By Tasmain Warren, Rotaract Club of Manhattan New York City, New York, USA
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, our Rotaract club realized the need to stay connected more than ever. We switched to an online platform and started brainstorming ways that we could fight the feelings of isolation that were building up because of social distancing. That’s when we decided to hold a virtual art and wine event as a fundraiser.
“The Wine, Art & Rotaract event” was our take on the common painting party where guests follow step by step instructions from a professional artist in creating a painting. Only ours had a virtual twist.
Instead of providing guests with the necessary art supplies in person, we encouraged our online guests to be creative about their choice of materials – from paper to T-shirts, to canvas. The same rule applied to mediums, with participants deciding to use paint, crayons, or even makeup. The limit was one’s own imagination.
Our club provided the music and an online art instructor, who led participants through the process of creating a painting. Participants supplied their own beverage at home. We were determined to engage members of other Rotaract clubs, Rotary members, and guests for a night of fun.
I must say we were not sure how the event would turn out considering the fact we had never done a virtual event before. But embracing the challenge, we were pleasantly surprised with the results. We had guests sign up and pay a registration fee from all over our district and beyond. We mingled with other Rotaractors, Rotarians, and guests, and shared some laughs at our different levels of artistic talent.
The event opened our eyes to the ability to serve our community and still have fun, all within the restraints of social distancing. The money we raised will support our upcoming community service projects including distributing food to frontline healthcare workers, and making and distributing personal protective equipment.
We look forward to many more creative and innovative events as we embrace our new world.