For the past two weeks or so my fellow volunteers and I at TRAMA Textiles have been working on putting together a benefit party for TRAMA. Benefit parties are a vital fundraising opportunity and a great way to raise awareness about TRAMA Textiles.
The first step was to come up with a theme. “Circus” was chosen because we thought it would be a fun way to involve the community by inviting various kinds of artists to perform. We put up fliers all around Xela as well as advertised through local media that we were seeking jugglers, face-painters, dancers, clowns, musicians…you name it. Xela is a city full of street performers, artists involved in community theater and people generally willing to help out a good cause so we anticipated the phone calls and emails to start rolling in immediately. Unfortunately it was not as easy as we thought to find performers and at one point we worried we would have to change our theme (after already designing and printing circus-themed fliers). It turned out that networking was what saved the day and the friends we volunteers have made here really came through for us. We ended up with an entertaining mix of performers of all kinds; including clowns, fire dancers, a live band and a DJ.
The event was held at a cultural center here in Xela called Los Chocoyos. We charged a Q15 entrance fee, sold popcorn for Q2 as well as TRAMA products. Los Chocoyos benefited by selling drinks at their bar. Planning an event in a country that is new to you presents many challenges. Something as simple as knowing where to buy streamers (or what streamers are called in Spanish!) becomes an obstacle. We also had to write a letter to the local government asking permission to hold our event, it took almost a week and a lot of following up to get their approval.
A few of these photos are courtesy of my friend Mark, a former TRAMA volunteer and an excellent photographer. Visit his website to view all of his photos from our event.
In the end ‘Noche de Circo’ was a success; a good time was had by all, it was a bonding experience for the volunteers and we raised around Q1000 for TRAMA! We spent so much time and energy planning and executing this event that it feels a little strange for it to be over. There is no rest for the weary however; we welcomed a new volunteer from England today and it’s time to get back to other projects.