Saturday night August 30th West Seattle residents braved the rain in order to enjoy the annual Unified Outreach Runway Extravaganza! Ask anyone in the audience and they will tell you that it was worth it!
Starting with the always delicious catered buffet and moving into an evening of pure enjoyment; one could easily forget that this is a free event put on entirely by kids.
Each year Unified Outreach partners with the City of Seattle’s Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI) and local fashion icon Carlisia Minnis/MAC Fashion House in order to provide a work training in the arts program for at-risk youth ages 13 – 18.
This partnership offers a series of 6-week programs that introduce youth ages 13-18 to the art of event management. Students learn promotions, facilities, sound& lighting, photo/video editing, hosting, and other areas necessary to put on an industry level fashion show.
Every year the fashion (and entertainment) program showcases the students own unique personalities; and this year it really did! Last year the show had a very light-hearted approach featuring comedy, acoustic guitar, and romantic-comedy ballads. Whereas this year the theme was “Urban Hollywood Meets Seattle” and it was hip hop hooray from start to finish with local breakdance phenomenon the Vicious Puppies crew and local rap artist Archie Bellz.
“We’re confident they could walk out the door and move directly into a career in event management“
The show was hosted by (students) Connor and Kayla who kept the crowd laughing with their sharp witted dialogue. At one point Connor produced a single ticket to the upcoming Wu Tang concert and proceeded to present it to one person at the show he felt deserved it most; himself. This brought a roar of laughter from the crowd, as did most of the interaction between the two hosts.
The highlight was of course the incredible outfits by Carlisia Minnis and MAC Fashion House; who for over a decade have established themselves as a brand that is as unique as Seattle itself. The MAC Fashion House Boutique is located off Roxbury in West Seattle/White Center and is available for viewing by appointment at (206) 322-2147.
David Toledo, one of the event organizers said, “The entire behind the scenes crew was made up of teens from 13 to 18 years old from the work training in the arts program. They did the sound and lighting, facilities, photo and video show, stage set up, and more. These kids are incredible! We’re confident they could walk out the door and move directly into a career in event management. We’re very blessed to have such a great partnership with the City of Seattle and the people at SYVPI who have such a genuine interest in our youth. When (former) Mayor’s Greg Nickels and Mike McGinn put these programs into place they were really being visionaries.
The event was held at the West Seattle Christian Church Exhibition and Performance Hall at 4400 42nd Ave SW, which is a wonderful facility providing a full stage, runway, sound board, and spotlight; making this a truly industry-level event.