Karen Knight

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San Diego Talent Abounds During the San Diego International Fringe Festival

A young man breathes deep as he does his final check.  His curly hair almost, but not quite, covers his glasses and problem skin.  He can feel the heat of nerves creeping up his spine and staining his face red.  He checks on his actors.  Professional actors and kids from school alike stand nervous in the wings.  They are all so good in the parts he has written.

He signals to the Fringe stage manager provided as part of his grand prize winnings.  He can still remember the day his teacher encouraged him to enter his new play in the Emerging Fringe competition.  Looking out at the audience now, filled with friends, family members, and complete strangers drawn by the social media campaign he designed and launched, he can’t believe that the visions that kept him company at night in bed were finally ready to share.  Every set piece, every prop, every detail exactly as he pictured it, as he made it, ready to share with his waiting audience.    

He takes another deep breath, checks his costume, and steps out onto the stage.

The International Fringe Festival began in Edinburgh in 1947 and has since spread, with more than 200 Festivals occurring around the world. San Diego, still a young Festival organization is the only Fringe to host a bi-national Fringe Festival, with performances in both San Diego and Tijuana.

During the festival, artists from across the United States and around the world participate alongside local talent, in art forms spanning from theatre, buskers/street performers, cabaret, comedy, circus, dance, film, poetry, spoken word, puppetry, music, visual art, design & open to any other type of artsyness.

Key to the operation of San Diego International Fringe Festival is its’ role to support, encourage, and facilitate producers, artists, presenters, venues, and businesses. The festival works to ensure that artists and all participants involved have the best possible experience. For independent artists, San Diego International Fringe Festival is an inspirational environment to showcase their work.

With more than 400 performances in an 11- day timeframe, shows vary from puppet shows, spoken word, singing, dancing, plays, and everything else once can imagine.  Fringe supports performing artists by letting them retain 100% of the ticket sales. This helps to give both local and global artists a platform to express and share their art, support their journey and make their dreams come true.

As part of the appeal to everyone, SDIFF will host a Family Fringe event in City Heights. At this event, performances and activities are geared toward youth and family and is completely free. Arts have become less prominent in school and federally defunded, and SDIFF has a strong commitment that now more than ever, it is important to involve, inspire, and include youth in the arts. Performing art is a valuable tool for youth to learn as it can help them cope and have a creative outlet later on in life.

San Diego International Fringe Festival will take place June 22-July 2, 2017, and will include new venues in Balboa Park in addition to those in the downtown area. Performances are $10 or less to attend. A $5 Fringe Tag is required to attend and can be purchased at the office in Horton Plaza Park.  75% of all performances feature local talent, with the 25% of talent traveling internationally from more than 7 countries to conduct performances.

The Emerging Fringe offers local high school students the opportunity to compete for a grand prize that includes a Fringe supported production during the year in a professional theatre space downtown.  The goal of this event is to empower high school kids to create, develop, and mount an original production of their choosing.  Each year, one high-achieving student whose creative, original production will be shared with the greater San Diego audience by utilizing the space and staffing resources available to the San Diego International Fringe Festival.

San Diego International Fringe Festival is a non-profit project of CONTACT ARTS, in association with the Actors Alliance of San Diego, designed to help provide a platform for artists while also helping the community as a whole. For more information visit http://www.sdfringe.org

 

By |2017-08-01T14:41:45+00:00June 6th, 2017|Featured NonProfit|Comments Off on San Diego Talent Abounds During the San Diego International Fringe Festival

Meet Casa de Amparo: Preventing Abuse and Neglect for At Risk Children and Foster Youth

Casa de Amparo, supports those affected by and at risk of child abuse and neglect through a range of programs and services that promote healing, growth and healthy relationships.

Corporate Giving Partnerships has had the privilege to place employee volunteers with this impactful San Diego County based organization; providing a wide range of programs to support those affected by these conditions, from prenatal to 25 years of age (and specifically those within the transitional age foster youth population).

Transitional age foster youth are a severely under-served population and without places like Casa de Amparo, most would transition out of foster care ill prepared for life and end up a statistic. The unfortunate reality is that 40% of children affected by child abuse and neglect will experience homelessness, only 50% complete high school or receive a GED and less than 50% are employed by age 24. In addition, 85% of these children experience mental health issues during childhood and into adulthood and have little to no resources for healthcare.

