When it comes to kicking in for the community, Project DIVA puts hard work and selfless dedication where its mouth is.
The highly regarded grassroots initiative’s offshoot, Raiding a DIVA’S Closet, invaluable in aiding and empowering young inner-city ladies, last year put on a fashion show celebrating youth stepping to their next levels as they headed back to school.
This month, NLC Consulting hosts “Laugh 2 Learn,” with the proceeds going to benefit Project DIVA, the organization that has become an irreplaceable part of people’s lives.
Executive director Neda Kellogg reflects, “Our youth are facing a lot of adversity through police brutality, miseducation, and social media mayhem, and we all know that laughter is good for the soul. Laughter is a great [antidote] for stress, pain and conflict.”
Taking the stage at North High for this fine cause are K Jay the Comedian, Elliot Vreeland and Willie Lynch, Jr.. You can expect a family friendly evening, a welcome change from the all too typical vulgarity that routinely passes for humor. It’ll be a night in which performers respect the audience just the way Project DIVA respects the community.
Laughter indeed being good for soul, and laid back comedic ace K Jay the Comedian is great for the funny bone. K Jay the Comedian established a Twin Cities presence some years back, premiering his one-man show, “It’s Hard Being Tall” at the Minnesota Fringe Festival and hasn’t stopped since.
He’s brought his trademark topical hilarity to venues like Ace Comedy Club, Detroit Comedy Festival and more. You can catch him Mondays at 5 pm, co-hosting Man-Up with Bill Borea on Minneapolis Television Network’s Channel 17.
“It feels great to be able to help the community,” he said. “Neda asked me to be on the show, and I’ve done previous events with her before, plus I like her drive and determination to make a difference in young ladies’ lives through mentorship. We live in a society that can easily overlook the youth.”
Elliot Vreeland, a Minneapolis native, brings a personal point of reference to the event, as a single dad of three, pre-school teacher, and early literacy expert. Among his credits: winner of TC Last Comic Standing, appearing on KMOJ and opening for comedian Joe Torrey.
“I’m extremely excited and honored to be a part of an event supporting an organization designed to [help] young girls,” said Vreeland. “I love being a part of any event that supports our community but, being a single father of a 10-year-old girl, I see the importance of organizations like Project DIVA. I signed my daughter up for the program.”
He adds, “The life of a young girl is not an easy one but Project Diva is a program that is trying to help make it easier, and that is a program I proudly support and can’t wait to bring the laughter with tons of families who also see the importance in programs like this one.”
Willie Lynch, Jr. has been on Comedy Time and Bounce TV’s Off the Chain. All said, it’ll be a fine time courtesy of solid, professional funny men and Project DIVA.
Kellogg concludes, “Most of our kids are not taught to look at school as their training ground for life. We need to take time to mentally prepare our kids for school each year. We look forward to families coming out and celebrating our youth as we laugh, learn and celebrate another year of our youth growing.”
“Laugh 2 Learn” takes place Sunday, August 23 from 4-6pm at North High School in Minneapolis. Admission: $10. Go here for more info.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.