and after a hand full or two of phone calls that included "no", "i don't know", "i will get back to you" and "try this place", we finally received a call back. I presented the idea once again and this person loved it the idea. We were both super stoked, bouncing ideas off one another. We are on a roll. Things are happening. Big things. With Dizz's background knowledge of galleries and the art scene he was a huge help in bringing this project together. We both took on the nitty gritty details or organizing, prepping, hunting, creating, promoting and everything else in between. We collected donations from various establishments, printed and taped up hundred of posters, collected performers and artists for the event, and we helped support the artists within the show.
Donations included: Space from The Burnaby Neighbourhood House, Wine bottles and swag baskets from various liquor stores, a gift card from Safeway and Pin up Vintage Alley, as well as decoration donations from family members and friends and last but not least some fresh baked goods from a little shop down the street from the event. (to this guy, you are amazing)
We had a few hiccups along the way, it was not a breezy ride. Artists, or performers backed out as soon as the event got serious, and our grilled cheese truck never showed up. We had a hard time collecting donations - which lesson learned, planning an event on Mother's day, donations will be hard to come by. We gained alot of empty promises, and support sometimes seemed lacking. Our times were advertised wrong on the youth week posters, which went up all across Burnaby. Jobs set out to various people were not followed through upon. Meetings were canceled or the hall was not properly booked. We weren't treated as we hoped to be at some points and forgotten at others. Spent too much money, grants fell through and our numbers were lower than anticipated. These things were out of our controlled, or controlled by another party. We started feeling like people weren't taking this art show seriously.
It wasn't all negative, and really all the negative was a learning experience. This was our first time (Dizz and I) organizing an event like this, outside of our children's birthday parties. Sure we were frustrated sometimes, and we bitched a lot. The event was a success though despite our lacking numbers. We raised 300$ for a wonderful organization, an organization we never heard of before this. Two amazing people stood up on the stage with glowing smiles on their faces, they spoke about he program and what it has done for them. One of the students traveled all the way from Whistler, which touched me. This probably made my whole night. We met great people, had a few laughs, had a few drinks and enjoyed the different styles of art all around. Although no art was sold we connected with people, artists had the opportunity to express themselves and showcase their artwork. We learned some things to do and not to do for future events. We learned who will help us and who won't. We learned how to host a show from start to finish. Lots of positive came from this experience, and I'm thankful for everyone who participated in anyway.
It was a long hard road, full of winding roads, beautiful scenery and dead ends. We know which roads to turn down now, and we know where some of those dead ends are. I'm sure the next art show we will run into some of these things again. It's all a learning experience. We just hope next time we can build a stronger support system around us and help steer in somewhat of the right direction. I started out not knowing how to drive, as well as Dizz who had a little bit more of an experience but still wasn't 100% on the road ahead.
We hope to bring more art shows for youth and young adults by youth and young adults to Burnaby again or surrounding cities. Our passions lie within arts and helping out youth in many different forms. We are continuing to connect with service providers, community partners, artists, performers, bloggers, sponsors, grant givers, volunteers and much more. Our show started the conversation around empowering youth and young adults to follow their dreams. It started the conversation of inspiring young artists, connecting service providers and youth. To break down the walls and build bridges for these dreams and opportunities to continue. We don't want this to end here and we won't let it.
Mission: Our event aims to be the catalyst to drive and motivate young artists to pursue their passions and dreams, with support and confidence from the adults and peers within their community. Vision: Art has a harm reduction element which can empower youth by bringing a sense of worth to a previously undervalued artistic community. We aim for youth and young artists to be taken seriously and feel comfortable to establish themselves amongst their peers and adults by stepping out and pursuing their dreams and interests
Who are we: Hairghost and Zan0, taking on the art scene.
Performances by: Clay from GKR , RcThaHazard, Vicious 5150, Matty, J-ClaWsin, Hayate, Tom on Acoustic guitar. PLEASE TELL ME IF I MISSED YOU!
This is this for now. I may add or change this. I may have missed things.