Beyond all the construction beyond Javier’s and even past Allie Beth Allman’s headquarters, the valets were lined up in front of what looked like rental storage units on Wednesday, May 4.
But as Claire and Dwight Emanuelson emerged from the lead unit, it became obvious this wasn’t your mama’s rental. It was Talley Dunn Gallery and in addition to the professional exhibitions, it was showcasing hundreds of very unique artwork that was for the taking.
So, as the Emanuelsons headed to a friend’s party and a lacrosse game, the crowd inside was checking out the OMG handiwork of Young Women’s Preparatory Network students on display at Talley Dunn Gallery. It was all a part of the YWPN’s “Respect Starts Here — Listen, Learn and Act” program that was kicked off last fall to promote empathy and equity through education.
With Natasha Bowdoin‘s “Spelboken” serving as a backdrop, YWPN CEO Lynn McBee welcomed guests including Joyce and Larry Lacerte, Roxann Vyazmensky, Margaret Keliher, Maria Johnson, Sally Posey, Jin-Ya Huang with Lan Vovk, Pam Johnson and Kelsie Johnson, Beth Thoele and DISD Board Member Bernadette Nutall, who said, “Respect Starts Here is important because developing leadership skills in economically-disadvantaged students who are starting off against the odds can help them to become proactive in dealing with issues that might detail their education. This program also embodies our three pillars of leadership, college readiness and health/wellness. We can’t wait to have our student leaders and faculty train our other network schools!”
Lynn then turned the mic over to YWPN Development Director Patty Leyendecker, who said, “Young Women’s Preparatory Network hired social justice organizations such as Journeyman Ink, Border Crossers and 29 Pieces to develop our program with best practices and to ensure our programming is intentional and effective in this goal. We also hired Diana O’Connor, who is passionate about this issue ans whose day job is the Irma Rangel librarian, to develop and implement our curriculum. The artwork you see tonight is part of a collaboration with 29 Pieces.”
After pointing out staffers and donors, Patty returned the mic to Lynn, who encouraged guests to “take on pieces that spoke to them and consider making a donation to the program as YWPN rolls it out to two more network schools.”