I’m part of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers’ External Relations team and work with a number of different fundraising and communications initiatives. As someone who spends hours writing and researching every week, there’s times I find myself stuck on an idea or even suffering from acute WBS (Writer’s Block Syndrome). An artist or writer can spend many solitary hours refining their craft, but I’ve found that getting together with a group of like-minded people can jump-start the creative process or even save it from flatlining. July being “creative get-togethers month,” I want to share a few of my favorite people who have leveraged their talents to combine teamwork with ingenuity. So while it’s hard to imagine the way you love to paint or the quirky way you think could change the world, the truth is that it might.
Photo: Anti_Dog. (Source: http://www.aliciaframis.com)
Alicia Framis: When living in Berlin, Spanish-born artist Alicia Framis was warned to avoid certain neighborhoods where her darker complexion might make her a target to gangs of skinheads and their aggressive dogs. In response, Framis designed a fashion line made entirely out of Twaron, a bullet-resistant and stab-proof material. The anti_dog dresses have been displayed at several museums and galleries around the world and, with the help of several participants, appeared in their own fashion shows-turned anti-violence protests. “When I think about anti-violence, it is the place where creativity starts,” Alicia has said. “The brand of products called anti_dog is a mix of creativity and protection.”
Maya Nussbaum: Maya Nussbaum won a Scholastic Award for Drawing in high school, but has always had a belief in the power of words. In 1998, she founded the nonprofit organization Girls Write Now. By pairing professional writers with teenage girls in New York City Public Schools, the organization encourages students to develop their creative voices and provides them with guidance. Every year, mentees from Girls Write Now submit their work to The Scholastic Writing Awards. “It is not an understatement to say that winning these awards changes lives,” Maya says. “It changes the girls’ attitudes about themselves and changes the trajectory of their academic and writing careers. I remember thinking, ‘My work matters? It must.’ ”
~Ariel, Manager, External Relations