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#MeaningfulMonday - Meet Nicole, Mikaela, Carmiya, and Izzy with Evanston Black-Owned Businesses Fundraiser!

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These Illinois high-schoolers put on a night of performances to raise $9,000 for Black-owned businesses in their community.

#MeaningfulMonday - Meet Nicole, Mikaela, Carmiya, and Izzy with Evanston Black-Owned Businesses Fundraiser!

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, we're featuring high school and college students that are giving back to their communities through the arts as part of #MeaningfulMonday!

Meet Nicole, Mikaela, Carmiya, and Izzy, students from Evanston Township High School in Illinois, helping out the Black Lives Matter movement with Evanston Black-Owned Businesses!

Want your work to be recognized? Want to shout out the charity/foundation you're proud of? Fill out the form HERE to be featured on BroadwayWorld!


What are you focusing on with Evanston Black-Owned Businesses?

We chose to focus on multiple struggling Black-owned local businesses that could benefit from our donations, along with more widespread causes affiliated with the BLM movement online. We made this decision because we believe putting a local focus on our community can make the biggest impact and we want to give back to those who don't receive enough credit for all the positivity they add to the community.

#MeaningfulMonday - Meet Nicole, Mikaela, Carmiya, and Izzy with Evanston Black-Owned Businesses Fundraiser!How did you get involved?

Carmiya, along with a friend of hers, thought of the idea to create a socially distant performance fundraising for various BLM organizations. The idea was to help the movement by raising money, but also to bring the community together through multiple forms of art at an overwhelming time. After figuring out that it would take a massive amount of work prior to the event, Carmiya brought in Mika, Nikki, and Izzy to help organize. With about one week prior to the event, the four organizers spent countless hours meeting over Zoom or in backyards to prepare for the performance on June 8th.

#MeaningfulMonday - Meet Nicole, Mikaela, Carmiya, and Izzy with Evanston Black-Owned Businesses Fundraiser!What inspired you to join this opportunity?

We were inclined to take on this challenging opportunity because we all agreed that a great way to make a positive difference in our community was to take action, and our way of action is through the arts. The four of us met through our high school musical sketch comedy show: YAMO in our freshman year, so it helped that we shared the value of theatre, singing, dancing, and other types of performing or visual arts.

#MeaningfulMonday - Meet Nicole, Mikaela, Carmiya, and Izzy with Evanston Black-Owned Businesses Fundraiser!Share a fond memory from the performance!

The whole night was an unforgettable memory, but one specifically special moment was when we closed the evening singing We Shall Overcome led by Carmiya, kneeling and masked. Although only one event happened so far, we all look back feeling extremely proud of what we accomplished that evening. We brought together an estimated amount of over 500 people in a safe manner and raised over $9,000 through donations only. In addition, we left the community with a night of unity through dancing, singing, acting, spoken word, and more, not to mention vendors selling their art/baked goods to donate their proceeds to BLM organizations. A huge worry was accomplishing this during COVID-19, but we strategically set up socially distanced markers for audience members in the park and everyone politely wore masks to protect each other. Doing this for the community will be an unforgettable experience for us all, and we agree that our team work and countless hours of planning made it possible, including the hard work of our performers, vendors, and other volunteers. We are all learning and growing together in this time, and we want to do our part in this movement.

#MeaningfulMonday - Meet Nicole, Mikaela, Carmiya, and Izzy with Evanston Black-Owned Businesses Fundraiser!How did you hold the event during the pandemic?

The event took place at a park located in Evanston with socially distanced spots and masks. In addition we live streamed the event for those who could not make it.

What are your plans for the future?

So far we only put together one event in June, but we sincerely look to plan more events in the future and keep this momentum going.

What does giving back mean to you?

Giving back means recognizing what you can do to help others in your community and taking action. In this case it means giving back to the black artists, individuals, and businesses that work tirelessly to better our Evanston community. Too often they are undervalued for all they bring to make the community what it is.

#MeaningfulMonday - Meet Nicole, Mikaela, Carmiya, and Izzy with Evanston Black-Owned Businesses Fundraiser!What does performing arts mean to you?

The performing arts is a form of expression that impacts a live audience through storytelling in different ways. Something that makes the performing arts specifically special is that performers are vulnerable on stage, creating an unmatched excitement for the audience and a crucial way to create activism.


Are you a high school or college student involved in arts-related charity work? Want our readers to learn more about the foundation/charity you're doing work with? Share your story with us and you'll be featured on BroadwayWorld!

Fill out the form HERE to be featured on BroadwayWorld!



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