The Walk the Light Arts Festival is only a day away and Founder, Laura Allen, was very gracious to take some time and answer a few questions about the festival and organization for ILiveinDallas.com.
For those interested in attending the arts festival on Saturday, I've posted the information for you at the bottom of the interview. Make sure you visit their website to see the featured artists line-up, plus video interviews with several of the artists. (The videos are really good!)
Laura Allen is the Founder, Executive Director & Board Chairman of Walk the Light. I am a singer/songwriter, go-getter and mayhem-starter! I fancy myself a creative expressionist; hence my love for promoting art in unconventional ways. I really enjoy antiques, long drives, and coffee. In fact, since I am a Barista on the side, I hold steadfast to the belief that coffee needs to have its own food group in the food pyramid!
ILiveinDallas: Can you tell us a little about Walk the Light?:
Laura Allen: Well, Walk The Light started very organically. A few of us just got together one night and decided we wanted to have a show where all of our friends could come out and just do what we love to do... share their music, share their photography, paintings... and so we just planned it out. We told our friends about it and 100 people came out to just enjoy the night with us! We were so excited. That was in September of 2009. From there, we decided that there really is a need for artists from all genres to have a venue where they can share their art and just do what they love to do. So, we just kept having Walk The Light Arts Festivals and they have kept growing.
Every festival, Walk the Light selects a charity focus. Your upcoming event you selected FUEL to highlight plus donate a portion of the tickets proceeds. How did you find out about Fuel and why did you select them as this event's charity focus?:
I was invited to an information gathering about FUEL and I started talking with the executive directer and his team about Walk The Light. We agreed that it would be good to partner together for this event because their mission and purpose is nearly the same as ours, only they are specifically targeting those in the Philippines. So, noticing that we were similar, we decided to have them as the charity focus to catapult their team moving over to the Philippines to invest in the community of IloIlo.... in the future we hope to partner with them in their endeavor in the Philippines in reaching out to the community.
What can attendees expect from the Walk the Light Arts festival this Saturday?:
It's not going to be your typical arts festival, we are going to have a broad variety of art genres participating and artists from all over the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area are joining together to share their art. Not only will they be displaying the art that they've already made, but they will be creating new art during the event. There will also be several interactive art stations including a photo booth, a pottery painting station, the poetry corner, etc...
How is your upcoming event different from the previous events that Walk the Light has organized?:
We've added several new elements to this event including some of the interactive art stations and more artists who are joining to showcase their work. In the past the charity focus has not been as involved in the planning/ preparation process, but this time FUEL has been involved every step of the way and they are helping us run the event, which is so wonderful and truly a great experience.
What is one thing your fans wouldn't know about the Walk the Light organization?:
The staff is entirely made up of young women who volunteer their time outside of their full-time jobs and other committments. I am so thankful for their service and passion that helps to make Walk the Light possible. Also, all of the artists volunteer their time during the festivals so that the proceeds from the event can be given to the charity focus.
Your mission is "Making the arts a vehicle for change." How do you feel Walk the Light has and will continue to accomplish this?:
We really believe that we are affecting change in our art community by putting on the kind of festivals that we do that provide a venue for artists who otherwise would not have had a community or venue to join. We are also affecting the lives of others by highlighting a charity focus that serves the needs of those less fortunate. We are committed to making these points our main focus as we continue to plan for the years ahead.
What is your favorite Walk the Light memory up to this point?:
The moment we realized we had reached our Kickstarter goal to become a non-profit organization. We raised $2,000 in 28 days. We are so thankful for everyone who so generously gave to help us get started.
How do you think Walk the Light will affect the Dallas community?:
Positively. Like I said earlier, we provide a venue for artists that don't have one in a way that is very positive. We also encourage artists and those in the community to use the gifts and talent they have been given to serve those less fortunate through highlighting a charity focus. Oftentimes these charity focuses are local, which really helps to connect the artists and community to the needs of the city.
Where do you see Walk the Light in 5 years?:
Oh man! Really big. We hope to be completely funded and expanded to other cities. We are planning and aiming to have city-based festivals. We have some friends in other cities (San Diego, Oklahoma City, etc...) that love Walk the Light and have experienced it in the past, and they have expressed a desire to have Walk the Light come to their city to see local artists and charity focuses supported through this great event.