Casa de Amparo strives through both facility and treatment based programs to meet all of the everyday life needs to as many children and young adults as possible. The nonprofit organization is successful because of the help from the community and the countless volunteers and donors that support their efforts.

For foster teens that are pregnant or parenting, it can be difficult to find a stable or permanent placement as their own children are not considered foster children, making home placement a much harder option. To support these youth, Casa de Amparo offers a program called the “young parent network”. This program resides within their residential services program and addresses the needs of the pregnant and parenting youth who are struggling with the emotional, financial and personal demands of being a parent while being a foster child themselves. The goal of the program is to address trauma and increase health, safety, and the well-being of both children and families. Casa de Amparo is very proud to be the only provider of pregnant and parenting care in the San Diego County.

Corporate Giving Partnerships works with companies to identify meaningful volunteerism opportunities with nonprofit organizations such as and including Casa de Amparo. As a result we have seen the impact of what even one afternoon of time can mean to young lives.

Thank you to Cristin Wondergem for her contribution to our featured nonprofit organization of the month. We’re proud to present Casa de Amparo to our readers. To learn more about their programs, click here or watch their video on YouTube.

If are interested in learning more about employee volunteerism, please contact Corporate Giving Partnerships or if you are interested in getting involved and helping to support Casa Kids, please contact Celeste Leichliter at cleichliter@casadeamparo.org or at (760) 566-3553. Perhaps you or your company will consider one of the following:

  • Organize an In-Kind drive
  • Coordinate a Fundraiser
  • Volunteer/Teambuilding
  • One time activity like a sports event, BBQ, Crafts or parties, etc.
  • Host a drop off party:
    • Baby items for Pregnant & Parenting Casa Kids
    • Wine for special events
    • Gift wrapping supplies for holiday drives
By |2018-04-25T05:56:33+00:00January 4th, 2017|Featured NonProfit|Comments Off on Meet Casa de Amparo: Preventing Abuse and Neglect for At Risk Children and Foster Youth

Volunteers Help VE Global Change the Lives of Children at Risk

It’s another scorching December afternoon in Santiago, Chile and the air is thick with laughter and the thump thump of reggaeton music. A team of 20 kids plays a lively game of fútbol while 15 more stand on the sideline, cheering and swaying to the beat.

No bystander would ever know that these children have been removed from their own homes by the Chilean family court system due to abuse and neglect. Thanks to a non-profit organization called Voluntarios de la Esperanza (VE) Global, these kids have a million opportunities to play and a million more reasons to smile.

VE Global fosters the development of children at social risk in Chile by training and empowering volunteers to serve as positive role models, educators and advocates of social justice. VE has successfully integrated 450 full-time volunteers from 35 countries into a network of partner organizations. With an average on-the-ground presence of 15 full-time volunteers, VE provides more than 40,000 hours of volunteer support each year and serves over 200 children daily via after-school activities, homework help, and emotional guidance.

In addition to developing leadership and mentoring skills in their volunteers, VE also contributes programming and support to 14 local partner organizations that include children’s shelters, community centers, and schools in the most vulnerable neighborhoods of Santiago. VE touches the lives of children aged two to 12, adolescents aged 13-20, as well as pregnant and adolescent mothers and their babies.

Not only does VE host a health and wellness league (including regular fútbol matches!), they also offer a literacy program, art festival, and English lessons. These programs empower, educate, and motivate the children of Santiago so that they may become future role models and leaders.

With the support of companies like Corporate Giving Partnerships, VE works to build a global community that ensures equality of opportunity and social justice for all children.

Volunteering with VE is an opportunity to put your beliefs into action, create positive social change, and use your skills to help the children of Santiago sustainably. VE is always looking for qualified volunteers to join their January, May and September volunteer classes.

A special thanks to Isabella Trouw, from VE Global for this post. To learn how you may volunteer or donate to this nonprofit organization, please visit their website or Facebook page. To learn more about Corporate Giving Partnerships, please contact us.

By |2016-12-01T16:41:58+00:00December 1st, 2016|Featured NonProfit|Comments Off on Volunteers Help VE Global Change the Lives of Children at Risk