VIBE Arts Fest 2016 by and for Children & Youth

By Giselle Wenban ( VIBE Arts Fest Marketing Volunteer)

VIBE Arts Fest 2016 was truly a celebration. From June 8-11, the Aki Studio was full of energy, talent, support, and appreciation. I think I may speak for all of us on the Youth Volunteer Committee in saying that the festival exceeded anything we could have hoped for. For me, I got to watch brave and incredible musicians, poets, and rap artists perform and connect at the Open Mic Night. I was lucky to be in the Studio when the whole crowd was dancing along with Dixon Grove Junior Middle School’s drumming and dance performance at the Performance Showcase. And I was moved to see a mother accompany her daughter around the gallery exhibition, read aloud several artists’ statements on the connection between their art and their identity, and tell her daughter that this is why art is so powerful. Through these moments, I was able to witness community. Community that includes all: performers, artists, parents, siblings, uncles, cousins, aunts, teachers, mentors, volunteers, staff, and so on. I think VIBE Arts Fest 2016 was able to show part of what makes VIBE Arts so special; there is a place for all to be who they are and to creatively express who they are with the support of the wider VIBE community. It was a privilege for me to contribute, even in the smallest of ways, to something so wonderful.