December 1, 2017
Of all the Community Action grant proposals she’s reviewed, spark member Colleen admits that Overbrook the Musical was the most interesting and unique.
Overbrook the Musical, which ran at the Ottawa Technical Secondary School from November 24th – 26th, started when an Overbrook resident realized there was a need for community initiatives that would bring residents together in a collaborative way.
Based loosely on a theatre creation model from Holland, Overbrook residents banded together to start Overbrook the Musical: an entirely original musical written and performed by, for and about residents of Ottawa’s Overbrook neighbourhood. Upon completion, the crew behind Overbrook the Musical will have a model that any neighbourhood can use to launch a production in their community.
In order to get the musical off the ground, the production team submitted a Community Action Grant proposal to United Way Ottawa’s spark women’s giving initiative. Spark members selected Overbrook the Musical for funding, and the under-served neighbourhood started on its way to a stage debut.
Spark is a local group where women collectively invest their donations into the sparkFund and allocate grants to resident-led, grassroots initiatives. Spark offers women the opportunity to directly influence how their investments create a positive impact for Ottawa’s most vulnerable, while helping build stronger neighbourhoods in the process.
By engaging residents to tell their own story to a larger audience in a creative way, Overbrook the Musical did just that. “Overbrookies” from ages three to 80 came together to show the city their diversity, perseverance, and willingness to help those in need.