Over the past 3 months at Widener Library we have been working on Future Fashion – a special Maker Jawn project funded by a Curiosity Creates grant from the Association for Library Service to Children. So far the kids have designed and sewed futuristic outfits, created superhero characters with artist Jihan Thomas, learned about Afrofuturism with Afrofuturist Affair creator Rasheedah Phillips, held their own photoshoot with Free People Art Director Zoe Jet Ellis, and created custom painted t-shirts and patches with Georgia McGovern from janusstore.com.
We are now working on wrapping up all the projects and preparing for the big Fashion Show Event which will be taking place on Friday May 6 and Saturday May 7. This work includes editing our photo shoot images and turning them into a magazine, filming and editing a short video using our futuristic outfits, building a runway, painting a backdrop, and composing music for the fashion show itself. We also have to produce a poster and invites for the show and of course decide what snacks we will be serving at the special event!
When originally applying for the grant I had indicated that a certain portion of the budget would be spent on supplies that would be chosen by the program participants – and this built-in freedom to make decisions organically as the program evolves has turned out to be invaluable in enabling me to cater to the special interests and side projects of the kids. One teen who has been a regular Maker Jawn participant for over 2 years has come up with the idea of the Dream Team – a futuristic superhero group of musicians. He has been developing characters and recording music with other program participants over the past month. I’m hoping that a Dream Team EP will be released alongside the Fashion Show! He also has designed a Dream Team logo, and grant funds dedicated to visiting artists will help me bring in former Maker Mentor and printmaker Lauren Pakradooni to help turn his design into real T-shirts for the Dream Team.
Oh, and on top of it all, we’re hoping to premiere Godbrothers – a sci-fi gangster epic 2 years in the making – during the Fashion Show Event Weekend. Check out a trailer here and stay tuned for updates on this hopefully very awesome event.
Oh and I almost forgot to mention that Philly’s new Mayor stopped by for a little sneak peak at Godbrothers earlier this month.