10/19/2016 1 Comment
It was exactly eight months ago when Angela Miller, of Painting in the Park Cleveland approached me about her idea to have an event that combined fashion, art and entertainment for families in the Cleveland area. On Sunday, October 16th, after months of planning, she pulled it off with an amazing action packed event!
The My Art! My Fashion! My Creativity! Charity Event was all about the children and their families and it was so much fun to be a part of. I, along with Evelyn 'LuxieStar' Smith co-produced the fashion portion of the show and remained in the back area most of the time, so I can't describe the show as it looked to the audience, but from the loud rounds of applause and cheers, it seemed to have went over well.
We arrived at the Ariel International Center, a beautiful event space, around ten that morning and started setting up, moving tables and chairs, creating spaces for vendors and pockets of art, making sure the food area was ready for the VIP guests when they arrived- all the un-glamourous work that comes with producing any type of event. Families started arriving and sat down for hair and makeup while we went over the scenes, rehearsed and discussed the layout of the show. Guests arrived at 4 pm, just as I was finishing up styling clothes for the vintage scene a few of the women participated in. Backstage was a calm chaos of excitement, nerves and bursts of energy- mostly provided by the kids in the show lol. From the time the lights dimmed and the music by DJ Yulissa played, the "stage" was never void of entertainment. The audience enjoyed interpretive dancers, singers, poetry, and fashion modeling from our team of participants.
There were four fashion scenes: Sunday's Best, which had models dressed up in their very best Sunday clothes, including a vintage scene that had a few ladies in it, but was exclusively held down by extraordinarily styled gentlemen in tailored pieces. We had Rep Your Team, where families dressed in their favorite sports teams jersey's or shirts (lots of Cavs and Indians fans obviously lol). There was the cute Family Fitness, scene that showcased fashionable athleisure wear along with fun props like yoga mats and boxing gloves. And last but not least was the casual chic Just Kickin' It scene. We also had a live modeling presentation by designer Jasmine Renee and a fashion runway presentation by Candence Clopton.
I loved seeing how proud and happy the families were to walk the runway, the little girls shined and even the macho preteen boys and men had smiles on their faces as they GQ'ed their way down the catwalk. But the most important thing to me was looking into the audience and seeing whole families enjoy the show too. A lot of events are not family orientated, especially those dealing with fashion (we love it and can handle it, but maybe lil Tay Tay or Molly should not see models dressed in risque' lingerie walking to 'Red Bottoms' by Trina lol)
Besides the personal style showing runway show, there was self expression from a wide range of artists, male and female, young and old that gave everybody something to enjoy and look out for. On the flip side of that, I also believe the families that participated within the show walked away with something too. See, we had parents encouraging and holding the hands of their children, whispering to them while walking the runway together, ecstatic little girls in their favorite outfits, lip gloss poppin' and glittery shoes excited to show what they could do. Parents stood at the sidelines while their children practiced routines and turns and poses, some even performing along with their kids. The designers had something to prove to, as it was some of their first times showing their work and participating in an event like this. It all came together in such a beautiful way, and best of all- the proceeds from the night went to funding next year'sPainting in the Park Family Fun Day Festival and provide an educational activity for the children who participated in the show!
My personal highlight of the entire night is when the one young lady who had barely spoken three words to me the whole time ran up after the show and said excitedly, "I had so much fun walking, thank you!" And she threw her arms around me and hugged me and it took just about everything in my soul not to cry lol. Others may have seen My Art! My Fashion! My Creativity! as just another show or a way to pass time that Sunday, but I'm sure I was not the only one who saw this epic event for what it really was- a safe space for families to mix, mingle, share and receive creative self expression, fashion and art.
For more information on Painting in the Park Cleveland and to find out how you can volunteer or donate, please visit: FFPinfo.org.
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