Build and Give Back

Dramatics NYC wishes to extend their heartfelt best to all New Yorkers and their families hoping they made it through the storm safe and sound.

New Yorkers are resilient and in many ways one large family. Dramatics is one big family also and Rock, Rio and Safari are proud to be part of the greatest city in the world.

It is almost as though our economy is in a storm which is one of the reasons Dramatics NYC decided this past January to make 2012 the year of “giving back” in the build to the Platinum PIA Awards, the community awards show coming on December 15.  Activities in the build include the Dramatics sponsored Lights Camera Read anti-bullying workshops at the library. These workshops not only educate young people about getting along with others, but provide self esteem for America’s youth – a valuable resource in these challenging times.

And now with the devastation that the weather has brought to NYC, Dramatics feels it is more important than ever to focus on community and empowering our youth. Dramatics is doing so with continued support of the Lights Camera Read library and community center programs with the new “rebuilding” theme for 2013 which is “Entrepreneurism in this Economy”.

In the following interview excerpted from “Salon Innovator” magazine, Dramatics founder Rock, in part inspired by the past work of Rio who is a former educator, talks about building and giving back. This interview was done prior to Sandy.

SI:
This year for the third annual Platinum PIAs Awards, the theme is anti bullying as well as giving back to the community. How is it that Dramatics NYC got involved with the Platinum PIAs Awards and the concept of “giving back”?

ROCK:
As you know Dramatics has been around now for 28 years. It started in 1984. We’ve reached the plateau of being one of New York’s most successful salon chains. Throughout the years, New York has treated us very well. They love our concept for our salons. They love the theatrics that we present in our salons – the theater that we present in our showcases with fashion. It is my belief that in the troubled times of our economy that Dramatics (like the PIAs emphasis on community) has a responsibility to build and assist those who helped us become what we are today.

SI:
And you’re focusing on the future of America?

ROCK:
Yes, it’s time to help the future of America. We decided to work with kids and develop teen’s minds in order for them to acquire an understanding of how to achieve their goals, their desires, their wishes, their dreams. How to get more in touch with what’s necessary in order to be successful – this is especially important in a bad economy like the one we’re experiencing now where people are very negative about so many different things that are going on in today’s world.

SI:
Why specifically the focus on helping teens?

ROCK:
We felt the best place to give back to was with young people. Especially teens, because teens are so close to the age of joining in the workforce of this economy – they are ready to embark on different endeavors in order to try to develop their skills. This is occurring in an economy that if you graduate college right now, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will even have a job after leaving – which is frightening – so we want to help.

SI:
How are you implementing this mission?

ROCK:
We have decided to work with teens and young adults through the Lights Camera Read program at the New York Public Library with Yianni Stamas (Platinum PIAs Awards founding producer). The theme for the NYC workshops and events this past year at the library has been about anti-bullying. We decided to sponsor this anti-bullying program of having the kids at the library writing stories about all the different details that they experience about bullying, as well as how they believe that bullying can be squashed. And next year the program will focus on “Entrepreneurism in this Economy”.

SI:
Why is anti-bullying an important topic?

ROCK:
We do believe that it is closely tied to getting teens to understand that if they take a stand of things that they know that are right, that will help them get stronger in their self esteem. And healthy self esteem can lead to success in the business world.

SI:
What exactly are the Platinum PIAs Awards?

ROCK:
The PIAs are community awards show that is all about recognizing outstanding achievement in the art and science of building communication. In other words, recognizing those who are solution oriented in terms of building our neighborhoods and our community. It is also a fun party celebrating beauty, entertainment and the arts.

SI:
Who are the people nominated for awards?

ROCK:
Many of the young people nominated are participants at NYC Workshops at libraries and community centers throughout the five boroughs. The projects they created there become eligible. Also our own stylists and artists at the salons are nominated for their work. Other local businesses, especially those that participate in educating kids about entrepreneurism and other topics, are eligible as well.

SI:
So it’s a kind of coming together of business and community?

ROCK:
Yes, that’s one of the primary missions of the PIAs.

SI:
This year the PIAs theme is Anti-bullying and next year it is about creating opportunities for one’s self through entrepreneurism. Speaking of entrepreneurism, we heard that you won the “Entrepreneur of the Year PIA” last year?

ROCK:
Yes. I have always felt that entrepreneurism is a powerful tool for creating opportunities. Using entrepreneurism to create opportunities is different than just going out to get a job.

For more details of Rock talking about entrepreneurism, click here to read his interview in Salon Innovator magazine.

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