When I first heard of GLBL VLLG I was sharing a meal with a friend who showed me a video of one of their VLLG Jams. As I watched, I could feel the excitement overtaking my body because of the freedom and energy the participants were exuding. I knew I had to connect my students with them. I started investigating into the jam because I had some reservations about whether or not they were appropriate for high school students to attend. As I researched I came across a promotion for their inaugural festival called Manifest. It sounded great but I knew I had to attend an event first. I purchased tickets to Manifest and received a direct message from GLBL VLLG saying that if I wished to attend the Arts and Business Council awards ceremony for free I could as long as I participated with GLBL VLLG in being the entertainment for the evening. I agreed and my relationship with GLBL VLLG began.
When I arrived at the award ceremony I didn't know what to expect. When I entered I seen a bunch of people sitting on a rug getting ready to hype up the attendees. I was intrigued because the building we were in did not seem like the normal setting for shoe-less and shirtless people to be playing instruments and hyping up a crowd of people dressed in suits. I was excited to join and sat down and began participating. I immediately felt like I was part of their family. People were introducing themselves to me, everyone was nice, and people were genuinely interested in how I came to be there. After this event I attended my first VLLG Jam and witnessed the multi generational pull that GLBL VLLG possessed. Everyone was included and I felt the freedom that I witness in the video my friend showed me. I couldn't wait to get my students involved.
We organized with GLBL VLLG to volunteer for their inaugural festival coined Manifest. Manifest was to take place at the One Art Community Center located in West Philadelphia. My Students and I cleaned the space and met so many people in the process. My students could not believe that the venue was owned by a West Philadelphia couple who transformed the former trash dump into a community venue to bring people together.
The transformation of the space by all the volunteers was inspiring and it is something my students and I will never forget. We look forward to working with GLBL VLLG again and if you're interested in volunteering with them contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to learn more about GLBL VLLG listen to our podcast at the top of this page and be sure to check out the volunteer video below for some inspiration!