So Kyle and I just moved in together; Palms (near Culver City) to be exact. We had our first movie night last night and stumbled upon I Am (2011 film) on Netflix. Anybody else seen this documentary? With interviews & quotes from great thinkers of this world (Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, & the Dalai Lama to name a few), at the very least it’s a perspective-widening 78 minutes. It was yet again another sign that this community is on to something real, and what we’ve achieved/will achieve together has/will made/make this world better. All of our talents, love, and positive energy here helped (even if just for a little) make the lives of the homeless better, our relationships stronger, Friday nights more fun, and Camp Eayikes a reality. It’s been an honor to serve you all, and this is a little message to let y’all know WE STILL OUT HERE! I know it’s been quiet on the Donut front as of late, but you’re in our thoughts and we’re patiently waiting for the next chapter to begin. In the meantime, please head on over to http://igg.me/at/Eayikes/x/2806516, watch the video, give the campaign a read, and send some love to Ray & the crew. Peace be the journey friends! <3
Do me a favor and glance at the calendar. Did you know we’re 4 months away from 2014? Don’t know about you but I got caught by surprise. Time is a flyin’!
Now, recall your 2013 resolutions. How have you fared in those commitments? Great? Not so good? Well, maybe you’re the “today is a new day” type or a "I’m waiting for January 1" kind of person, but in any case, a recent post I saw got me to remember how important it is to focus on the bright side. I could be wrong, but I’d bet that not very many people can say they are exactly where they want to be, have what they want to have, or are who they want to be. If you are one of those people, holler back and share with us what it’s like to be on the other side! For the rest of us though, to echo Andrew Truong, let’s "take a breather and realize what we have".
I could go on listing off everything I’m grateful to have, but today I want to focus on one: living in an environment that allows me the freedom and provides me the resources to be creative. I define creativity as the ability to create something tangible out of a thought, idea, or vision. To me this encompasses everything, from choreographed dancing, sharing stories through media, planning an event, creating a resume… I would even go as far as saying the process of getting a new car is creative; translating that desire into hard work at the job, frugal spending, saved money, and eventually playing with the power windows and blasting your favorite tune down the 405.
I’d like to take this time to be thankful and recognize those who are helping keep the creative environment alive in my world. From newsfeed posts to face-to-face conversations, every little bit keeps me connected and thinking, not just following. In the twitter words of the homie DJ Miles, "What’s the opposite of inspire? To expire." Thanks to the following folks who keep me alive and thriving through their creativity. Here are my favorites thus far from this year:
12Footprints - For young professionals to network with like-minded individuals while giving back to the community!
Eayikes - Empowering youth through arts, mentorship, and child-like wonder!
The Nectar Collective - Spreading positivity, creativity, and a sense of adventure!
Wishing everybody a prosperous 4 months as we venture into 2014. Keep on keepin’ on!
If I had to choose one word to summarize the journey that putting this event together was, it’d be resonance. We ventured into lots of new territory with this event, lots of unknown variables to say the least. For starters, this was our first LA nightlife event. Finding the right venue for our community was the first challenge.
As a space for the Burning Man/Do-Lab community, King King possesses a beautiful energy. I felt the purpose of our event had a chance of resonating with them, so I cold-emailed, got a reply, set-up a meeting, requested a half-day from work, and off I went to Hollywood on a Friday afternoon in May. 30 minutes and a handshake later, it was on!
Finding talent was the next hurdle. To achieve the type of vibe we envisioned with our limited budget, we had to put the mission out there and remain diligent. Weeks went by, e-mails, tweets, and proposals went unanswered, but after putting the cause and our hearts out there those who resonated with us confirmed, and 10 days before the event we locked the lineup down. From there we had the talented 12FV put together another awesome flyer and it was time to spread the love!
Another challenge was creating that child-like wonder. We believe a little silliness is always a good thing. It combats the “too cool” attitude and creates an environment where people can express themselves freely, with no judging vibes. This is where the hand-crafted hats, bowties, and butt spelling group activity came in! Being in Hollywood however gave us some doubts. Would our guests resonate? Do people just want to party, or participate as well? Even with these questions, it was important that we stayed true to what we wanted to create and not what we thought others would think, and man am I happy I saw the crowd spelling E’s (for Eayikes!) to the beat of Bubble Butt.
Lastly, selling tickets… what a beast! After all the phone calls, text messages, changing of Facebook profile pictures, tweeting & retweeting… Saturday came and we had only sold 89 pre-sale tickets. Rough! But despite the feelings of anxiety and concern, I think we all knew we spread the word to our best abilities, so all that was left was to keep the faith. The night began, guests trickled in, and before I knew it the venue was 75% full (~230 people) of folks down for the cause, resonating with the event and each other!
