Near and dear to my heart is Plaza Presbyterian Weekday School and its resident musical-merry-makers, The Plaza Family Band. We just launched one new website to replace one old site for the band and one very, very old site for the school. We kept it simple but included functionality to sell PFB's fantastic children's music online, a blog for sharing news and resources with parents.
Four years ago, when I was still immersed in my preschool days, I designed a logo and invitation for a (then) new fundraiser for our incredible preschool. It's a fantastic event that celebrates the community and culture of a preschool that is rich in both, provides an opportunity to snag some amazing art and neighborhood gift certificates, and rocks some great music and big fun. Each year, we talk about how to update our invitations, and each year we decide we love the original and use it again.
I was proud to again assist the Plaza Family Band with the design of their newest CD, "Wee Jamboree". This project, like last year's "Playground Hootenanny" release, is a fundraiser for Plaza Presbyterian Weekday School, the wonderful preschool attended by the children of these outstanding professional musicians. Individually, they have impressive careers, and together as the Plaza Family Band, they have created another wonderful collection of well composed, well crafted and well performed traditional tunes.
The album was dedicated to my late sister, Cindy Sutton McInnes, a beloved teacher at the school who lost her young life to brain cancer this summer. We were honored to have five of these generous and talented musicians perform breathtakingly beautiful music at her memorial service in August. [article about Cindy]
As I might have mentioned before, our preschool rocks! But really, it does.
There is an amazingly talented bunch of parents congregated there, including a number of professional musicians. Pushing swings on the playground together this fall, they concocted the notion of recording a childrens music CD together as a fundraiser for the preschool. Within a few short months, the Plaza Family Band was formed and "Playground Hootenanny" was released.
Not being the slightest bit musical myself, my contribution to the all-volunteer effort included CD design (using a beautiful illustration by Plaza Dad Raed Al-Rawi) and promotion -- band website with blog feature, social media (customized twitter profile, facebook fan page), and public relations.
The Plaza Family Band has been getting a great response -- a jam-packed release party at the Pizza Peel last month, several write-ups in local papers and a performance scheduled for a new live local TV program, "Charlotte Today". But, of course! The music is terrific and the story is even better.
There is a wonderful, old sign outside the wonderful, old school - carved in wood, likely by hand, featuring this lovely illustration. The colors, paper choices and rest of the design attempts to reflect the hip, progressive personality of this preschool community, but the sweet, old artwork is the star here. So the credit belongs with the generations of cool, artistic families that have hung out on this playground before me.
Plaza Presbyterian Weekday School, in Charlotte's historic Plaza-Midwood neighborhood, is a gem of a preschool and a wonderful community of some of the city's most creative characters. Every two years, the school has hosted a silent auction fundraiser with all of the trappings of a good time: superb live music from local artists, great food and drink, and the opportunity to win art, services and gift certificates donated by Plaza families and neighborhood merchants.
Having a few marketeers on the playground meant we needed some quality branding for the biennial event. Colleen Taylor and I, with the help of other Plaza talent, created a logo, invitation, signage, website, merchandise and even a rubber stamp to create custom thank you notes.