During summer lockdown, DONT WALK has continued to raise money for charity. Their chosen charities for 2020-2021 are Custom Collaborative and Impact Arts. These charities were selected because they closely align with DONT WALK’s mission– using the arts to change inequality. DONT WALK began as a response to 9/11 in New York City which affected individuals worldwide. These students grouped together to establish an arts community that would stand up for change and work to stop inequalities through the arts. The name was created because they didn’t want people to walk past the injustices of the world. They encouraged people to stop and try to make a difference.
Custom Collaborative is a New York City-based entrepreneurship and workforce development program. The program supports women from immigrant and low-income communities in over 20 countries. They do so by delivering instruction on a range of topics such as, fashion, economics, technical training, and consulting, while providing them new opportunities and equipment. Training these women to launch careers in sustainable fashion and business, the work at Custom Collaborative is helping transform and benefit the fashion industry.
Impact Arts is a Glasgow-based, forward thinking, community organisation that uses the arts and creativity to enable and empower social change. Their mission is to tackle inequalities and pressing social and environmental issues through creative engagement for people and communities of all ages. They are working to create a Scotland where everybody ‘believes in the power of creativity to transform lives.’ Impact Arts works collaboratively with children, young people, older people, and many other communities– predominantly vulnerable groups– to give them a space to share and celebrate their creativity. They aim to show that art changes lives.
Both of the charity organizations chosen for this coming year are closely aligned with the mission behind DONT WALK. Custom Collaborative has a strong focus on sustainable fashion which is a recent focus for the DW committee and led them to achieve an 80% sustainable show last year. Additionally, Impact Arts is committed towards making change through a variety of different art forms ranging from dancing to digital. Fashion is an art form, as is music which they have been streaming a lot of recently. Custom Collaborative and Impact Arts are both benefitting and supporting communities who are currently facing several obstacles. For example, Custom Collaborative is actively supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and aiding low-income and minority females. Additionally, Impact Arts has been providing wellbeing programs for the elderly facing a higher risk of catching Covid-19. Both charities are linked with DONT WALK’s mission of not turning a blind eye to problems and instead taking action to make a difference.
DONT WALK took advantage of the extra time that many people had this summer and put their efforts towards fundraising through live-streams and an auction. The live-streams have had large audiences each time and raised over 1,000 pounds. The DW committee gathered local djs, student djs, and their resident djs to provide many hours of streaming beats via Facebook. DONT WALK also put up an online auction recently. There was some chat about whether the auction was sensitive to the times we are currently living in, but it’s best to focus on the fact that it was raising money for these two incredible charities that are doing their part to make a difference in our current circumstances. There were many items auctioned off such as private digital art lessons, a holiday in Montana, USA, a Gucci purse, a trip to Budapest, and much more.
Although we are living in very uncertain times and large events such as the fashion show and other big parties are not likely to happen any time soon, DONT WALK will be continuing to raise money for Custom Collaborative and Impact Arts through music live-streams- and likely other channels– so be sure to tune in as you might see some familiar faces performing.