As designers, we are lucky to have a career that provides the opportunity to give back to our community. When you gather a group of people who share two common interests – design and social injustice – you begin to realize that there are endless opportunities to reach out to people with an important message.
The Power of the Poster show ran at VSA Colorado/Access Gallery from July 18- Aug. 1. The show displayed the works created through two AIGA mentorship programs – Giving Voice and AIGA Elevate – as well as 25 poster donations from the DAM (including a donation of five Lanny Sommes prints), AIGA board members, national designers and some of Denver’s finest.
Now in its eighth year, Giving Voice is a partnership between VSA Colorado/Access Gallery and AIGA Colorado. The program is designed to empower teens living with disabilities to give voice to a social cause that’s important to them. Working together with a professional graphic designer, they have the opportunity to express something that is significant to them, and, more importantly, have someone listen.
“It’s really the kids who inspire us,” says Kelsey Fagan, one of this year’s mentors. “Taking three Wednesdays to eat lunch with a student and share your views about social injustice over a slice of pepperoni pizza – it couldn’t be more rewarding. It’s a beautiful reminder that while you may be having a hard day designing in front of your laptop, you do it for opportunities like this. You have been given the opportunity to share your creative talents for a good purpose and for this student, you’re changing the world.”
AIGA Elevate is a collaborative college mentor program that focuses on design for good. Pairing students with professional designers, the group developed its own installation theme – Seeds of Change – to incorporate its posters into the Giving Voice show and help with fundraising efforts.
The show opening was a huge success. The gallery was filled with people sharing ideas, their favorite posters, and appreciation for the work. The teenagers were excited to share their stories and inspiration, and it was a fun night for everyone involved, with posters and other artwork for sale that appealed to audiences of all ages. This year’s show raised $1700, which will go toward funding next year’s programs.
Thank you to everyone who attended the show and a big thank you to the following mentors for all of their hard work and dedication to the Giving Voice program:
Shout out to our sponsors who helped make the event a big success:
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design