Life goals are often bigger and more complex than any magazine clippings or drawings on a vision board could ever represent. That’s why Traci Buckner and Dreama Whitfield collaborated to create DreamUP, a series of art classes for women to help physically manifest the visions and goals they have in their lives.
2016 Knight Arts Challenge winner DreamUP was awarded $20,000 to bring these programs to life. However, in order to get the money from the Knight Foundation, Buckner and Whitfield must raise funds to match the award.
“We plan to bring different women together who share some commonalities,” Buckner said. “Oftentimes we focus on our differences, but when you peel back the layers, you really have more in common than you think.”
Each class will be taught by an art teacher from the area, and Whitfield and Buckner hope the finished product will be a reminder of the goal each woman set and how they plan to achieve it, or how they’ve achieved it already. At the end of a series of five classes, DreamUP will host an art show with all the women’s pieces to showcase their talent.
“We want to uplift women who participate, but also uplift women artist entrepreneurs to share their talents with others,” Buckner said.
“We also want to stimulate conversation between these women,” Whitfield added. “Akron is very diverse, and we want the women to understand that, even though they are different, they share a lot of commonalities.”
Both Buckner and Whitfield consider themselves artists in different ways. Buckner, a Program Officer at the GAR Foundation, gets artsy with homemade jewelry and greeting cards. Whitfield, a Career Pathway Specialist and licensed therapist at Akron City Schools considers herself a cognitive artist.
“I am good at visualizing for myself and helping others visualize,” Whitfield said. “I can spark creativity using my gift cognitively, and Traci can use her abilities to make that vision 3-D.”
To help raise the remaining 30 percent of the funds, Whitfield and Buckner hosted a fundraiser at 5:30 pm on November 18 at Gavin Scott Salon. Tickets provided access to several salon services, as well as appetizers, drinks, art and music. Learn more about future events at facebook.com/DreamTheVision.
Whitfield and Buckner shared this advice for future Knight Arts Challenge applicants: “You have to have perseverance, and it has to be something you believe in. It takes a lot of work and passion that you have to stick with.”
//To connect with DreamUP, check out their website at dreamthevision.com. To donate, visit ioby.org/project/dreamup-project.
Megan’s life goal masterpiece is forming in her belly as we speak. Lincoln Elliott will be here in February.