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Common Grounds Hosting 100cameras Benefit: How Art Is Changing the World

By Lindsey Kay Hurtt

Common Grounds, Waco’s locally owned coffee shop, is partnering with non-profit organizations to make a greater impact on the community than being merely a caffeine source for Baylor students. Common Grounds uses its location, convenient to campus, and spacious backyard to host benefit concerts and other events that will hopefully attract of number of Baylor students, as well as individuals from the greater Waco community and beyond.

One such benefit concert will take place Saturday, March 26, to raise support for 100cameras, a non-profit organization that equips children who are living in poverty with cameras and photography classes.

“A camera makes an immediate translation in the interpretation of a child’s environment,” said Fort Worth senior Elle Wildhagen, an intern for 100cameras and the orchestrator behind the 100cameras benefit concert. “If they see something a certain way, they don’t have to worry about being able to draw it well in order to be able to convey it to an audience. They can shoot it how they see it.”

100cameras identifies communities in need and works with the non-profits already working in the area to identify the specific children who are the most in need and could benefit from the program. 100cameras has worked in communities in Sudan and the Lower East Side of New York City and will soon begin working with communities in Cuba.

“100cameras enrolls children in photography classes with an emphasis on documentation. It’s not just giving them a camera. It’s teaching them how to create art and learn a skill, which establishes a more sustainable way of producing art,” Wildhagen said.

Prints of the pictures taken by the children are sold online, and 100% of the proceeds goes back to the children and the communities they live in. “Art is serving as the medium to enable the children, so that they see they are people who can produce things of value,” Wildhagen said.

The benefit concert at Common Grounds will raise awareness and funds for the 100cameras mission, as well as give people the chance to view examples of the children’s work. There will be an art exhibit displaying prints of the artwork, and attendees will have the opportunity to order prints, which will then be mailed to them directly. The outdoor music festival begins at 11 a.m. and will feature ten to fifteen performing bands. Hijo del Rio, Lomelda, and Bioradwulf will headline the event.

“It’s been really cool to see all of the artists who are willing to support 100cameras with their musical talent. It’s creating a louder voice than I would be able to if I just had an art exhibit by myself,” Wildhagen said. The event ends at 9:30 p.m., and tickets for the all-day event are $5.

If you are interested, please visit the 100cameras website for more information on how you can help.

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