Team Lemonade Update #1

Team Lemonade Update #1

Dear Community,

Our club kids and families are still riding the excitement of being funded! It was, without a doubt, one of the highlights of our year. Over the last few weeks, we have made progress on our project in preparation of the August 22nd event.

We’ve shared the news with our school partners for them to begin to spread the word about the project. Our club kids have begun to recruit their friends to be a part of the lemonade teams. We are in the process of selecting our team leads. Our biggest goal leading up to the end of the year was to recruit team members, so we are right on task. At the beginning of the year, we’ll begin classes with UL’S Louisiana Entrepreneurship & Economic Development Center to equip our kids with all the tools they’ll need to be successful. While we’ve made a slow start, 2022 will be full of updates, learning, community outreach, and great lemonade!

Thank you for all the support,

Micah Nicholson
Team Lemonade Stand

Creole Garson Update #1

Creole Garson Update #1

Dear Community,

It has been a little over a month since we won the support of the backers for our project “Creole Garçons”. And we are still riding on cloud 9! We’re feeling energized, encouraged, empowered, and equipped. Thank you backers, 24 Hour Citizen Project, and YOU community.

The 24 Hour Citizen project happened right in the middle of a very busy season for us. As some of you may know, we are the creators of The Creole Nutcracker. And since August of this year, we have been very busy working on this production. Well on Sunday, December 5th we had our 4th annual performance of The Creole Nutcracker. It was our big return to the stage after the pandemic and it was actually our most attended show!

The Creole Nutcracker 2021 featured 4 young men including our Nutcracker Prince. At the show, we highlighted 3 of the young men and announced the upcoming launch of our “Creole Garçons” program. The exciting news is not only did we raise additional funds for our program through apparel sales but we also received several emails from the community about potential sponsors, partnerships, instructors, and most significantly young men wanting to sign up!

Now that our 2021 Creole Nutcracker program and performance has concluded, we can focus more on completing our next steps to launch Creole Garçons in 2022. Our first step is to solidify our project timeline and programming. It is important that we choose a timeline that works best for our participants’ and our own current commitments. And of course, we want to ensure that our programming successfully meets our goal of educating our young men in as many facets of the arts as possible. Next, we will work to finalize partnerships with youth organizations. There are many organizations in Lafayette that already have the time and attention of young men who would greatly benefit from our arts education program. We will coordinate visits and/or classes with the intention of recruiting participants for Creole Garçons. Lastly, in 2021 we are working to secure male professional artists to teach our workshops and mentor our young men. As three black women, we know the value of representation. Hence, we are adamant that the young men in our program work primarily with professionals who look like future versions of them.

We believe in the necessity and sustainability of this program. We are excited to begin working and look forward to impacting more boys in Acadiana. ART SAVES LIVES! Thanks again for your support!

Sincerely,
Leigha Porter and Jazmyn Jones
Team Creole Garçons

Mad Thinkers Update #1

Mad Thinkers Update #1

Dear Community,

Mad Thinkers are moving and grooving in our process of creating our interactive theatre workshop. We are currently in “scheduling mode,” meaning we are scheduling our writing sessions, and our first workshop with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

During 24 Hour Citizen Project, we met with Danielle Moroux. She is a previous recipient of 24HCP funding and has worked with children at New Hope for many years. We are working side by side with her to receive guidance and input to create a strong foundation for our program. She will assist both creatively and as an advisor.

Once we have our script written and ready, we will purchase sets, props, costumes and prepare to take our workshop on the road! We have a select group of instructors that will be trained and prepared to work with youth! We are on target to reach our goals and are excited to see the project come to life!

Our team would like to thank 24HCP and the community for the support we’ve received. We look forward to fulfilling our goals and serving the youth of Acadiana through our love of the arts!

