Thursday, October 22, 2015

46. The Vera Project: Risk!

Forty six down. Nine to go.

RISK! is a live show and popular podcast "where people tell true stories they never thought they'd dare to share in public." RISK! has monthly shows in New York, Los Angeles and on occasion, other venues around the country. On a weeknight in September The Vera Project was one of those venues.

The Vera Project seeks to fuel "personal and community transformation through collaborative, youth-driven engagement in music and art." Vera's programs focus on young people ages 14 to 24 and include training in skills such as audio engineering and silkscreen printing. In its Seattle Center home Vera has an art gallery and a performance space featuring weekly concerts designed to promote artistic experimentation. Volunteers are an important part Vera's operation, with  a committee for each programming area and a wide range of volunteer opportunities.

The Vera project
 encourages free expression,
as shown by this wall inside
the venue.
Vera says that its programs are always "all ages." I helped establish the truth of that statement at this event, being easily the oldest person in the audience. The performance was hosted by a comic from the Risk! organization and featured three personal vignettes by talented locals with a gift for storytelling. The show lived up to its reputation as funny, touching and no-holes-barred truth. A fellow ArtsFund board member asked if I had trouble staying awake given the 10 P.M. start time. I assured him there was no sleeping given the interesting content. Intrigued? Listen to an episode on their website.

Most Vera programs are in our venue at the Seattle Center, including the following:
These activities are initiated and driven collaboratively by Vera’s volunteers, staff, Board of Directors and youth-led Membership.
Weekly concerts promote artistic experimentation and excellence in a professional setting, leveraging industry-standard technology to showcase music and arts. Classes fuse with experiential learning opportunities and a volunteer-driven structure that engages young people in the arts, fosters inter-generational communication and gives constituents the skills necessary to pursue their creative and professional passions. The skills participants gain at Vera activate future creativity, careers and leadership within Vera and in the greater creative community. Vera engages thousands in the arts, develops the future of the music industry and supports a vibrant Seattle culture.

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