Seven Years and Counting… A Reflection of Red Room’s 7th Anniversary
I remember walking into Red Room’s 7th Anniversary not knowing what to expect. Having sat in the planning meetings, it was hard to visualize when Manav was saying something about a tent, and vendors, and graffiti art, and how it would all come together in a big, beautiful ball of awesomeness.
My words, not his, by the way.
How was this going to work?
I have the answer to that question now. Have faith, because when you love something as much as we love Red Room, all things are possible.
There are so many memories from that night on November 19, and shortly afterwards. There were the incredible graffiti art that greeted all who entered the festivities, created by the amazing PowWow Taiwan artists and others. My son Preston in particular loved the one with the panther. There was the way everything came together for Stage Time and Juice and the magical “Jack and the Beanstalk” collaboration with R4. It was so great to see the young performers throw themselves into the story and the sound effects, and even better, the audience could feel the enthusiasm. I have a feeling there will be more collaborations in the future. Maybe someone in the audience will go from sitting out there, and onto the stage.
My son Preston was especially enthralled by the magicians.
I spent a good deal of my time inside the Red Room space acting as a bit of a “gatekeeper,” if you will. Since the space was open, someone should be up there to answer questions, provide company for anyone that needed a break from the heat and the fun stuff outdoors, and to keep an eye on things. I walked around and gazed at the pictures of Red Room’s past. I’m only a drop in the bucket of Red Room’s history, only two years, but I hope I’ve made my mark here. So many people have in the most magical and unexpected ways.
In light of the swirl of negative energy that is engulfing our world from many places, I started a Wall of Love within the Red Room space. I got this idea from an article I read about a man in New York City who set out a table with Post-It notes and pens. He invited people to write notes of love, encouragement, and positive energy to anyone they wished and post the notes up on the walls of the New York subway system.
So, I set out markers, paper, and pens, and invited people to pen their own messages of love and hope, in any language and in any form they wished. I was happy to see a few people do that and add it to the exhibit within the Red Room space.
I think what I can take away from the Red Room 7th Anniversary is that over the last seven years, Red Room is more than just a space. It’s a home. It’s a work of art and heart. It’s the people that have come and go through the years. It’s the energy that courses through the people and space with every art installation, every piece of music played, every piece of literature read, and every smile on someone’s face. It’s the hugs. It’s the support.
It’s the love that crosses language, culture, and that affects us in ways that suffuse our whole being.
That is Red Room, for the past 7 years. And no matter how much it grows, I hope that’s one thing that never changes.
By Whitney Zahar
Editor and Librarian