ArtAID XXI: A Gala Benefit for Positive Directions

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Now that ArtAID is over for another year, it’s time to reflect on everything we did to help make this one of the most unique gala experiences in Wichita. In an age of fundraiser fatigue, ArtAID is a welcome break from the norm, and we’re proud to have contributed so extensively to keeping the event wild, weird, memorable, and moving.

In addition to developing the theme and narrative of the show, we created the graphic assets for use in print, on the web, and billboards. Since this was the 21st ArtAID, “The Crystal Ball” theme fit perfectly, as it evokes a sense of wonder, fortune, and magic, just like the number 21 does. In mid-July, we sent out the narrative for the show to start calibrating everyone’s creativity. It read as follows:

“ArtAID XXI: The Crystal Ball will ponder the age-old question of how much control we actually have over our own lives vs. how much we unknowingly play the parts we have been conditioned to play. Do some people just get “lucky,” while others have to struggle against a stacked deck? There’s no better time to ask than ArtAID Twenty-One.

The host of the show will be a mysterious fortuneteller named Crystal, and the ArtAID gala event at the Cotillion will be her “ball.” She will indeed use a crystal ball to see into the future of the characters who explore their fates onstage through dance, music, storytelling, and other performance arts. 

ArtAID XXI will intend to raise the question—are we doomed to play the roles assigned to us? Do we have to follow the script? Or do we truly have the freedom to overcome the fortunes that have been told about our lives?”


ArtAID XXI Graphic for Web

Positive Directions maintains an extensive mailing list, so direct mail is a solid investment every year. Here’s the invitation postcard we came up with:

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ArtAID XXI Postcard Back


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ArtAID XXI Postcard Front

Although almost all of the performers who were involved last year recommitted to this year’s show, we held open auditions at Amira’s Dance Productions this year to make sure no one who wanted to participate was left out.

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ArtAID Casting Call Notification

Let’s just say the promo video was a lot of fun to make. Check it out:


To keep marketing costs low, we ran contest in which everyone who shared the video would be entered into a drawing for two tickets to the show, which earned the video over 4,000 views. Additionally, we created graphics for the digital billboard campaign, which ran through an arrangement with our friends at Fliphound. Special thanks to the beautiful and talented Zöe Braun for being on the billboard!

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Zöe Braun on the Billboard

As the show drew nearer, we leveraged traditional media placement on venues like KWCH Channel 12, the Brett & Sierra Show, and Q92 radio.

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KWCH’s Jenn Bates (L), Aaron, and Renee


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Talking ArtAID with Brett & Sierra


Kevin Wildt did a writeup on the show for his website We Are Wichita, and took some stunning photos of the mysterious Crystal. Kevin’s site is a MUST FOLLOW:

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Photo Credit: Kevin Wildt


Crystal crashed the ArtAID art preview party held at WSU’s Shift Space Gallery, and posed for pictures with some of the more ambitious attendees:


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Crystal Entertains the Guests

The Wichita Eagle showed us some love with an awesome placement on the cover of the Go! Section the day before the show:

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Oh, wait. What about the show itself?

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It’s common knowledge that Positive Directions fights against HIV/AIDS, but what do they do exactly? We made this promotional video to answer that question, which played at the Cotillion just before the live art auction began:

Oh, the entertainment lineup. Kyle Taylor was there. Evasive Flowers.  Devin Roberts, Renee Huber, and their band of muscled men. Fierce dances choreographed by Ashley Henderson. Models by Models and Images.  Hair and fashion by ABLS Salon. Crystal even did a solo tap dance. It was a night to remember.

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Crystal Tap Dancing

Here’s a YouTube playlist of every number in the runway show. Mad props to good friend Torin Andersen for minding the camera during all of this. As you can see, the camera that recorded these videos was also feeding the projector screen to give the audience a better view of the performance. Forgive our enthusiasm, but we’re pretty thrilled with the way it turned out.

So, what about you?

If you would like to treat your patrons to a break from their fundraiser fatigue, consider hiring CurveBreak to produce your next event. Give Aaron a call at 316.530.2512 to get the conversation started. You’ll be glad you did.

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