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7 min read

8 Ways to Celebrate, Honor, Inspire and Untap Our Creativity to Drive Impact

April 28, 2021


Every single one of us has the power of creativity, and when we tap into this power, we are able to creatively respond to even the most difficult of challenges. Artists and creators lift us up and show us what’s possible during times of celebration and times of tragedy. They inspire us to think in new ways and encourage us to be willing to pivot from what we’ve always known to explore new ways of doing and being when the world turns upside down. 

That's why during National Volunteer Week 2021, we highlighted artists who are movement makers and opened our minds to new possibilities and ways that we can unite others on a massive scale by unleashing our collective creativity.

At VolunteerMatch, on April 25th this year, we also celebrated our 23rd anniversary as an organization. Creativity has always been at the core of who we are. It’s how we create, innovate, and connect to new generations of volunteers and nonprofits. The call to creative action rings especially true now. To date, we have connected over 16 million volunteers to nonprofits where they were able to put their time and talents to good use: but, in our history, the need to do more has never been more urgent.

We are all keenly aware that COVID-19 has had a massive impact on people and communities across the country and served to magnify the racial, social and economic inequalities in our society. To meet these challenges, we are issuing a call to action, inviting everyone to band together with us in pursuit of a common goal:

Together, we can activate 100 million volunteers into service by 2025, so that every community has the help needed to recover and thrive, and no one is left behind.

We’re living in a moment that calls for hope, creativity, and love - and that’s what our VolunteerMatch community is all about. Your volunteer service has never been more critical than it is now. 

Together we can share our creative minds, our creative voices, and our creative hearts to imagine and generate new possibilities for more compassionate connected communities.

Sign up today at volunteermatch.org to begin your journey and add your voice and your action to this movement.

Need inspiration?

Here are 8 ways to be inspired by artists, designers, musicians, filmmakers, authors, fashion and beauty changemakers from VolunteerMatch’s National Volunteer Week 2021 celebration.

  1. Watch this on-demand Violin + Volunteers concert with DSharp. Being able to escape reality’s challenges for a moment as we dance and listen to music gives us a much-needed break to feel more refreshed and take on the day. Take some time for yourself and watch the on-demand performance originally on Facebook Live by world class Violinist, DJ, and Artist DSharp. Known for his trademark colored violins, he writes his own music and performs cover versions of popular songs, focusing on hip hop, electronic dance music and classical pieces. 

  2. Feel uplifted all year long with Beats for a Better World: National Volunteer Week 2021 Playlist. Curated by Anthony Demby, Founder of Humbleriot, an organization that utilizes music to create intentional experiences and compelling stories, Anthony is responsible for much of Childish Gambino’s success, and he develops music strategy for brands like SoHo House and Google. This playlist is fire!

  3. Learn how your organization can think differently by watching the on-demand educational panel: Brushes + Buttons for a Better World: Activism as Beauty & Fashion. Fashion, beauty and activism is one of the hottest trifectas for social transformation! Hear from leaders in these industries about their journeys, and how they’re driving social impact at work and in their communities. Get new ideas for how to potentially enroll influencers and work with brands to make a lasting difference for your cause. And, leave energized with new ideas to help you tie your passions into a cause.

    These amazing speakers include:

      • Sage Adams, Artist & Curator and a frequent collaborator with NIKE, panel moderator
      • Kim Hill, Owner of Next of Kim, a beauty, fashion and art brand where she is dedicated to artistry and storytelling to advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community
      • Jonathon Burford, Creative Director at Follow Beauty, where he helps to create and launch beauty (makeup) brands
      • Greg Baldwin, VolunteerMatch’s CEO whose dream in co-founding VolunteerMatch 20+ years ago to connect good people with good causes in the art of community service remains true today
      • April Walker, CEO, Walker Wear, a fashion game-changer and culture shifter that inspired a lane to create a multi-billion industry coined as streetwear today with her brand
      • Sean Smith, Celebrity Stylist & Filmmaker, former celebrity fashion stylist for Usher, Rihanna, and Mariah Carey and uses her passion for fashion and film to advocate for the Latinx community
      • Rashan Schoffner, Multi-Hyphenate Creative & Fashion Influencer, who participated in the Cross Colours (fashion brand) HBCU content creator program — featured in PAPER Magazine

  4. Challenge yourself to think differently in 2021 and be inspired from our panel of filmmakers, fine and street artists, and musicians — all changemakers in their own right by watching the on-demand panel: Art as Activism: The Creative Call To Action. Learn how to tap into your own creativity, explore how working with people who identify as artists can uplevel your game, and learn more about what it’s like to unite others on a massive scale by unleashing your creativity for good.

    The inspiring artists speaking on the panel include:

      • Raheem DeVaughn, R&B artist, recently featured in Rolling Stone magazine for his song, "Marvin Used to Say," and founder of the Love Life Foundation, panel moderator
      • Anthony Demby, Founder of Humbleriot, where he utilizes music to create intentional experiences and tell compelling stories for brands like Soho House and Google
      • DJ Agana, a multi-dimensional contemporary mural artist and April’s featured artist for VolunteerMatch’s Match Studio Collaborative, who weaves common social threads throughout her work
      • DL Warfield, a prolific visual artist who is known for his fine art and his American Flag remix that is exhibited at the Mercedes Benz stadium in Atlanta and Ford Motor Company
      • Nicole Cooke-Johnson, CEO, The Royalty Firm, LLC and the granddaughter of singer/songwriter, Sam Cooke, whose hit, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” regained popularity due to recent political and social unrest in the U.S., and the Regina King movie, One Night in Miami
      • Laura Plato, Chief Solutions Officer, VolunteerMatch, who has spearheaded strategic partnerships with Apple, ABC/Disney, and Cumulus Media and is working to increase capacity for Black and Brown-led nonprofits and lead the way to understand COVID-19’s impact on volunteering
      • Kahane Cooperman and John Hoffman, producers of THE ANTIDOTE, a film that weaves together stories of kindness, decency, and the power of community in America

  5. Inspire yourself to think and connect in new ways to great thought leaders in the social impact world with the Books for a Better World – National Volunteer Week 2021 curated book list. Be empowered and empower others to make an even bigger difference!

  6. Spark your inner kindness and explore ways you can make the world a better place by watching Tunes + Flicks for a Better World: music videos and documentaries highlighting art as activism. Our National Volunteer Week 2021 Watchlist features thoughtful music videos and short films by forward-thinking activists, creating art to engender change. Informed by NPR and Sundance Institute and featuring work by several of VolunteerMatch's unique #ArtAsActivism partners.

  7. Be a part of building the movement of art as advocacy, and advocacy as volunteerism, to amplify diverse voices and causes and support communities around the country by supporting VolunteerMatch’s Match Studio Collaborative. Buy products featuring Match Studio’s April artist DJ Agana, who converges traditional large scale murals and contemporary street art by painting prolific imagery encompassing black liberation, women's empowerment, racial and environmental justice. The proceeds will support Few and Far Women, an assemblage of women who beautify the streets with a shared commitment to creativity, education, and social justice.

  8. Be inspired to be a part of the change and see how Raheem DeVaughn aligned his passions of music and community to become an influential social change artists, by listening to the on-demand Fireside Chat with Raheem DeVaughn and Laura Plato
Laura Plato

Written by Laura Plato