Usher’s New Look is passionate about helping our disconnected youth find their own “spark.” With the help of S.T.E.A.M., UNL has created individual Labs for students to learn, work and grow within to help find a career path derived from their passion.
From the UNL Cafe, where students can “create, taste and test new culinary creations,” to the Game Loft, where students are able to design and test games and apps. Studio B4 is a digital creator’s dream with visual storytelling and working with online media hubs, while the Spark Tank allows for “testing new concepts, contemplating issues an developing culturally relevant solutions.” The last Spark Lab, The Hangar, is the ultimate training space “for UNL Academy classes, Music 101 classes, ACT/SAT prep, speakers, tutoring, mentoring, and poetry slams.” With each Lab, students have progressed as individuals, in their classes and in their families- some being the first to attend and complete education at a university level.
Hosted at The Stave Room at American Spirit Works, the purpose of Usher’s New Look “The Start The Spark Experience Gala” was to allow sponsors and followers to explore these Labs on a personal level.
Guests began their night at Registration where large, custom signage and branded bars atop blue carpet allowed guests to obtain their credential badges. Lanterns and glow orbs guided attendees up the stairs towards the entrance down a blue carpeted aisle. A peg-board displayed color-coordinated bracelets for guests to choose their “Spark” based on S.T.E.A.M.
Once inside the breezeway entrance, an LED step & repeat provided a photo op for media and guests to have a red carpet entrance atop more blue carpet. Our favorite ice cream entrepreneur, Lil Ice Cream Dude, set up his cart, sold ice cream and told his story throughout the night. Studio B4, complete with camera and green screen, held a home base at the end of the breezeway.
The main space opened up with a custom GOBO and 6′ 3D letters of UNL. A 4-side peg-board “What’s Your Spark?” wall created a central point for attendees to share their “spark” for guests to see and chat about. Food stations and the remaining Spark Labs lined the perimeter of the room, captivating guests throughout the night.
The main event began with a countdown video leading up to a unique performance of UNL Students presenting their own song and dance they created while at UNL. Throughout the program, guests enjoyed a keynote from Simon Sinek, TED Talks speaker and author, and a live auction! Two disruptivator awards were presented that night and the night closed with another dance from the students, this time in LED shoes, shirts and gloves!
Venue: The Stave Room
AV: Magnum Co
Caterer: Dennis Dean Catering
Chalkboard Artist: Kate Turner Studio
Florals: Chelsea Floral Design
Rentals: AFR Event Furnishings, Chelsea Floral Design, Peachtree Tents & Events & Monte Carlo Productions
Signage: The Special Projects Group
Photography: Bowtie Photos, Donna Permell & PWP Studio