Face Forward returned to the main room of First Avenue and 7th Street Entry Friday to continue its mission of raising awareness for humanitarian efforts through art.
Face Forward’s mission statement says, “Art is a powerful vessel to induce change,” and one of Face Forward’s goals is “to provide an outlet for artists to successfully find their voices for change in the Twin Cities.” Friday’s Face Forward: Eyes Open event included performances by artists, dancers and musicians, as well as a fashion show.
Amanda Leaveck, St. Thomas alumnus and Face Forward executive director, has done service work in a variety of countries, but said she decided that she needed to start focusing her efforts on raising awareness in the Twin Cities.
“There is so much that needs to be done in our own country,” Leaveck said. “We need to focus our attention on how we live our lives here, because it directly affects how people live elsewhere.”
Leaveck wasn’t the only one happy with the turnout at Eyes Open. St. Thomas senior Jordyn Streater was also impressed by attendance at the event.
“It’s only the second time [Face Forward] has had an event at First Ave., and they’re already filling up the main room,” Streater said. “Just look around. The energy is amazing.”
All proceeds of Eyes Open go directly to the Global Fund for Women. The GFW is a non-profit organization that works to advance women’s rights throughout the world.
“I know that I am privileged, but I’m going to use my privilege to help others,” Leaveck said. “We must raise awareness for these causes, and together, face forward with our eyes open, to help those who need it. And that’s what this is all about.”
Kristi Battarbee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.