A decade of celebrating life: the creative and community-building work of Styletainment
A lot can happen over a period of time, especially a decade. There are a good number of changes, as well as a few constants. Of these things that are both a constant and creative change agent is the arts and fashion collective, Styletainment.
About this time last year, I'm introduced to the story of Styletainment's founder, Missouri. Building on her dream of fashion and the arts, after an extended time on her journey, things come to fruition. However, a potential hurdle is her bout with breast cancer; through faith, quality care, and steady support and encouragement, she is able to come out as a survivor, yet so much more (as noted in her literary works My Journey to Styletainment: A Life Stitched Together and the companion piece, My Journey to Styletainment: The Show/A Life Stitched Together; make sure to click HERE for more details).
A creative by-product of her journey and Styletainment is the stage/theatrical piece, A Cancer Survivor's Story. And thanks to their leadership team anchored by Hattie Smith (a fellow breast cancer survivor), Lisa St Hilaire, and Clinton Miller, Jr (a prostate cancer survivor), thy are taking the performance and their related work to another level as they celebrate their 10th year.
On Thursday, October 20th (8pm EST) at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (11 Livingston Ave in New Brunswick, NJ: click HERE for ticket and related information), patrons of the arts are in for an engaging and enriching experience. Complete with fashion, dance, artistry, it is more than just a production. Emanating boundless positive energy and celebrating the spirit of triumph and perseverance, it truly is the celebration of life and living beyond its challenges (make sure to watch our full chat/interview with the leadership team below):
But that's just part of it.
On Saturday, October 22nd, the celebration continues with the gala awards. Taking place at the Hyatt Regency (2 Albany St in New Brunswick, NJ: click HERE for ticket and related information), the black-tie affair does more than provide a festive ambiance complete with the red carpet experience (which starts at 6pm) and full dinner with a "royal dress" theme. And it's more than just having a great evening out.
It's clearly a party with a purpose, as evidenced through support from (but not limited to) Johnson and Johnson, the Bank of Princeton, and a growing list of sponsors who believe in he mission and purpose of the events and beyond (click HERE for sponsor information).
Ten extraordinary women (Josephine Roach, Donna Williams, Chrystal Shakir, Shanta Tailor, Shelia Johnson, Ta-Tanisha Duncan, Audrey Walker, Robin Hall, Tiashia Caldwell, and Akia Johnson) are at the center of the event; their are the honorees as it's a celebration of their journey in overcoming breast cancer and thriving, along with remembering those who battle bravely in light of this health challenge. Augmented by the sounds of DJ Barry Ward, a silent auction, and the red carpet hosting of Lisa St Hilaire, LA Burdette, and Andrew Snorton, Styletaiment is doing another performance to keep the energy and sophisticated affair moving in a positive manner.
With the larger goal of bringing the community resource A Place Called Love into existence (to provide access to resources for women who are living with breast cancer and related life challenges), this truly is bigger than the event. All of the leadership team have an underlying personal connection and calling to celebrate life, let alone being proactive, supportive, encouraging, and empowering those living with and going through the health hurdle of breast cancer (and related cancer-related challenges).
"When God gives you a mission, he blesses you with the people to help have it become a reality", surmises Missouri.
In showing dedication throughout the decade, Styletainment is more than just an amazing collective of creatives. It's taking the creativity and creating something meaningful within the community as the call is made to lend support of the events and larger endeavors to celebrate and facilitate the journeys of those living with and through breast cancer.
On October 20th and 22nd, those in the Tri-State (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) area, as well as surrounding areas, can creatively and collaboratively with Styletainment to celebrate their decade.
And in doing so, celebrate life.