On May 2, 2015, A Window Between Worlds gathered at the Venice Skills Center for our annual fundraising event, Art in the Afternoon, and raised $74,000 in support of AWBW’s new directions for our transformative art programs. It was at our 2014 Art in the Afternoon that we unveiled our new expanded mission, and have since been laying the groundwork to ensure our growth to serve populations beyond the domestic violence shelter setting is not only impactful, but sustainable. This year’s Art in the Afternoon helped us raise vital funds for our capacity-building period, and we are grateful to be sharing the journey with our supporters.
Over 600 guests were greeted by our incredible food sponsors, including an In-N-Out Burger Cookout®, Panda Express, a taco bar from Whole Foods Venice, snacks from Cool Cups and Nature’s Bakery, as well as refreshments from Hansen’s Natural Soda and Starbucks. For an extra special treat, guests visited our friends from SuperCool Creamery to taste delicious ice cream made using liquid nitrogen, or delighted in our beautiful four-tiered cake from Hansen’s Cakes and Sprinkles Cupcakes!
G Hannelius, star of the Disney Channel’s “Dog with a Blog”, returned as host and co-emcee for her sixth year, and was joined by her castmates from “Dog with a Blog,” as well as friends including Nolan Gould (Modern Family), Kat McNamara (Maze Runner), Sweet Suspense (X-Factor) and more! The stars greeted hundreds of fans, and enjoyed all the event activities including an amazing photo booth sponsored by FoxTales and fresh flower crowns designed with the Crown Collective.
The stage was packed with exciting appearances throughout the day, starting with Councilmember Mike Bonin opening the special event. Our multi-talented emcee Super Tall Paul introduced performances from The Burn Riffs, Lindsey Harper, Tiff Jimber – and even shared his own musical skills with the crowd! Of course, it wouldn’t be a party without the return of our friends from Hoop It Up Worldwide, who got everyone dancing and hula hooping!
We shared some of our most creative art workshops yet – Joy Bubbles, Spring Pinwheels, Shrinky Dinks and even custom button-making! Color Me Mine brought a huge assortment of special ceramic shapes to paint, Alternative Apparel showed us how to tye-dye indigo t-shirts, the Art Institute of California – Los Angeles brought cookies for kids to decorate to their heart’s delight, and our amazing chalk artists encouraged everyone to take their art to the street!
Throughout the afternoon, families also took turns leaving their mark on a stunning community mural to commemorate this year’s event! Our friendly visitor from Universal Studios, Spongebob Squarepants, got in on the action, too!
Everyone felt inspired after hearing from our speaker, Diana Villalobos. As a survivor of childhood incest, Diana found personal strength through AWBW’s Survivor’s Art Circle, went on to attend our leadership training, and now devotes her life to using art to help children heal from trauma. Councilman Mike Bonin’s office presented Diana with an award to acknowledge her 13 years as an AWBW Leader and advocate.
Activities filled every corner of the event – there was something for all ages to enjoy! Guests made giant bubbles with Best Bubble Parties, got their faces painted thanks to sponsor Aubrey Organics, Inc., had an opportunity to delve into virtual reality with Google Cardboard, made XXL Jenga towers, met reptiles from the Critter Squad, bought custom nail wraps with G Hannelius’ Make Me Nails app, bid on a huge selection of auction items, and bounced down our inflatable slide!
Thank you to all our hosts, sponsors, volunteers, donors and guests who played a special role in making Art in the Afternoon a success and beautiful day of art-making! Save the date for this year’s event on Saturday, May 7th from noon-4pm. Tickets on sale now !