Project Blog

Our Week at the DNC (Part 2)

Aug 31, 2008

Thursday morning I woke up determined we would stop feeling sorry for ourselves. If we weren’t going to get a clear-cut sign from Oprah, we at least needed a little inspiration! Instead of heading back downtown to scout for more folks to fill out our afternoon and Friday schedules, as planned, I talked Rob into going to see the “Manifest Hope Gallery.” This warehouse space turned art gallery, sponsored by, was created for one week only, to celebrate the role of art in a growing grassroots movement. Artwork inspired by themes of hope, progress and patriotism turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. In addition to the boost we got from seeing all this amazing hope filled art, we also managed to recruit several subjects for our own work, all of them enthusiastic about coming by the studio the following day. While describing our project to one of these people, Rob was overheard by a journalist with the Denver Post, who asked if we’d be interested in submitting a few of the photos for the next day’s paper!

Our lucky streak continued when we got a call from my aunt, Maro, who had wrangled a couple of extra tickets to Obama’s nomination speech that night at Invesco Field! If things ran smoothly at the studio, and we managed to avoid the rumored 5-hour lines to the stadium, we might just make it in time to hear Obama speak. Thank God we hadn’t packed our afternoon schedule!

As it happened, our roster of subjects that day was full of mostly young, creative types, who brought heaps of energy their photo shoots, and had tons of encouragement for our work. There was Dominique, who demonstrated various acrobatics to show off her Obama knee-highs, and her boyfriend Bret, who then stripped down to his boxers in order to display his Obama socks. Then we had several media company professionals from Boulder, who helped me craft our “blurb” for the Denver Post submission (alas, this was not used.) And finally, we got some hilarious shots of an entire camera crew from LA, who were in Denver covering the convention for a startup multimedia website, CauseCast.

By 4:00 we were on our way to Invesco, and less than 3 hours later we had made it through security and found our seats at the very top of the stadium. From up in the nosebleeds, the tiny person on stage could have been anyone. So we were, effectively, still watching Al Gore deliver his speech on TV, via one of several gigantic monitors positioned around the stadium. But what made our experience unique was the opportunity to look out at such enormous sea of people, and know that we were all there with the same overwhelming hope. We’d been given a chance to take a break from all our hard work and the debate about weather to keep going, to pause and recognize just how far we had come.

And when the Democratic nominee finally took the stage and began quoting MLK’s historic speech, given 45 years ago to the date, Obama himself settled our debate. “ We cannot walk alone,’ the preacher cried. ‘And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.’ America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done.” Here we were, surrounded by the people our project strives to acknowledge, listening to the man who inspired us all to take action, and the fear of our uncertain path was no longer enough to hold us back. But the fireworks that then exploded directly behind us did scare the crap out of me!

One Response to “Our Week at the DNC (Part 2)”

  1. Great to hear about the DNC. Hope you’re adjusting to life on the road. Can’t wait to read more….

    - Willow

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