Now there’s the Ah Haa School’s Bra Invitational and Bra-vo fashion show, the culminating event of the art school’s Art of Being a Woman Month, celebrating the contributions of women while also commemorating October as Breast Cancer Awareness month. In its second year, the event once again has community members decorating bras, to be auctioned off during a fashion show featuring local men as models. The Bra-vo fashion show takes place this Thursday, Oct. 20 at the New Sheridan Bar, starting at 7 p.m.
“For men, breast cancer can affect their sisters, mothers and wives, which is why we wanted to have them involved in this event,” explains Ah Haa Executive Director Rachel Loomis-Lee. Breast cancer also affects men directly, with about one in 1,000 developing the disease.
According to Loomis-Lee, this year’s list of models includes “five fire fighters and five other local community gentlemen. A lot of them came to us,” including Chris Myers, John Bennet, and Colin Sullivan, who will where a bra created by SquidShow Theatre. Even Loomis-Lee’s husband will take the stage.
Of the estimated 20 bras to be auctioned off at this year’s event, a few standouts for Loomis-Lee are Kathleen Morgan’s Spring-Into-Fall Flower Pot bra (“I think it’s absolutely amazing!”), a spooky Halloween-inspired bra by Anji Sawant, and a Timberline ACE Hardware-designed Kissing Dolphins bra, complete with dangling pink keys.
“I’m blown away at what people can do with a little creativity and a bra,” she says.
Another hot ticket will no doubt be Sue Hobby’s Over-the-Shoulder Boulder Holder, featuring actual rocks crocheted into heavy-gauge wire baskets reinforced with climbing webbing.
“I think we bought Montrose out of all its double D’s,” says Loomis-Lee, explaining that Ah Haa acquired the bras (“We tried to go with a large size to give people a larger canvas”) and provided feathers, glitter and other embellishments to anyone wishing to contribute their design skills to the cause. “People keep calling us, though I think we gave away our last bra today. We’re asking [designers] for a $5 donation for the bras, if they can.”
This year, bras auctioned off will be accompanied by donated gifts, such as a mammogram or stress test from the Telluride Medical Center, or a $25 gift certificate from The Sweet Life. The goal, says Loomis-Lee, is to get every bra on stage; if there are too many to exhibit, they will pull bras out of a hat for the fashion show, and display the rest in the Sheridan Bar’s back room, where a silent auction will take place. Thursday’s event will be emceed by Loomis-Lee, and features Beth Roberts as the live auctioneer. The Sheridan Bar will supply drink specials.
Proceeds will be distributed three ways: between the Ah Haa School, the San Miguel Resource Center (which provides domestic violence intervention services, prevention education, support and advocacy), and the Breast Cancer Fund.
“I want to continue to grow this event to reach a larger audience,” says Loomis-Lee. “It’s too good to miss… It creates more awareness about what we do” at the Ah Haa School, and for the other nonprofits involved.
Bra-vo wraps up Ah Haa’s month-long Art of Being a Woman events, which included an exhibit of portraits of women by Julie Smith, the LunaFest traveling film festival, and workshops by local artists Kathy Green and Meredith Nemirov.
“I think its just going to keep getting bigger and bigger,” say Loomis-Lee. “It’s my favorite event of the year, and a great way to bring Ah Haa out into the community.”
For more information about Thursday’s Bra-vo fashion show, contact Ah Haa at 970/728-3886.