It was 9am on a beautiful Friday morning in Brooklyn, four years ago, the first ever Viacommunity Day, a day of service for all employees of our company. I was walking up to my wife's art studio with several bags of bagels. She was expecting about 50 people that morning. Neither of us expected our CEO to be among them. But sure enough, there he was. The first one there. Boom. And, just like she's done wth hundreds of my colleagues since, there's Jordana, teaching him how to knit. What was she teaching him to knit? A prosthetic breast for a cancer survivor in need. He was focused, he picked it up quickly, and with that, "Knit-A-Boob" went from a vision in Jordana's mind to a real event, something that has already made a real difference in the lives of so many, and something anybody can do. Today was Jordana's fourth annual "Knit-A-Boob" -- now a full day event, sponsored by Viacom, Oak Knit Studio, Textile Arts Center (where Jordana also serves as board president) and Breastcancer.org. Hundreds of new and experienced knitters joined together to learn about breast cancer prevention, while knitting hand-dyed cashmere prosthetics for women who have lost their breasts. "Knit-A-Boob" has inspired so many others to act. Last year, for example, Camila Alves and CAA hosted a Knit-A-Boob event in Los Angeles. Jordana and breastcancer.org were there, teaching 75 Latina highschoolers to knit and to keep themselves healthy. Dozens of similar events have popped up across the country. It's a special thing -- for Viacom, for Jordana and for me, her husband, watching her gather a community of knitters to help teach and encourage our volunteers to produce these beautiful, personal objects. Here's how it works: How a Boob is Made from Jordana Munk Martin on Vimeo. And here's Jordana, welcoming all the volunteers to the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, this morning: Today, 150 people completed 25 new pairs of knitted boobs. Over the next month, Jordana and her team of knitters will complete any unfinished sets and add them to the pile. Wanna learn how to make these puppies or host an event like this of your own? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Textile Arts Center's Artists In Residence Program is a project my wife, Jordana Munk Martin, started a few years ago at Oak Knit Studio, her Brooklyn-based art space. It's a one-of-a-kind program that incubates emerging textile artists from around the world, showcases their work, and activates local and national communities around DIY creative projects. There are so many ways this project affects our local Brooklyn community -- and beyond. In a world less and less real, the residency program makes art you can touch, you can feel, you can learn from, you will be inspired by. Often, you can wear it, too. This video shows you what I mean... Like you, I get asked to donate time, energy and money almost daily. I try to give what I can, but I myself practically never ask anyone to give anything. Except once in a blue moon. Cue the blue moon: I'm asking you to check this out and consider a donation. In any amount. Why support local arts projects like this one? Because without them life would suck so much.