I recently found myself going over my year 2013 in my head and wanted to share two events that most stood out for me. I become most passionate about my work as a creative person when I am using my skills toward social good and justice. In fall of 2013, I used took on two event projects and promoted them through Blindfold Magazine.
The first event was a one time screening of the incredibly inspirational and touching, award winning documentary film, Blood Brother. I set this screening up through Tugg.com and the film's PR company. Blood Brother is a documentary telling a story of Rocky Braat, who traveled to India and met a group of people who changed his life forever. Rocky stumbled upon an orphanage that housed women and children living with HIV. The documentary is filmed by Rocky's best friend Hoover, who followed Rocky to India to film his story. Everyone in the audience was moved to tears as they watched Rocky care for these people as they struggled through living with HIV and dealing with the deaths of their friends and family. We raised money for the non-profit organization that was developed in response to the film, LIGHT, through ticket sales. To learn more about Rocky Braat and where you can see Blood Brother, visit www.bloodbrotherfilm.com/.
[Left to Right] Student Volunteer and Activist, William Clarke, Creative Director of Blindfold Magazine, Jacqueline Romano (Me) and Editor of Blindfold Magazine, Jeramy C. Pritchett, giving introduction speeches to the audience.
The second event that I curated was created to benefit Invisible Children's #ZeroLRA campaign. I had heard about the opportunity to host a screening for the campaign through Bryan Funk, who contacted me from Invisible Children's headquarters. Invisible Children exists to put an end to the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) atrocities in Central Africa. Through fundraising, film making, blogging, and campaign tours, they have raised millions that has gone towards creating a strategic plan to help people in captivity escape the LRA and to their recovery. The Fall 2013 campaign's, #ZeroLRA, mantra was to "Celebrate Everything: Every escape. Every name. Every life." and to "Stand for Nothing: No Abductions. No Killings. No war." Taking all of this into account while planning the screening, I thought to myself, "I don't want to do just a screening, I want to go much bigger." I called the event "Bound Together: A Celebration Benefiting Invisible Children's #ZeroLRA Campaign."
I had a month to put everything together, before the Invisible Children Roadies arrived to our area. First, I contacted local venues and found IWAN the Bubble in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The venue is an indoor art gallery with an outdoor space for having performances. The owners were awesome and let us use their space, free of charge, so that we could donate the door entry fees to the cause. Next, I found multiple vendors to come and sell their products. Trinkets for D and Sugar & Oats sold their crafts, Coley's Pizza came to sell Pizza and drinks and WILD Juicery Miami sold their fresh squeezed juices, all donating a percentage of their profits to the campaign. For entertainment, I found Rescue Kid, who by coincidence had been long time supporters of Invisible Children, and Wolf Cat to perform their incredible music, and NTB Dance Crew to pump up the crowd before showing the #ZeroLRA film entitled, "Tony". I can't be more appreciative to everyone who donated their time and money to making the event happen and supporting Invisible Children. Everyone had a blast and the Invisible Children Roadies raved that Bound Together was the perfect end to their campaign tour.
Editor of Blindfold Magazine, Jeramy C. Pritchett, and Creative Director of Blindfold Magazine, Jacqueline Romano (Me) giving introduction and thank you speeches
Mike Gentile of Rescue Kid wearing his Invisible Children T-shirt
Rescue Kid rocking out at Bound Together
NTB Dance Crew pumping up the crowd
Invisible Children Roadie and Representative of the Congo, Nume Mary, telling her story of how the LRA has directly effected her.
Wolf Cat jamming at Bound Together
The Invisible Children Roadies, Rescue Kid band and Jeramy C. Pritchett and Jacqueline Romano (Me) of Blindfold Magazine
The Bound Together event was featured on the Invisible Children blog twice here and here. The Chief Creative Officer of Invisible Children, Jason Russell, also created a video for that evening thanking us and everyone their for our efforts.
Looking back on these two events, I get a smile on my face remembering how inspired everyone who joined us was. Seeing that I helped make a difference in anyone else's life makes all of my hard work worth the effort.