Parades are an excellent way to reach out to your community and connect with a broader audience. I can work with your organization to create an inspiring visual statement and make the most of the communication opportunity parades offer.
Artist Greg Cook and I lead community workshops in creating themed parade banners, signs and masks that really stand out visually and involve everybody to tell your community organization’s story. Together, we can make a lasting impression. We can start where you are strong: your membership! Invite all your fans and members to a free family-friendly parade craft workshop, and then invite them to join you in the parade. Here are some photos from a workshop I ran as a collaboration with the Malden Public Library for the Malden Parade of Holiday Traditions last year. Our theme was “Peace on Earth”: A New England evergreen forest in winter, walking down the street.
At the parade, as your people walk down the street with fabulous masks, costumes or banners they made themselves, they are seen by a great cross-section of the community: young, old, wealthy, working class, townies, new immigrants, people who know about you, people who might share your vision, and people who have never heard of you. And guess what? Everyone is snapping a million pictures! Here are some from Malden’s 2014 Parade of Holiday Traditions:
How does it work? Together we can brainstorm the message that needs to be shared. Then I can develop options for a theme that tells your story visually. Once we choose and agree on the theme together, we can schedule the craft workshop. You rally all your troops and use all your means to invite everyone in your membership to participate. I can provide images/poster designs and hand-outs if its helpful. A good theme invites and inspires people to add their own , so even if they can’t make the workshop, they can make their own costumes and walk with us in the parade.
Then, we invite everyone to come walk in the parade with us. Why walk? Because if its cold, walking is a good way to keep warm. It is more dramatic presentation to walk than ride on a truck, and its easier to hand out little fliers of information to the crowd. It makes the presentation more charming, it facilitates a larger group more easily, and it creates less exhaust to poison by-standers. Small children may ride on scooters, wagons or strollers. But its not over then. After the parade, you can use some of the great photos you generate to keep sharing your message, grow your membership, and connect with new audiences.
I’d love to work with you and help you get noticed! Contact me for more information.
Here are some photos of the workshop and parade photos from our collaboration with Cape Ann Farmer’s Market and Back Yard Growers at the 2015 Fishtown Horrible’s Parade. Together we developed the theme to advocate for pollinators, who are critical to growing food and threatened by pesticides and climate change. Our marching group “Save Our Bees” won the trophy for Best Civic Group!
Photos courtesy Greg Cook