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 https://talsona.com/people/Shai-Preid/ 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.