Beginning at 8 p.m. on Sept. 18, members of the West Chester community gathered at the Chestnut Street Parking Garage to take part in a socially-distanced entertainment event hosted by local street artist Cassius King.
King’s vinyl adhesive sticker art, which he calls “stickeraffiti,” can be seen all throughout the borough of West Chester in sneaky places, such as street signs and billboards. King’s most recent claim to fame was his spoof of the Walgreens’ logo, which he turned into a sign that said “AlGreen’s” by placing a giant sticker of the acclaimed soul singer, Al Green, over the “W” on a Waglreen’s sidewalk sign in Bradford Plaza located in Chester County.
This piece went viral last week with Al Green himself tweeting a photo of the sign and commenting “Who did this?” followed by a crying-laughing emoji.
But King’s work for the community is not limited to just getting pedestrians to crack a smile whenever they see one of his expertly placed stickers.
On Monday, Sept. 14, King posted a flyer to his personal Instagram account encouraging people to come to his event that Friday, where he would be projecting the classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” onto the side of a building for people to watch from the rooftop of a parking garage.
“A Rooftop, Socially Distanced Cinematic Experience!” was the description featured on the vibrantly-colored, Emerald City-themed flyer that drew attention to the gathering.
The event was done in collaboration with the West Chester Borough Parks and Recreation Department, N.E. Thing Productions, who specializes in large-scale broadcast video projection, and the mayor of West Chester, Dianne Herrin’s office.
In addition to just being a fun, safe and relaxing way to spend a Friday evening, the screening of the movie was also a means of giving back to the community.
The aforementioned flyer stated, “FREE admission with donations to local charitable organization(s) on site at [the] event.”
As attendees arrived at the function, they were not asked to pay for a ticket. Rather, they were given several options for where they wanted a charitable donation to go. These options included the West Chester Downtown Foundation, West Chester Food Cupboard, Safe Harbour of Chester County, Mother and Child Health Consortium of Chester County, Friends Association for Care and Protection of Children, the Crime Victims Center of Chester County and the Care Center Foundation. Guests were free to give an amount of their choosing.
After doing their part in making West Chester community a better place through these local organizations, guests were then able to unfold the lawn chairs or picnic blankets they had brought with them, cozy up with a big, warm blanket and kick back while listening to the sounds of Judy Garland and her gang of misfits from Oz, serenading the crowd with hits such as “If I Only Had a Brain” — only adding to the ambiance was the chilly wind that contributed to the feeling of being in a tornado headed to Oz.
Around 11 p.m., the many families and couples in attendance packed up their things as the film came to an end, heading back to their homes just as Dorothy was, knowing they had a fun night out while simultaneously supporting their local charities.
Ali Kochik is a third-year English writings major, journalism and women’s and gender studies minor. AK908461@WCUPA.EDU