Start a REVO!

“REVO (short for revolution), is a movement based on the concept of love. It reminds us to think beyond ourselves and gives every person the opportunity to help make the world a better place. But most important, REVO teaches us to love – not out of pity or to gain recognition – but to love for the sake of love.” -startarevo.org
As a little girl, Janice Gaspar would sit in class and fill her notebooks with dreams of how she could change the world. She knew that no matter what she did, she wanted to make a difference. That continued as she grew older, but there were two things that she thought stood in her way. She was only one person, and she didn’t know where to start. Now, she is the head of the Oahu branch of REVO, an art movement with the goal of spreading awareness and gaining funds for non-profit organizations.
Nina Brav, a close friend of Gaspar’s, started REVO back in 2007. She hosted an art event in Hilo with the intent of raising money for an orphanage in Malawi, Africa. Nina had only planned to host a single event, but instead what emerged is a now global art movement. There are REVO branches all across the U.S. in states such as California, Louisiana, New York and Tennessee, as well as in Canada and Guam. Thirteen have held art shows already and many more have shows in the works, all with the purpose of raising awareness of both global and domestic issues.
REVO picked art shows, fashion shows, and concerts as their medium because they believe that “art is the most influential aspect in life.” And that “Art can reach a bigger magnitude of people than most actions and words can.” They have seen themselves that when art is backed with positive purpose, the impact it can make is tremendous.
Janice, a recent Leeward Community College grad, is an artist herself. Back in 2007, Nina saw her graphic designs on Myspace and asked her if she could design the REVO website. Ever since, Janice has been an active member of REVO, as a web designer, graphic designer, and contributor to art shows. Even so, up until late last year, Janice felt that she could be doing so much more.
Mid 2009, Nina decided to move to LA. There, she started another REVO branch, which hosted it’s first art show in October. Earlier that same year, Nina mentioned to Janice that the Invisible Children roadies would be coming to Hawaii. This was Janice’s big chance to really make a difference. She could start a REVO branch on Oahu by hosting an art show in collaboration with Invisible Children, a progressive non-profit aimed towards raising awareness about war in Northern Uganda. At first, Janice doubted her own strength and capability. She didn’t think that she could actually pull it off, actually start something all on her own. Eventually, though, she realized that if she wanted to create change, she would have to take it into her own hands. Janice decided to be part of the revolution, and on November 14th, REVO Oahu hosted its first benefit art show at the Diverse Art Center.
The show reeled in lots a support, featuring local artists such as Efren Renon Jr., Janel Natividad, Jerrell Conner, Joel Gaspar, Kalvene, Remi, Rzone, Shaun Castro and of course, Janice herself. Photographers Brandon Tanudra, Keoni Kitagawa, Kytia L’amour, and Nina Pinlac were also featured, as well as musicians DJ Enjay, Amanda Frazier, and Hope Mayo. That has been Revo Oahu’s only show so far, but there will surely be more in the future, as Janice finds more opportunities to team up with different charities. “I would love to have shows that help benefit some of our local charities and non-profits here on Oahu.” Janice says.
REVO’s punchy slogan, “Start a REVO!” is more than just an ad campaign. Like Janice, anyone who is willing to put in the heart and effort can start their own REVO branch where ever they live, or team up with an existing one. Other than raising awareness about global issues and charities, REVO also aims to raise people’s awareness of their own potential as a catylist of change. Janice realizes that our youth is our future, so she aims towards youth in particular for support. She hopes that REVO can “inspire them to live for something greater.”

In the words of Janice,

“So many people say they want to change the world. But many of us don’t have a single clue on where to start. Especially living here in a tiny little island, many people don’t think there’s much we can do. But that’s not true. It doesn’t matter where you come from, you can always contribute to change. People think change comes in big proportions, but it doesn’t.”

Get more information at startarevo.org, and stay informed by friended Revo Oahu’s Facebook page and visiting it’s blog. Also, don’t for get to check out the merch they have for sale, there’s some very cool stuff. CREDIT: beautiful B&W header photo by Nina Brav

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