At the end of the night, the smiles on everyone’s faces were beautiful, we raised our goal of roughly $2,500 for the summer camp, and I felt a whole mess of emotions. After some reflecting, I’m still so humbled by the support of the community, grateful to be in this position to serve y’all, and proud of the crew. Cheers and thanks to everybody, from the artists to the bartenders, guests to volunteers, who took part in making Camp Eayikes happen!! Let’s keep it moving <3
It started with wanting to connect with the community and build out with them. I emailed the principal at Beach High School, a classified continuation high school in Long Beach, about coming in to their classes to teach them Roadtrip Nation curriculum.
I figured since it was out of the blue he wouldn’t give it much thought, but he replied quickly and set up a meeting. I explained to him my passion for working with young folks, and really wanting to advocate for them and mentor them. He offered me two periods a week, and off I went to connect and to learn.
The first class I came to, I had the jitters, as I saw it as an opportunity to truly connect and make some sort of difference on the ground. But even with the jitters I wasn’t going to appeal to them cheaply and win their approval or try and assert some sort of dominance that wasn’t me.
I wanted to speak to them with a respect, a sincerity, and a realness befitting my peers. I saw them as that. I asked to be a part their class with them and offer anything from my experience or knowledge that could help them. As much as I was willing to teach, I was doubly willing to learn from them.
Now, two months later, I am so thankful to them. Thankful to them for keeping it real with me, trusting me, teaching me, and most of all inspiring me. Their stories and experiences put most of our first world problems to shame. Granted they are growing young minds and due of course to make some mistakes, but they’ve handled their situations bravely and with grace. They’ve been through a gamut of trials that demand the mindset, maturity and wisdom of people twice their age, and to deem them different, at risk, or to count them out, would be foolish. Whether it’s drugs, gangs, poverty, or troubled family lives, these young people strive, these young people want someone to believe in them, these young people dream. These young people are also still kids who need to be given the chance to be just that. They need positive examples to mentor and support them, free from judgment and full of love and praise. We need to be that. Cause for every question we have about how to help them and how to reach them, they have the answer. We just need to be willing to listen and learn. They are the answer.
It’s been a little while since we last posted, we have been doing some behind-the-scenes ground work for our community and future projects. We want to make sure our vision is clear before we embark on this journey, and want to be able to share that with all of you. We were very happy with how our first year of events went, and now it’s time to keep our feet moving!
As we briefly mentioned before, we are super excited for our next event this weekend at the LA Brewery Art Walk. The bi-annual LA Art Walk at The Brewery in downtown hosts over 100 art, music, and tech showcases at the world’s largest artist-in-residence complex. Centered around the infamous Brewery formerly owned by Pabst, the two-day event will bring in thousands of people to enjoy the arts, food, drinks, and good vibes.
We have a bunch of great artists coming out to showcase their work this weekend, including graphic designers, photographers, DJ’s, pop-up vendors, and a live band.
There is also some great news we would like to share with you about the future of The Donuts, so come join us as we create a space for great people in our community to share their arts!
Check out full event info and artist lineup HERE.
… and as always, free donuts :)
As we continue on with Jelly-Filled Fridays, reaching out to like-minded striving & starving artists is so important to us. Paying it forward to good peoples pursuing creative paths is why we began this event, and we feel blessed to even be in this position to facilitate these positive experiences. So cheers to you for helping us keep this going, and here’s what we created this month to thank you :D
So for October, we’re stoked to be collaborating with electronic music blog SoundLogik. We’re calling it the “Two Party System” as a nod to the upcoming elections, but mainly to recognize the coming together of two creative communities to produce one awesome experience. The best part about this is we get to host some of the artists out of their community! First, let us introduce Mr.Y:
This dude, as you can see, blends the arts of beatboxing, producing, and mixing to create an incredible live music experience. Every piece of sound is organic, with little to no effects, making what he does not only damn unique, but really effing difficult!! It’s with great excitement we’ll be hosting him in the basement, starting at 10pm.
Mr.Y - thisisMrY EP
DJ duo MathMatix are coming out of San Diego with a fresh taste on BASS. After listening to their latest original production, Bass Division, we’re finding it hard to believe they just got on the scene in 2012. These guys definitely have a bright future ahead of them, and we’re just happy to be a stop along their journey. Check them headlining the mainroom from 12-2am!!
And the night wouldn’t be complete without your residents, the Groove Monsters. They’ll be on the decks in the mainroom, so get them dancing shoes ready and get ready to sweat. Check them out from 10pm-midnight!
As for art, some of our best Jelly-Filled Friday memories have been the amazing exhibits we’ve been able to feature in our “Basement Series”. This week we have an exhibit called “Safe Travels”, a three-week photo journey through Europe by 3 of our good friends.
"We journeyed all throughout Europe for fun, the views, the landscape, and the pictures. We skipped around to Iceland, Spain, Morocco, Switzerland, Italy, and Turkey, and came back with a plethora of photographs to share. Traveling has mostly changed us for the better, but we also got a speeding ticket in Iceland and duped into Moroccan carpet." -12fv
Here’s the Facebook event, come out come out old and new faces! This Friday is gonna be a good one. We hope to see you there <3