West Seattle Reign of Fashion Showers Audience with Creativity

Reign of Fashion WallFashion Flyers

The creativity and passion of youth was on full display at the August 21st Unified Outreach Fashion Expose’ in West Seattle.

Kiel backOn stage were 20 aspiring models broken into two groups; the Little Royals were first-year models ages 5-10; followed by the Reign of Fashion models who ranged from 13-18 years old.  For many this was the first time they had ever walked a runway; but designer Carlisia Minnis from MAC Fashion House spent time with the models during the weeks leading up to the show to be sure that they were comfortable strutting their stuff on the catwalk.Karla stage

Behind the scenes were youth from the Unified Outreach program which consisted of teams of youth ages 13-18 who planned, designed, and delivered the 1 hour program. These teams consisted of Facilities/Stage Set-Up/Sound & Lighting, Promotions/PR/Marketing, Photo & Video Production, and Stage Management/Models/Runway.

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. It can be hard to grasp the magnitude of what these kids were able to produce; especially when you consider that many had no experience of this sort just 4 weeks ago.  But tonight they did the sound and lighting, facilities, photo and video, stage set up, and everything else to deliver this flawless event.”4Culture Red Carpet Unified Outreach

Credit was also given to the program instructors April Goode, Edward Dumas, and Isis West-Goode; as well as the SYVPI counselors Nani, Lensy, Merry, and J’Quai who provided additional support to the kids during the 4 weeks of classes.

In the audience was a mixture of both local and national personalities, sports stars, political figures, media personalities, major advertising agencies, and merchandizing and department store buyers; provided the youth an excellent opportunity to network with industry leaders and local heroes who were available for the meet & greet following the show.

The annual event is made possible with a financial grant from the Office of Arts & Culture, a technology grant from 4Culture, and a facility usage grant from West Seattle Christian Church.  Once all of the funding is in place Unified Outreach partners with the staff at SYVPI and SW Family Services to recruit youth ages 13-18 to participate in the program.

The work-readiness-in-arts partnership was created during the Mike McGinn mayoral era;  a result of Unified Outreach members engaging Mayor McGinn at art-related town halls.  Unified Outreach presented the idea that the City wasn’t doing enough by simply funding arts classes; but that kids need networking opportunities, as well as education and career tracks once the art class/workshop has ended.  Mayor McGinn was receptive and in 2011 the City launched the work-readiness grant program.

TKG Dance CrewAnd on Sunday, August 21, 2016 the Unified Outreach non-profit youth arts Charity took work-readiness programs to a whole other level with a custom designer fashion show that would put some industry-level entertainment companies to shame. The event was hosted by local celebrity Sammy Tekle, with music performances by Ali Rahimi, dance routine by TGK Dance Crew, and featuring a fully catered dinner by Goode Girls.

In addition to the custom design outfits by MAC Fashion House; this year Unified Outreach also welcomed Lu LaRoe who provided the outfits for the Little Royals.Runway walk

The Unified Outreach Work-Training in the Arts program returns in 2017. Visit http://www.UnifiedOutreach.com for details.

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The buffet and desert selection was provided free by Goode Girls Catering.

The event was held a the WSCC Exhibition Hall at 4400 42nd Ave SW.

 

For further information please visit www.UnifiedOutreach.com, email UnifiedOutreach@hotmail.com, or call 206-371-1139.

 

COMMUNITY POSTINGS WARN OF DANGER; ASK MAYOR FOR EQUAL REPRESENTATION

  WN CD

October 3, 2015, Saturday evening drivers entering Seattle’s CD and Rainer Valley were greeted with hundreds of warning posters alerting them to dangers in Seattle’s Central District and South End of town.  The large red print on a black background shouts “Warning!  Entering the Central District!” and “Warning!  Entering Rainier Valley!”

While on the other side of the posters; drivers leaving these areas were greeted with a bright and colorful sign reading “Welcome! Now exiting the Central District/Rainier Valley!”

WLC CD

Members of Equal Representation Now say that the problem of youth on youth violence in the area is being overlooked by city officials and are asking for equal representation in regards to city policy.

In the summer of 2014 neighborhoods in these areas saw an unprecedented rise in youth on youth violence and murders, with almost daily reports of gun fire and nearly 20 youths murdered at the hand of other children.  Summer 2015 we saw the continuation of this violence with multiple murders, and much like the previous summer most going unnoticed by local media.

The organizers of tonight’s event note that in other areas of the city our leaders react differently to violence and threats of violence.  “On Capitol Hill the reaction to threats of violence was to put together a task force, engage LGBTQ leaders, and even go as far as to paint crosswalks to show solidarity and that (the threat of) violence would not be tolerated.”  We applaud the City’s quick action in this case of the verbal threats and harassment on Capitol Hill. However, the African-American community in Seattle is actually losing lives; and we are being told that the find-it-fix-it campaign is enough.”

The East African community in Seattle has community leaders that represent themselves and hold advisory positions in the Mayor’s office.  The LGBTQ community has leaders from the LQBTQ community that hold advisory positions in the Mayor’s office.  Yet when it comes to the African-American community we are told that adult AA males who were born and raised in these very neighborhoods are not best suited to advise on African-American youth in the area.

In 2014 the Mayors Office was presented with a proposal for the creation of an Office of Inner-City Affairs to help address the problem of youth violence Seattle’s CD and Rainer Valley.  The proposal was rejected as City Hall felt that there were adequate programs in place to address the issues; despite the evidence that youth-on-youth violence was escalating.IMG_20151003_185739

Organizers of tonight’s event hope that this display will be the catalyst to start people asking why there is not equal representation of communities in the Mayor’s Cabinet; and that maybe the Mayor will take another look at the previous proposal.

“We posted these signs because people need to know what they are driving into.  These neighborhoods are not safe.  There is a much greater chance of being shot and killed in this area than in any other part of Seattle.  Especially if you are a young, African-American male.”

“There are a lot of things that City Hall deals with on a daily basis; but few are truly a matter of life and death. When we see true leadership in the area from grassroots community groups such as Rose Prayer Ministries, B.U.I.L.D., and others it gives us hope.  But these voices need to have the Mayors ear!“

Reaction to the signage has been mixed, with mostly positive support for addressing the issue of youth violence and the loss of life in the African-American community.  However, there are some who disapprove of the message and have started their own campaign of removing the posters.

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Urban Hollywood meets Seattle in Youth Organized Runway Extravaganza!

 

MAC CLass

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.

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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.

This year, the show also featured the organizational skills of personal stylist Lika Love who can be found online as well as around West Seattle in the Lika Love mobile boutique.MAC Kiel2

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.