If the Gobi Lumberjacks are court jesters who pepper controlled chaos into the public sphere, Gracie Rivera is the party hostess who wants to turn the city into a playground.
When the Atlanta graphic designer found herself with free time on her hands earlier this year, she decided to revisit a favorite pastime among her and her friends: pillow fights.
Only this was on a much larger scale. Adopting a model established by International Pillow Fight Day, Rivera spread the word via Twitter, Facebook and word of mouth. Details spread about the event, which was scheduled for Piedmont Park.
There were a few guidelines. All pillows had to be of the soft variety and unarmed attendees couldn't be whacked without permission. Other than that, just follow the park rules and anything's game.
On a brisk afternoon in February, about 150 people marched into the meadow of the city's most iconic greenspace armed with pillows. At 2 p.m. sharp, they began swinging like 5-year-olds.
"It was really rewarding to see strangers enjoying a Sunday afternoon with their kids and friends," Rivera says. "It's nice to see people take a break from their computers and PDA's and just spend time with each other. Even if they are socking each other in the face with pillows."
In August, Rivera decided on the spur of the moment to switch up weapons and scheduled a water gun battle in Freedom Park. About 30 took part in the soaking. And she's planning more public festivities for the rest of the year, possibly including a mass pumpkin-carving.
Although the events she organizes are fun and frivolous, Rivera eventually wants to find a way to use them to benefit others.
"I probably won't ever get the chance to build schools for kids in Africa or clean up the Gulf of Mexico," she explains. "But what I can do is take time out of my schedule to bring friends and family together. And with time, maybe I will find a way to inspire them to give some of their time and money to those who are less fortunate. That's the end goal."
Few things get me worked-up anymore, due to the poor state of our moral compass…
Update: I had my report read to me over the phone and the report does…
It's easy to tell when someone's never been poor themselves, or had to sit at…
Too bad one cannot trace how those 'unsecured' 'provisional' ballots actually voted, and in what…
You will never disarm us. Never.