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Posted May 2, 2011

Free Spirit Media celebrates 10 years

When we started brainstorming about themes and design for Free Spirit Media's 10th Anniversary Gala materials, we quickly realized that there were many priorities to balance: Keep it simple and elegant. Make it festive and celebratory. Keep the focus on the youth. But also promote purchase and registration options while frontloading paths to donation.

We considered several divergent possibilities, but when we presented the FSM team with the idea that was eventually chosen, we knew we had landed on something truly compelling.

Messaging was the center of the FSM10 campaign. (As it should be!) Free Spirit Media provides Chicago’s underserved youth with mentorship, opportunity and education in digital media production. FSM kids learn to express themselves, and learn that their willingness to participate, share, and collaborate with their peers can have a positive effect on their communities. To celebrate ten years of success, we wanted to really focus on the impact the organization has had on the kids who have been involved over the years.

In other words, the Gala wasn’t just a birthday party. It would be a celebration of impact.

We developed the tagline, “Ten Years of Transforming Lives. Ten Years of Powerful Stories." and used this as a launching point. We asked FSM leadership if they could initiate a new video project — gathering video testimonials from ten former FSM students, each an alumnus from a different year, about the personal and professional impact of participating in the program. This also complemented our use of 10 as the visual theme: the number stands big and bold on all FSM10 materials, including the email series, web landing page, and invitations and related collateral. The ten testimonials are still being completed, and the entire group of videos will be played at the event, serving as persisting evidence of how creative programs that focus on our youth can shape the lives of young adults.