By Liz Hitchcock
The nonprofit organization 100cameras is putting on an all-day music festival on March 26 at Common Grounds with the help of a Baylor student who is working as an intern for the company.
Viewing the world through a different lens can help people see life unfiltered.
100cameras gives cameras to children in areas of the world where people are treated unjustly or live in poverty to document life the way they see it. The children are enrolled in photography courses that focus mainly on documentation.
“We are actually enabling them to learn a skill, document their lives and identify art in their surroundings,” said Elle Wildhagen, a Fort Worth senior.
After the photos from these children are developed, the prints are sold, raising money and awareness.
The money made from the sales are given back to the children and the community through other organizations that are working in that area.
“We have completed two projects to date. One was in Sudan and one was in New York City,” said Angela Bullock, 100cameras’ director of public relations.
Wildhagen discovered the organization through a friend that visiting New York City who had met one of the four co-founders of 100cameras.
“What initially drew me to 100cameras is they’re having children be aware of their environment and interpret it and then immediately express it and share it with their community,” Wildhagen said.
After contacting 100cameras, Wildhagen asked to be given a chance to intern with the company and done so since September 2010.
She works as a creative specialist, designing posters, using Photoshop, updating 100cameras’ Facebook page and posting to the organizations’ blog.
“It’s kind of a lot of public relations stuff,” Wildhagen said “Some graphic design work also. They give me a lot of little illustrative things on the side.”
Since the four co-founders of 100cameras are located in New York City and each have jobs aside from the organization, Wildhagen is organizing the event by herself.
“She came up with the idea of a music festival completely on her own and pitched it to our staff. … We were very up-front with her at the time,” Bullock said.
“We probably couldn’t be as hands-on as we would be if it were in New York or if we were able to attend it. But that didn’t hold her back at all. She completely ran with it.”
With the help of Jaxon Willis, the music marketing manager of Common Grounds, Wildhagen is planning this festival to be an all-day music and art exhibition. Prints of the children’s photography will be hung at Common Grounds for visitors to view and then purchase later online.
“Elle pretty much launched it on her own,” Bullock said. “She found the partner with Common Grounds and is working with all of the artists to book the musicians for the day.”
Wildhagen said there will be no limits on the type of music that will be played at the concert, as long as the musicians all understand that it is volunteer work and they are all there for the overarching cause of the organization.
“There’s no specific genre of music that is going to be played,” Willis said, “Every musical style, pretty much that you can think of, is going to be catered to.”
So far, Wildhagen and Willis have booked 15 bands to play at the concert, but there is room for about five more, said Wildhagen.
“The even is a come-and-go,” Willis said of the event which has a $5 entry fee for the day. “It’s going to be a really positive thing that will benefit the community as much as it benefits the children.”
Both Wildhagen and Willis say the festival will benefit more than the children that 100cameras provides for, but it will also be extremely beneficial to the community in general, bringing people together for one cause.
“Previous festivals that we have done in the past have really pushed the community together… Events as such this kind of bring everyone together so we can all put aside our differences and get to know everyone. I think this is the first thing to do to change the community and then change the world.”
Local bands interested in joining the festival are welcomed to contact Wildhagen at firstname.lastname@example.org, even if they would just like to play for one song.