The event night of 1000 Drawings finally arrived on Thursday 19 November. All year long circles of talented people had been doodling, creating artworks to donate to exhibition night. We had spent six months finding the right location, sponsors and rallying guests. By Thursday 781 tickets had been issued, which was fabulous, but little did we expect an additional 1101 people to walk through the door. Neither did we foresee the howling gale blowing in Johannesburg that night. But in true Jozi-style, art, charity and party lovers just couldn't stay home.
From having nine Night Of A 1000 Drawings committee members at the beginning of 2015, to a dwindling couple of the die-hard pro bono Squad Team, we still managed to pull off (with our extraordinarily generous suppliers) an event which raised R120 000 and broke the record for a crowdfunded art exhibition in Johannesburg. At the heart of all the hard work was the commitment to helping raise funds for Streetlight Schools to enable them to open their Grade R and Grade 1 in 2016.
While we were excited about the exhibition and had used social media to spread the word, we didn't expect the queues of people who arrived at the old Transvaal Post Office; hungry for music, food and beer and art! While the new arrivals were being ticketed, live music and DJ’s played. Pop-up food trucks from The Bedford, StreEAT Cuisine and Vuyo’s were selling their delicious food from 18h30, something for all the hungry hordes. The craft beer stand from Leaky Tap proved a massive draw card for hops connoisseurs, designer brews from Coffee by Cupped helped ward off the cold and for those who needed something a little stronger, they got their fix from Molecular Bars.
All in all we received and hung about 4000 pieces of A5 artwork from all over Johannesburg, Nelspruit and even from Cape Town. Out of the doodles we received we sold around 800 pieces, each for R100. Some ardent supporters went home with entirely new art collections.
But behind the great attendance, camaraderie and sales were our seriously supportive suppliers: TechRig gave us technical help to the value of R68 000, T-shirts from Sharpie South Africa, bunting was sponsored by Charmaine Elliott at CME Decor Specialists, stationery came from Dalrod and furniture from Bunker. And that's the list before we even get to the entertainment!
We take our hats off to amazing the DJ's: Kid Fonque, DJ Lebza from YFM and DJ Ed Surreal for keeping the vibe going and donating their valuable time and talent. The crowds were also kept on their toes by live music from George Town, the Awesome4some and The Runaway Train Cult; all playing (in the rather uninviting weather) for the good of the cause.
While we're still processing some of the unexpected learnings (like the long queues and bad signal for the credit card machines) we could never have foreseen the amazing turn out. We're already strategising on how to make next year even bigger and better. Thank you one and all for all your contributions. When we received a message like this from Melanie Smuts, Founder and CEO of Streetlight Schools, it makes us feel like the challenges were all worthwhile:
"Congratulations on an amazing event! I think I speak for my whole team when I say we were completely floored: by the venue, the number of people, the great vibe and your incredible promotion of Streetlight Schools. We cannot thank you enough: it is completely humbling and wonderful to have been a part of such an amazing event."
Kelly McGillivray, Squad Leader