Creole Garson Update #2

Creole Garson Update #2

Dear Community,

We are making progress and are very excited! Since our last update, we have established our project timeline and have chosen the art disciplines that will be included in our programming. Creole Garçons will meet virtually and in person on some weekends from July – December. There will be two workshop days where each of the mentors will present an interactive lesson in their area of expertise. The participants will then choose at least one discipline to complete an apprenticeship under their mentor for the following months.

We worked to define the qualifications and commitment for the Creole Garçons participants and mentors. This helped us to complete our applications for both roles. In April, we shared the participant application form with a few local organizations that regularly work with young men who may be interested in participating in Creole Garçons. Our goal for our inaugural class is to have 10 participants. As of May 19th, we currently have 6 applications! We are close but not quite there. We will be accepting applications until the end of June.

In the coming weeks, we need to send out the mentor application and recruit professionals who meet our established mentor qualifications. There are more local organizations who work with young men that we need to establish relationships with or set up site visits. In order to increase interest and completed applications for both mentors and participants, we are considering promoting on social media. We believe in this program and look forward to getting the work done!

Thanks for all of your support!

Sincerely,
Jazmyn Jones
Team Creole Garçons

Mad Thinkers Update #3

Mad Thinkers Update #3

Dear Community,

We held our first workshop in partnership with New Hope Community Development Center on April 5 & 6, 2022. The workshop consisted of 2 fun-filled days including a crash course in theatre, improv exercises, team building, creative writing, script rehearsal and performance! 

We believe the children participating in Mad Thinkers learned a lot about creative problem solving during the event. 

I led Workshop #1. In future workshops, I will use the knowledge I gained to train others to take over teaching. Part of our goal for these workshops is to provide local teaching artists with more paid opportunities. We are looking forward to growing the program while connecting more teachers with students. 

Thanks to Anne Songy with Acadiana Lifestyle, you can turn to page 19 and dive into the Mad Thinkers experience here. She wrote a beautifully detailed article and took some sweet photos of the kids. Click here: https://bit.ly/MadThinkersAcadianaLifeStyle

Our next workshop is scheduled to be in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters on July 12, 2022! We are looking forward to it!

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


For more information and to bring Mad Thinkers to your organization, visit our site www.thelookingglasstheatreco.org/madthinkers

Many thanks,
Allison Brandon & The Mad Thinkers

Oasis Community Food Pantry Update #2

Oasis Community Food Pantry Update #2

Dear Community,

We’re gearing up for an exciting summer in Oasis! In addition to multiple activities planned by local and government organizations for our community in the coming months, we’re moving full steam ahead with the Oasis Food Pantry. Our vision is for the food pantry to be one of many initiatives to give back and engage our community. We’ve seen and heard testimonials of food pantry success in other communities and we can’t wait to see the impact of the Oasis Food Pantry. Despite setbacks due to supply shortages, we’ve made some progress on our pantry structure. We were able to get the materials needed to construct the pantry doors, which have been completed. Once all other materials are in, the remainder of the pantry structure will be built on site in the parking lot of the MLK Center, in it’s permanent spot. Our very own coterie board president will lend his talents to build the pantry, so if you pass by and see him working, give him a honk to show your support! We plan to have an official unveiling of the pantry for the community, so stay tuned for more news on our timeline and completion date. Humbly,

