How Chemistry Creative, PSI, SenovvA, Pike Productions, & Digital Surgeons are Raising Awareness & Spreading Kindness to Their Communities
First, thank you all for continuing to read and support our Give Back Campaign! It’s been great to help showcase the wonderful people in the industry. It’s hard to believe we’re already on article 4 in our Give Back Series. In case you haven’t been following us before now, we are working hard to feature people across events and entertainment who are doing the right thing and helping out those in need just because it’s the right thing to do. Below are a few stories we’ve selected for this installment to highlight the fantastic things people are doing to stick together and contribute. Stay tuned for more as we continue the series every Tuesday and Thursday.
Chemistry Creative: The Writing on the Wall
Chemistry Creative is a minority-owned, integrated studio complex and experiential production company based in Brooklyn, NY. Their studios host a number of productions including boutique events, shoots for TV commercials, and music videos. Their experiential work ranges from intimate artist showcases to large corporate trade shows; brand activation pop-ups to global guerrilla marketing spectacles.
In 2019, the team at Chemistry was approached to work on a project called The Writing on the Wall, which was created with Dr. Baz Dresinger, Incarceration Nations Network, and acclaimed conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas Studios. The ongoing project was originally designed to bring social awareness to the dilemma of worldwide mass incarceration. The Writing on the Wall consisted of essays, poems, letters, stories, diagrams, and notes – both typed and handwritten by prisoners around the world—accrued by Dr. Dreisinger and her Prison-to-College Pipeline students during her years teaching in U.S. and international prisons.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the spotlight on civil rights caused a number of people to look harder at some of the systemic issues facing so many citizens in the United States. This breathed new life into the project. The Chemistry team quickly made a move, augmenting the existing format with projection as a physical element. The change to the original campaign design was done to support social distancing without diluting the experience. This shift actually increased exposure for the project and cause as a whole, in conjunction with Coronavirus outbreaks in facilities, further highlighting some of the issues with our prison system. Since the public at large was forced by stay-at-home orders to face confinement, many civilians started to understand and appreciate the mental toll that it takes as well.
The newest iteration of the project has included projections of these written pieces animated onto various justice buildings throughout the country. It has toured NYC and Washington D.C. thus far and started in Ohio on June 19th and Mexico City starting June 28th. They have also partnered with a few drive-in movie theaters to showcase the campaign.
The project has been covered by multiple publications thus far, including The Marshall Project, and Artnet News. These efforts ultimately aim to create awareness about mass incarceration and to galvanize grassroots efforts toward prison reimagining and justice reform.
Production Service Industries: Celebrating Frontline Workers with the ‘Light of Hope’
PSI is a specialty audio visual company based in St. Catharines, Ontario who, for over 20 years, have been supporting clients with events such as galas, conferences, trade shows, press conferences, concerts and fundraisers.
In early May when some of their key clients were dormant and their events canceled, PSI partnered with Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games to offer a tribute to frontline workers and a symbol of hope using some of their lighting fixtures that could be seen as far as 10 kilometers, or a little over 6 miles away. PSI crew members volunteered their time and PSI donated the equipment for the ‘Light Of Hope’ and toured it through each of the 12 municipalities that make up the Niagara Region, stopping first at the Regional headquarters to make it a 13 date tour. Videos from each night are hosted on their YouTube channel here.
Every night before the illumination, the Mayor of each municipality would visit the site and offer some words of gratitude for frontline workers and encouragement for residents. They received overwhelming support for the effort and heard from so many people over the course of the Light of Hope tour that just when things seemed to be darkest, the light that shone into the night sky offered a reminder that things would get better.
Working with their partners at the Canada Games on this project a year ahead of the games was a great way to build their relationship, and meeting everyone at the various municipalities was a wonderful way to support and get to know their communities even better.
SenovvA: Helping out with Meal and PPE Donation Campaigns
SenovvA is a design and management group offering services to the entertainment, special event, architectural/construction, and media services industries based in Los Angeles, California.
When events started canceling due to COVID-19, their office in Toronto decided to get to work on two separate initiatives to help give back to their community. Their first initiative was producing a shoot of frontline workers at Union Villa Long Term Care Centre to support a PPE donation campaign when the facility was running short on supplies. The campaign was extremely successful, and the facility received what they needed to keep their staff and patients safe. The second initiative was providing time, transportation, and volunteers for a food drop to long term care residents in partnership with McDonalds, who donated the meals.
Pike Productions: DJ Live Streaming and Temperature Check Kiosks
Pike Productions is a production company based in Washington, D.C. with over 20 years of experience in supporting corporate meetings, weddings, special events and social celebrations for a diverse collection of companies, nonprofits, associations, and just great people.
Right from the start of the shutdown, the Pike team asked themselves what they could be doing to help out during this time of desperation. They already offered virtual event solutions and happen to have one of DC’s best event DJs on staff. So, they decided to host a Live DJ Stream to entertain their community. They set up all the necessary gear at DJ Zach’s house, and went live every Thursday so people could tune in and enjoy some great music from the convenience of their homes over the course of 10 weeks. Because the series was a huge hit, they decided to start listing and recognizing different industry vendors on the show to provide them some exposure. They’re also in the process of working with a few area businesses to produce the DJ Live Stream from their venues so people can see what their spaces would look like for virtual/hybrid events. If you’d like to take a look, you can find the series on their website here.
As a way to help when live events do start up again, the Pike Productions leadership team also started the company www.temperaturecheck.com to provide accurate, contactless temperature checking kiosks. They created a rental system tailored for the event industry and are partnering with venues in the Maryland/DC/Virginia market. They will be able to encourage their clients to utilize the services of Temperature Check to give their guests a First Line of Prevention against the spread of germs.
Pike Productions is committed to doing what they can to make sure everyone in the event industry survive this difficult time, and they will do what they can to help people stick together and lift each other up.
Digital Surgeons: Uniting Donors with Programs to Make a Difference
Digital Surgeons is a creative consultancy with offices in Connecticut and New York City that helps brands spark and design new opportunities for growth.
When the pandemic hit the U.S. and the economy and individuals started to struggle, they took action to make sure those who wanted to provide assistance had the right resources to make a difference. They assisted the office of the governor in building and launching the 4-CT initiative (Connecticut COVID-19 Charity Connection) as a mechanism to help the state unite donors with programs that could help make an immediate impact.
As a consultancy that’s focused on using their creativity to drive business innovation, they also wanted to play an even more direct role on their home state. Digital Surgeons offered themselves up to each major city’s economic development with pro-bono virtual Design Thinking workshops to help facilitate discussion and idea generation focused on helping them kickstart their business ecosystems following the pandemic.
Beyond that, they’ve also extended their insight and innovation toolkit to entrepreneurs and small business owners in the format of a free webinar to help them build a roadmap for pivoting and growing their businesses in the face of everything impacting them. Take a look at some of their content here.