Nashville, TN – November 18, 2013: A recent nationwide study by the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics showed that 48% of students in grades 6–12 have experienced bullying. However, The Evolve Project, a local non-profit, is making strides to stop this harmful behavior in the Middle-Tennessee area. The organization will be hosting their next anti-bullying event, sponsored by Geek Media Expo (GMX), for the students of Dupont Tyler Middle School in Hermitage, TN on December 6, 2013 at 2 pm CST.
The Evolve Project program, developed by Nashville’s own Child Care Alliance, is an anti-bullying and positive self-esteem initiative that reaches out to middle-school-aged children through performance arts. They are currently working with schools, their boards, and sponsors to allow them to travel to schools across the state and the nation making presentations which include dancers, singers, actors, and various performing artists along with a powerful message of tolerance and respect for self and others. They also are in the process of building an interactive website, theevolveproject.org, that will provide educators, parents, and children a forum to network, empower, learn, and problem solve.
“We are excited that we will be able to share this very important message with almost 700 children,” notes The Evolve Project founder Cleta Paige-Davis. “This school visit was made possible thanks to the support of the staff and attendees of the Geek Media Expo event. It’s through the sponsorship of partners such as Geek Media Expo that allows us to positively impact lives.”
Geek Media Expo, the Nashville area’s Next Generation Multi-Fandom Exposition, worked to raise awareness and money for this important program through the sale of custom GMX hockey jerseys, a PS4 raffle provided by GameStop, a Doctor Who themed fundraiser called Exterminate Bullying, a Marble Hornets auction, and other happenings throughout the weekend-long event earlier this month. “GMX strives to create a welcoming environment where everyone feels comfortable to be themselves without the fear of judgement. So it was a natural fit to work with The Evolve Program as a partner charity,” adds Steven Unverzagt, the vice president and executive director of Geek Media Expo. “Our team is honored to have helped to bring the anti-bullying message to more children in our local community.”
The Geek Media Expo is an annual exposition and social conference relating primarily to the popular arts, sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics, and relevant cultural/lifestyle themes, presented as an educational and multi-media entertainment showcase. The event serves as a major revenue driver for the ArtsCubed organization. ArtsCubed is a Nashville-based not-for-profit corporation. The mission of ArtsCubed is to advance popular visual, performing and literary arts – along with related cultural experiences central to the lives of the community – through events, outreach, education and associated initiatives. Current events include Geek Media Expo (GMX), Middle Tennessee Anime Convention (MTAC), and the Nashville Zombie Walk. ArtsCubed is operated entirely by a volunteer staff.
ArtsCubed is a not-for-profit corporation with the mission to “Advance popular visual, performing and literary arts – along with related cultural experiences central to the lives of the community – through events, outreach, education and associated initiatives.” Since 1999, the group has produced the Middle TN Anime Convention, an annual celebration of Japanese animation and pop culture. In 2009, an additional convention was added: the Geek Media Expo (which takes place this Nov. 1-3 this year). This event expanded the scope of their work to include the larger pop media and arts realm. In addition to reaching collective attendance of over 10,000 patrons to their 2102 events, the organization supports and assists the Nashville Mini-Maker Faire, Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival, and Atlanta’s JapanFest. ArtsCubed recently assumed control of the Nashville Zombie Walk, an annual gathering of costumed walkers which raised one ton of food in 2012 for the Second Harvest Food Bank. Other charitable beneficiaries have included The Red Cross, Locks of Love, Out of the Darkness, St. Jude, and various smaller local initiatives. Currently awaiting 501(c)(3) application approval, ArtsCubed aims to be the first federally recognized “geek arts” non-profit.