Being an adult can suck. You've got all these responsibilities; bills to pay, bosses yelling at you, facing the scourge that is daily traffic. Don't you miss being that 8-year-old on summer vacation, running through the streets and swimming with your goofy-ass friends?
We don't condone reinvigorating your childhood spirit by ignoring FP&L, but we do think you should get your still-goofy friends together and hit the great outdoors, and so does community project upstart Outlit Avenue.
They're organizing local artists to set their brushes to wooden planks, then hanging said planks from various trees around the downtown area so you, your friends, and actual not-grown children can enjoy a little bit of swing action whenever the mood strikes.
"The locations where I've lived, I've always had a swing," said Outlit Avenue co-founder Marcus Blake. He's also the guy responsible for the old Vagabond's Stone Groove and the Stage's new Tuesday open mic night. "The swing, what it represents is the creativity, the freedom, forward motion. It's outside. It represents so much."
An art dabbler and appreciator himself, Blake wanted to create a platform for getting artists organized together to work on different projects that would in turn help motivate togetherness and creativity in the community. He paired with buddy Justin Hamel, and together, they reached out to more than 20 local artists, including street art faves AholSniffsGlue and Kazilla, all of whom were more than happy to get the ball rolling on "A Swing Thing."
"It brings that nostalgia," Hamel said. "Who doesn't love to sit on a swing and swing? We all did it."
To take the feeling of community involvement one step further, Outlit Avenue teamed with TSL Lounge in Wynwood for a night of painting and partying Friday, Sept. 5. Those first 20 artists will be on hand live painting their swings from 8 p.m. to midnight while attendees enjoy TSL's all-night drink specials and live music from Skinny Hendrix, Jedi Nemesis, V. Getarix, the 3rd Party, and more.
After midnight, the paint gets put away, but the party ramps up until 3 a.m. It's just a $10 "love donation" at the door, but it's going to the cause of helping Outlit Avenue to raise funds and get the swings out there.
"As the generation coming up, eventually we're going to have to take that position of leaders, so let's start now," Blake said. "If we could accomplish putting up swings in the city, our next project is effortless."
For more info or to get involved, either as a participating artist or to host a swing on your property, contact Outlit Avenue through their website at outlitavenue.org.
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