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Creative Partners Come Together to Celebrate

On January 17, ad agency Wieden+Kennedy (most famous for their work for Nike), and film company Laika (the creators of the film Coraline) got together with Caldera for a little party on Wieden+Kennedy’s 6th floor.  The reason? For professionals from both creative industries to meet each other — and Caldera folks — around the concept of supporting Caldera kids.

Travis Knight, Lourri Hammack and Suzanne Johnson of Laika surprised Dan Wieden and Tricia Snell of Caldera with the presentation of a $10,000 check to support Caldera’s work with underserved Oregon students. Not only that, they pledged to continue to share their animation skills with Caldera students, as part of Caldera’s Creative Industry Partner program.

Caldera conducts an ongoing Creative Industry Partner program that pairs designers of all kinds (from shoes to tea!), marketing and branding experts, and artists and creative craftspeople with Caldera youth. The program allows Caldera students to learn how their creative talents might translate into a career, to make important connections with creative professionals, and to develop their portfolios of work and ideas. The creative professionals are inspired by the kids’ already well developed skills, their fresh ideas, and their different perspectives on the world. It’s a rich exchange.

Because Caldera was founded by Dan Wieden, and our Portland headquarters are stationed in the W+K building, Caldera has collaborated in this way with Wieden+Kennedy for many years and in a wide variety of ways. Currently, W+K Creative Director Tyler Whisnand, Studio Designer Julie Dery, and Studio Manger Michael Frediani are working with Caldera kids to explore the concepts of branding and graphic design. Past collaborations with W+K staff have included Portfolio Design with Project Manager Jason Resch and T-Shirt Design and Screen Printing with Studio Screen Printer Walker Cahall.

Caldera’s collaboration with Laika began in 2008 when Lourri Hammack and Suzanne Johnson came out to Self Enhancenemnt (SEI), one of our partner schools, and fell in love with Caldera kids and staff. They went on to working with Caldera kids at SEI in 2009 in special animation workshops, and they also conducted an amazing weekend-length workshop for Caldera kids from all our ten partner schools. At the January 17 get-together, we showed a small sampling of animated shorts that Caldera kids created with Laika professionals.

We are deeply grateful for Laika’s continued support, with both their time and their significant $10,000/year donation to support our program. We would also like to thank Wieden +Kennedy for their continued deep support of our programs, and all our Creative Industry Partners, a sampling of which includes Nike, Ziba Design, Allied Works Architecture, tbd design, Steven Smith Teamaker, Sarabella Upcycled, Bunky Echo-Hawk, Denise Rowcroft/Lost & Found Art, and D’Wayne Edwards/Pensole.

At the January 17 party, we displayed work that Caldera kids produced in collaboration with various creative industries, discussed the creative industries partner program and served delicious hors d’oeuvres from Ping (care of John and Janet Jay), pinot noir from Patton Valley Wines (care of Dave Chen), and white wine from The Cellar Door (care of Karen Hinsdale), all donated by Caldera supporters. The event cooked up some new friendships and ideas as well as refreshed Caldera’s outlook on developing this excellent aspect of our youth programming.

If you are a creative professional in a creative industry, and think you could be a good pairing with Caldera kids, please contact me at Tricia.Snell@CalderaArts.org.

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