Many thanks,
Allison Brandon & The Mad Thinkers

Saturday School Update #5

Saturday School Update #5

Dear Community,

As I mentioned during my prior Dear Community Letter, we were happy to announce that we successfully completed the GOT IT (Saturday School) program where we were able to provide a variety of educational programs to juniors and seniors. I also mentioned that we had remaining funds ($2,100) in the budget to spend on educational programs for the upcoming school year. To utilize the remaining funds, we’ve launched the “Building Literacy” program through The EdD Series. Details regarding the program are below:

The EdD Series Presents: Building Literacy
As an education non-profit, The EdD Series works with emerging organizations, schools, as well as stakeholders to improve the quality of education for minority students in low socioeconomic neighborhoods and schools. The EdD Series would like to work with J.W. Faulk Elementary School to promote student literacy and character development through the purchase of a children’s book for all students in grades Pre-K and Kindergarten. In addition to the purchase of the book, The EdD Series would like to involve prominent leaders in the Northside community to read the book(s) to each class as he/she encourages students to read.

The Objective: to increase literacy skills as well as students love for reading in grades Pre-K and Kindergarten.

The Plan: The EdD Series will provide all students in Kindergarten and Pre-K with a book to promote literacy skills as well as character development.

The Book: The following books have been chosen due to their content and reading level. Availability will determine which book(s) are chosen for purchase:

  1. All Are Welcome – Alexandra Penfold and Suzane Kaufman
  2. I am Human: A Book of Empathy – Susan Verde
  3. I Promise- Lebron James

The Cost: There will be no fee for the child nor the school. The book will be provided by The EdD Series to all students in grades Pre-K and Kindergarten

The Date and Time: We’re currently working out timelines, but will be determined soon by the principal at J.W. Faulk.

Thanks for your continued support, and we’ll continue to keep the community updated as things progress.

Dr. Brandi L. Clay
(Team Lead)

Veggies on the Go Update #5

Veggies on the Go Update #5

Dear Community,

Although COVID caused us to have to greatly vary from our original plan, we are happy that we have still made progress in our fight against food insecurity in our neighborhood. Originally our project was focused around a mobile vegetable market powered by bicycle. But logistical issues related to COVID made that a difficult method of delivery. But we have shifted to a twice-monthly farmers market, providing locally grown produce. Those markets proved to have similar impact to our original idea.

Those markets have become an established fixture in the neighborhood. We have had the opportunity to provide fresh vegetables to those in need in our community. We also have developed the ability to provide “pop-up” veggie markets, often in conjunction with other events. All of our events are held in open-air format to help accommodate social distancing. While COVID presents a challenge to any activity to which you want to draw a crowd, we are happy that we have successfully adapted to the changing environment and circumstances.

The last of our budget will be spent on permanent signage for the market! We move forward with a new approach, but the same mission: to provide healthier food options to our community. Our thanks to everyone who has supported us on this adventure. We’re proud to have started the effort with you, and now will continue for (hopefully) years to come).

Trincella Bonnet
Veggie on the Go Team Leader

Kids N Media Update #6

Kids N Media Update #6

Dear Community,

Our project is still moving along, in its new post-COVID form. We have transitioned to having the students tell their stories in shorter formats. As of now, they are using iPhones to conduct man-on-the-street-style interviews, which they then edit into mini vlogs using apps like iMovie and Reels. This has been a positive way for us to get students behind a camera and get some exposure to things like interviewing and editing.

We are looking at the possibility of compiling these short videos into a short film or mini documentary, as a way to wrap up the larger project – and present it as a finished piece. Our partner AOC Community Media would be an integral part of helping us with that final piece. They have also come to Clearport to give presentations to the students – something we want to continue with them.

Given this new approach, we have found success in meeting students where they are, and giving them access to as many parts of the storytelling process as we can. They’ve gotten time behind the camera, as well as exposure to the interviewing process, writing, ideation, art direction, voiceover work, and editing.

The past couple of years have been challenging for many of our students, some of them even experiencing trauma firsthand within their communities. Our mission is to not only continue to be a safe space for their self-expression, but also to instill in them the importance of telling your story – and how that can make a huge social impact.

We do still have funds remaining to purchase a Canon camera, a group subscription to AOC and Adobe subscription. We know that these items will be necessary when the time is right, but we want to spend those funds when that time comes.

Sincerely,
Raquel Henry
Kids N Media Team Leader