Community. That word grows in importance to me every day. This year more than ever, I desperately NEED that community – the reassurance that good, caring people walk among us. In a time where negative headlines and difficult news infiltrate our personal bubbles and magnify our echo chambers, it may feel like you need to hold a flashlight through the darkness to find something worth pursuing and contributing. Houston Via Colori® Street Painting Festival, a fundraiser for local nonprofit The Center for Hearing and Speech, brought 25,000 Houstonians together to raise $400,000 on Nov. 19-20. If you needed more reminding that there is good in the world, look no further.
If you follow me on social media, you may remember seeing my post about the Via Colori Blogger Happy Hour. I was beyond honored to host a party with some of my closest friends in blogging to introduce the Center for Hearing and Speech. We were lucky enough to have Kendra Scott and Isle Pedispa team up for a fantastic nail bar featuring Kendra Scott’s new nail polish line.
It was incredible to bring the two things I love together in one format. By sharing my love for social good with local Houston bloggers, I felt like I was helping the Center for Hearing and Speech get the attention it deserves. I even got a little emotional while talking about my nephew Jaeden, who is hard of hearing and doesn’t yet speak, when sharing the medical miracles made by the center.
After the event, I was on a social good high. My friends all gathered together and posed in front of the Blome’s Paperie flower wall, flashing their Kendra Scott manis, sipping Stella Artois and feeling inspired to do more in Houston. Brian, my boyfriend, even attended his first real blogging event to support me (yay!). Those strong positive feelings came full circle when I attended the festival for myself and saw the whole, colorful picture.
More than 200 local and international artists turned the streets of downtown Houston into a massive outdoor art gallery with chalk murals inspired by the festival’s theme, A Colorful World. Via Colori also showcased 16 youth artists from local high schools through its Via Apprendista program. Colors and themes from across the globe danced across the pavement as onlookers gathered in amazement. My personal favorite (I’m a tad biased here) was the John Lennon portrait by Houston-based artist, Tim Walker (@mrsketchbook). Tim was the mastermind behind the sponsored square the folks at the festival gave me for being a media partner. You can check out ALL of the great art here.
Music played, crowds gathered, and I even ran into a few friends who were admiring the festivities. The festival featured 25 performers on three stages, including American Idol alumni Jessica Meuse, who capped off the weekend with a performance on the Reliant/NRG Main Stage.
The money raised from Via Colori will help fund critical health and educational services for local children with hearing loss. I was so amazing to read that in its 11 years, Via Colori has raised more than $3 million.
A HUGE thank you to Via Colori for being so wonderful to work with during this entire experience. Words cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity and to live in a city with such active hearts.
Special thank you to the sponsors who helped make the Blogger Happy Hour happen:
VERTS Mediterranean Grill / Kendra Scott / William Hill Estate /Stella Artois / Isle Pedispa /Petite Sweets / Blome’s Paperie / Bramble & Bee / KIND Snacks