Project Launch Exhibit

First Bank
To celebrate First Bank’s Project Launch Initiative, Amazing Studios created an art exhibition highlighting the bank’s financial support of education throughout the year and invited employees and stakeholders to tangibly see their company’s positive impact on the community.

Over the course of 2022, First Bank gave away $500,000 toward its Project Launch Initiative. The initiative sought to support education in communities all over the Carolinas. We created an initial video publicizing the initiative and inviting teachers, organizations, and individuals to submit applications for funding. 

As applications came in and First Bank began awarding funds, we focused in on several of the winners, capturing their stories and revealing how First Bank’s generosity impacted their efforts toward education. 

At the end of the year, after all the submissions came in and money was awarded, we began brainstorming with the First Bank team about how to highlight and recap the initiative and its impact throughout the year. 

‍We settled on a Creative Direction that would not only extend the life of the content we had already produced throughout the previous year, but would also allow for the creation of new and fresh content.

After heavy lifts with creative direction and art direction, we created several installations in a gala setting and invited First Bank employees and stakeholders to view the collection. 

We ultimately created six art installations for the topics below.

First Bank – Book Club

‍First Bank Book Club is helping boost literacy rates in the Carolinas. We’re bringing writers of award-winning children’s books to public elementary and middle schools for author days featuring fun and discussions. The school library, as well as each child in the hosting grade, will receive a copy of the book.

Lessa Jones – Washington, NC – Underg

Founder and Executive Director of the Washington (NC) Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum, Leesa Jones, developed a traveling exhibit to help people experience the history of the Underground Railroad and understand how they can be agents of change too.

Karen Hornfeck – Greensboro, NC – Teacher Supply Warehouse

To help teachers outfit their classrooms and start the school year on a positive note, Karen is raising funds for the Guilford Education Alliance to host the Teacher Supply Warehouse. Over two days, 280 Guilford County educators can visit the Warehouse to stock up on high-quality, new, and gently used classroom supplies at no cost.

Tatiana Russell – Winston-Salem, NC – After School Programs for Blind & Visually Impaired

The Student Enrichment Experience program at Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse provides services to children and teenagers who are blind or visually impaired. Tatiana uses educational, recreational, and social activities to enhance students’ independence and confidence.

As you may be able to see in the photo of this exhibit, the sign says, “PLEASE TOUCH THE ART! Yes, that’s right, please touch. The art world is made more inclusive to those who are blind and sight impaired with the use of both simple and high-tech innovations including 3D printing, extra textured paintings, and tactile art.”

Valerie Woodward – Florence, SC – Learning about gaming

To capitalize on students’ passion for video games, Valerie uses the Bitsbox curriculum that introduces young learners to coding. The Bitsbox system teaches kids video game design principles and computer science concepts and will be offered as an elective course through the middle school’s STEAM program.

We decided this would be a fun exhibit to make interactive and brought in several games from throughout the decades. This station was certainly a hit and several First Bank employees challenged each other to a friendly game of Mario Kart.

Mike Foster – Winston-Salem NC – Food insecurity

Winston-Salem Street School equips students with the skills and education needed to become productive members of the community. To address the food insecurity many of its students face, Mike raises funds to provide nutritious meals that will help teens perform better in school so they can successfully enter the workforce. With the use of projection mapping, each mounted plate would have a meal show up periodically throughout the video. This station was extremely meaningful for several employees and even brought some to tears.

Out of the six, three included video elements while others were interactive in unique ways. Below you’ll find the three videos that we featured during the exhibition.

‍Below are photos from the event of attendees watching each video within its respective exhibit. Two of the exhibits featured projection mapping that appeared throughout the video.

Placed inside a classroom-themed exhibit, an attendee watches Karen Hornfeck’s story of creating a Teacher Supply Warehouse for educators in Greensboro, North Carolina.

A first bank employee watches Leesa Jones’ story as the projection map highlights the meaning of different colored clothing used as communication in the Underground Railroad.

Exhibit attendees watch the video featuring Mike Foster’s efforts to reduce Winston-Salem’s Food Insecurity. The projection map slowly shows the impact of his efforts as food fills each empty plate mounted to the wall throughout the course of the video.

This project was deeply fulfilling because of the meaningful stories we captured but also because we got to see the real-time reactions of First Bank employees when they saw how big of an impact their company has in its community.

It was also fulfilling for us as a team. The art direction involved in this project stretched us and grew our skills and confidence with set design and projection mapping. It’s also the first time we’ve put on an event quite like this and then successfully (and quietly) filmed with a large jib during the event without disturbing any of the attendees.

Overall, it was a big win for First Bank, but also for the Amazing Studios Team.
And we might have had a little fun along the way…as per usual.
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