UCCS will host a mental health fashion show to raise awareness for mental health through visual art. The Student Government Association (SGA) funded event, “Strutting for a Cause,” is scheduled for March 13 in Berger Hall.
“Strutting for a Cause” is a collaboration between groups at UCCS and sponsors from Colorado Springs and Denver.
From UCCS, sponsors include the SGA, Student Life and the Wellness Center. Outside of UCCS, sponsors include Centura Health, Denver Artist, Finding Our Voices and Queer Transgender People of Color and Two-Spirit (QTPOC & Two-Spirit).
JayJay Porcadilla, senior communication major and SGA president, is the main event coordinator. He is organizing funds and the agenda for the show with support from coordinators who are interacting with out of town sponsors.
“This event is going to really dive deep into the scars and hopefully somebody can identify and say, ‘I am not alone,’” said Porcadilla. “There are other people going through these issues.”
Porcadilla started the fashion show after hearing a story from a co-worker at the Broadmoor. The co-worker’s story, shared at the SGA meeting where the event requested funding, involved the suicide of her sister because of an abusive relationship.
Porcadilla used the co-worker’s story as motivation to open conversation about mental health at UCCS. The bill, passed and approved by the SGA senate on Jan. 30, allocated $2,351.26 for the event for fabric, sewing machines, food, advertisements and venue costs.
The event is open to the public, but Porcadilla said that the majority of the expected 300–400 guests will be from groups related to the event sponsors. Porcadilla said that the team organizing the event is attempting to attract the CU Board of Regents and system president Mark Kennedy. At the time of publication, Porcadilla did not have confirmation of receipt for Kennedy’s invitation and cannot confirm his attendance.
Porcadilla said that there are seven confirmed designers from Denver and one designer from UCCS. The QTPOC & Two-Spirit club will represent UCCS at the fashion show.
The Denver sponsors, according to Porcadilla, will provide models and makeup artists for the show. In return, SGA has provided close to $1,400 for fabric and embellishments.
“Strutting for a Cause” will open with Porcadilla and other event coordinators introducing the show. After, each presenter will take the stage and introduce the background of their design.
Each presenter will focus on different aspects of mental health. Dominique Barree’s pieces center on mental abuse while another presenter focuses on anorexia.
Between presenters, an SGA member will moderate a UCCS department discussion of how it functions with students. The presentations will give recommendations from doctors and health professionals supported with facts and figures.
An art gallery will be set up prior to the Mental Health Fashion show. Finding Our Voices, a local art organization focusing on awareness of sexual assault, has donated pieces for the event focusing on survivors of sexual assault.
The show will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Berger Hall, but the art gallery will open at 6:15 p.m. The art gallery will stay open for about 45 minutes. The event will be about 2 hours and 30 minutes in length. Porcadilla wants students to know that people struggling with mental health are not alone.
“There is a community behind them that loves and cares for them and wants to see them succeed,” said Porcadilla.