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  • Writer's picture@BA!LEYDREAMREACHER

Play Anyway : Children's Museum of Atlanta

The Children's Museum Of Atlanta helps foster a child's imagination and discovery by providing kids a place to roam free, learn and explore the world around them through play. The Imagination Ball made adults aware of this beautiful side of children, and asked them to support this equally beautiful cause in giving kids like me a space to enjoy our wonder, freely. With the leadership of Ms. Jane Turner, and the hard work of amazing CMA staffmembers like Ms. Laura Halad, Ms. Rebecca Jackson and Ms. Stacey Lucas, we were able to accomplish that.

Going into this, I knew that I had to put my mind in a certain, special perspective: What is this event for, and how do I serve in a way that I do my part to ensure that it becomes a success? These were the questions I had to ask myself as we went through the creative process as a team. Speaking of team, Mr. Okorie Johnson and Mr. Richard Garner, the creative minds behind this event, are two people I really admire. They created the concept for the event, they crafted a method for approaching it, and shaped it into what it became. They gave me free rein, let me express all my ideas fully, out of the box. They were patient and very very nice to me. They made me feel welcome, comfortable and supported me every step along the way. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to work with them.

Opening myself up to this new experience commanding an audience and sharing a story, I felt free and I could bring that audience to the place we created. Play Anyway! was the world where guests could fully experience the imagination of a child and immerse themselves in fun and broad possibilities. They could be kids again for the night, they could enjoy themselves as much as us kids do at the museum. From the moment they arrived we were all on a journey, I could see their faces light up and fill with wonderment and I was happy to see them. "I stacked the plates and yelled to my sous chef, chop the veggies because the folks are comin!" We danced, we stomped, the music was alive and you couldn't help but move your feet. Liquid Sky aerialists hung from the ceiling and dancers acted out every word. Be Curious was my name and my good friend Rhyme had lost his siblings: Play & Imagination. Mr. Okorie as Rhyme is a brilliant cellist and played amazingly he spoke to us through his instrument and we all understood what needed to be done. We celebrated and honored CMA Executive Director Ms. Jane Turner and board member Ms. Wonya Lucas for their work with the museum and in the community. They are amazing people and I am so lucky to have had the chance to meet them. The event was chaired by Ms. Stephanie Blank and supported by many businesses and professionals who all came together in the spirit of giving.

What did I take away from all of this? The child spirit is a thing to be cherished and I learned a lot about what really goes on. There is so much that goes into creating the spaces that we enjoy. How they are made, who is behind the scenes working, preparing, building and sacrificing. It's a family effort and it gives me a sense of responsibility and accountability as an ambassador. The people that make amazing things possible for us kids are to be cherished too, and I am so grateful for you all. -B!


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