The Oasis Community Food Pantry

Lemonade Stand Update #2

Lemonade Stand Update #2

Dear Community,

We have been very busy since our last update! We were able to begin planning for our big day: August 20! Our kids are eager to get started and begin partnering with businesses to promote our lemonade stand. We will begin the entrepreneurship classes the week of June 13th during our summer program. One of the challenges we’ve run into is capacity within the club. Covid protocols restricted the number of youths we could have in the clubs. We hoped that the numbers would drop in time for us to open those restrictions a bit, but unfortunately, we have been unable to accept more youth into the club. Therefore, we have created a plan to rope in more youth serving organizations to include in the project. Within the next few weeks, we’ll meet with those organizations to get them onboard and select our team leaders. In the meantime, our club youth will begin designing our lemonade logo, creating a recipe, and identifying potential locations and organizations that could possibly receive the profits from the stand. Currently, we haven’t used any of the funds. We’ve adjusted the timeline to purchase materials during the months of May-July. That purchasing period will utilize the bulk of our budget. Stay tune for more updates! Thank you for keeping up with our journey as we connect youth and entrepreneurship to community improvement. Sincerely,

Team Lemonade

Oasis Community Food Pantry Update #2

Oasis Community Food Pantry Update #1

Dear Community,

Great things are on the horizon for our Oasis Community. Despite our Coterie’s limited visibility since the onset of COVID-19, we’ve not lost sight of our commitment to our community. Many of you may recall providing us with valuable feedback as to what you would like to see in our community during our HOPEFEST in 2019. Since then, we’ve met with several organizations and officials to rally support for our community in an effort to bring forth the changes that you, our neighbors expressed wanting to see. In November of 2021, we pitched the idea of a community food pantry to the 24 Hour Citizen Project. We are proud to say that our project has been selected for backing! The Oasis Food Pantry is not only a way for us to give back to the community, but for the community to give back to itself. The pantry will serve as an alternative food resource for the residence of our community and will be conveniently located outside of the Martin Luther King Center. The pantry will house non-perishable food and toiletry items, FREE for all community residents.

In addition to receiving funding from our backers, we are excited to share that we’ve already began receiving donations from various community partners to help sustain our pantry once opened. Currently, we are working to finalize renderings of the pantry and a construction timeline to share with you.

We desire for our residents to see the Oasis Food Pantry as a reservoir and source of hope, healing and restoration. Our hope is that this initiative will spark community engagement, pride and unification, and we invite you to get involved. Be on the lookout in the months to come for more information as to how you can join our efforts.

We are committed to the betterment of our community and are grateful for your support.

Humbly,

Team Oasis Food Pantry

Mad Thinkers Update #3

Mad Thinkers Update #2

Dear Community,

Our program development has taken off in a big way! Danielle Moroux, recipient of 24 HCP 2017 funding for “Pop Up Kids Theatre” has joined forces with The Mad Thinkers for our creative writing process. Brii Simmons and I are working closely with Danielle because she has several years of experience working with one of the organizations to which we will bring our workshop, New Hope Community Development of Acadiana. She’s assisting us with writing, and advising us in an effort to create the most beneficial program possible. We are taking great care in choosing topics of interest, and approaching the subject matter going into our Mad Lib script with sensitivity.

We decided our workshop is best suited for kids in grades 2-4. One of our goals is to be as relatable as possible, and really get the kids excited! We have abandoned our initial “Dinosaurs in Space” theme and replaced it with “Creatures from Another World.” We did so by conducting a brainstorm of what kinds of things kids in this age and demographic are actually interested in. We know collectively they love cute, colorful Pokemon-like creatures, bikes, skateboards, sports, etc. We are very excited about the story, as it is centered around a creature who feels left out, and learns in the end that he is worthy of acceptance. Our hope is the children participating will be able to enter an enticing world, take ownership of the details (using our Mad Lib technique), and learn empathy through acting.

We are looking forward to getting this workshop on its feet! Our first official workshop is scheduled for April 6-7 from 3:30-5:00 PM with New Hope! We will be reaching out to other kid-centric organizations to schedule the remaining workshops soon.

Our next steps include:

  • Finalizing the script dialogue
  • Purchasing sets, props, costumes, and classroom materials
  • Scheduling our two remaining workshops with other organizations
  • Executing all 3 workshops

Thank you so much for believing in The Mad Thinkers, and for your support throughout this process.

All our best, Allison Barron Brandon & The Mad Thinkers Team