by Mariel Lacson, Advancement & Events Assistant
On Sunday, November 15th, the Barker Hangar was once again filled with excited families and friends for P.S. ARTS’ 17th Annual Express Yourself! This was my first year helping plan Express Yourself, and it was a huge undertaking — a mixture of all of our other annual events rolled into one! With the help of Express Yourself veterans and newbies alike, this magical afternoon went off without a hitch. The months, weeks, and days leading up to the big day were all worth it to see the excited faces of our guests brighten with each of the art projects and tasty treats they tried, all the while giving back to the 25,000 students we serve through our award-winning programs.
Just like our programs, Express Yourself is known for the innovative arts activities that give our guests the freedom to imagine and the power to create. This year, some of our favorite sponsors were back with incredible projects; OneWest Bank a division of CIT Bank, N.A. brought their signature piggy banks, Delta Air Lines taught guests to construct paper airplanes, Cindy Ambuehl & The Agency facilitated endless Duck Tape creations, E! Entertainment helped families get red carpet ready, and ADBD outfitted our supporters in their latest line of P.S. ARTS merchandise. We loved the fresh projects from some of our newest partners; Yoobi brought their decked-out school supply-filled bus, Seedling helped guests create their own Adventure Satchels, Junk Food Clothing Co. live screen printed kids’ tees, Momstamp supplied make-your-own journals, and families got to paint with the amazing artist team, DABSMYLA!
With the help of Jon Layne, the “dadfluential” from PartyLayne, our youngest guests enjoyed Toddler Town featuring b.box, BabyLit, The BeatBuds, Calissonic Inc, The Cardboard Guys, Educated Nannies, Hape, Innobaby, InRoad Toys, Ladybug Music, Lassig, Lollaland, Micro Kickboard, Natural Earth Paint, NurturMe, Piper Preschool, Sago Sago, and Serena & Lily. For tweens and teens, Arthaüs was the go to hangout spot with goodies from Blank Canvas LA, Mobile Photo Booth, Seed Floral, and WTRMLN WTR.
One of my favorite parts of Express Yourself was working with each of the yummy restaurants, catering companies, food trucks, and businesses from all around the LA area who gave their time (and tastes) to make this year’s event so delicious. From donuts to sliders, barbecue to grilled cheese, cupcakes to tacos, this year’s Express Yourself Edible Booths provided a hearty and diverse menu for our 1,500 hungry guests to sample. Each booth brought perfect bite sized tastes that allowed us to take a food tour around Barker Hangar… and go back for seconds and thirds (okay, fourths too!).
A big thank you to all the folks at Baby Blues BBQ, Boxed Water, California Fish Grill, Casablanca Catering, Coco Bakes, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, El Pollo Loco, Factor’s Famous Deli, FarmBox, Fresh Brothers, Gelson’s, The Grilled Cheese Truck, Hannah’s Bananas, Komodo, Krispy Kreme (they’ve been at every Express Yourself to date!), LAbite, Lemonade, LYFE Kitchen, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, mytable, Noah’s Bagels, Piccolo Chef Foundation’s Chef Gino Campagna, popchips, Pressed Juicery, Serves You Right! Catering, simplethings, SkinnyPop, Sotto, Sushi Girl, Tasty Brand, Trader Joe’s, True Gentlemen’s Jerky, and Whole Foods Market for making sure our guests didn’t leave hungry. If you like what you tasted, please visit their restaurants or order from their websites!
This event would not be possible without the support of Bounce, The Herb Alpert Foundation, The Goldhirsh-Yellin Foundation, The Ketterer Family, The Resnick Family Foundation, and the contributions of our community. We are so grateful for your continued generosity, and hope to see you next November!
Check out more photos from our amazing photographers Horatio Jung, Elaine Lee, Kelsey Mitchell, Donato Sardella, and Mike Windle HERE!