M-A students Olivia Bloom and Julia Nicholls have been friends practically since birth. Ever since they were toddlers, they did everything together, so it was no surprise when Olivia and Julia, similarly motivated to take action, decided to start their own fundraiser. The duo established ‘Get Human’ in 2014, a program that looks to donate funds to major foundations committed to enacting widespread social change.
This particular idea stemmed from their frustration concerning the short attention span of the media and public. Bloom explained that the two are “raising awareness about problems in the world that initially cause concern among people, but later fade away from the general population’s focus.” Bloom wishes to not only “raise money to help different institutions fight against these problems at the source, but also simply raise awareness and remind people about what is going on in the world.”
In the beginning stages of the project, coming up with a name was easy. Rebecca Bloom, Olivia’s mother, explained how the two girls decided: “When the Bloom family was in Germany, we spent a lot of time at the East Side Gallery, which is a section of the Berlin wall that is still standing. It’s over a mile long and is full of amazing graffiti art. We loved this one small section that said “Get Human” and took a lot of photos. It just felt like a really simple way to get people’s attention about what’s actually important.” To Bloom and Nicholls, this was the obvious answer and they decided to choose ‘Get Human’ as their title.
With months of hard work and determination, Bloom and Nicholls were able to plan and rent out a theater just in time for their first fundraising performance. The event included a variety of musicians, dancers, and singers. With the purchase of a ticket, audience members were invited to watch a group of dancers, of all ages, “model” their favorite outfit and perform multiple dances while enjoying snacks and refreshments. The end of the show also included a mini art sale showcasing local artists.
When Bloom and Nicholls started Get Human in 2014, they decided to focus on raising money for Typhoon Haiyan. The two raised over $5000, demonstrating a positive and overwhelming response from the community. Realizing that their idea was a success they decided to hold another fundraiser the following year. This year, the two chose the Vera Institute of Justice as the focal point of the event. The girls felt that a focus on the justice system in America was necessary, with growing unrest over recent racially charged incidents across the country. Ultimately, Get Human raised just as much money as it had the year before.
The group also helped coordinate a dance performance YouTube video, “We Deserve to Be Safe,” released October 7. In their performance, members of Captivating Dance by Nona express their hope for a reformed system in light of recent school shootings. The dance was choreographed by Nona Ybarra and Kate Lynn Roberts, M-A Dance and Cheer team coaches.
Bloom and Nicholls explain that their ultimate goal is for people to take the time to remind themselves about current issues that are still prevalent in society, but have been quickly forgotten. They urge people to raise their individual voices, just as they have done through dance.