Locals in Paris are asked to round up their broken jewelry, bits of fabric, and leftover party decorations and donate them for upcycling into fabulous drag costumes.
“If it’s sparkly, if it’s shiny, if it’s DIY, if it’s crafty, we’re probably going to be able to use it,” said Rubyyy Jones of local performance company Big Cityyy Arts, which offers bespoke art events in Paris and beyond, including life drawing classes, variety nights and drag brunches.
Jones got the idea of a “drag drive” to “harness the post-Halloween power,” they said with a laugh, figuring folks will have interesting items leftover from costumes that they might want to part with.
The items can be dropped of at Le Petit Marché at 26 Mechanic St. in downtown Paris on Wednesday Nov. 29. November.
“You’d be surprised how we’ll make it work and what we’ll use it for,” Jones said.
For instance, after fulfilling its intended use at a birthday party, an ice cream cone piñata became the perfect hat to accompany a clown costume. The outfit was made by Jones’ partner Prinx Lydia using a large donation of orange fabric, embellished with flowers created from what Jones believes was once a shower curtain.
In addition to their work with Big Cityyy Arts, Jones was also recently appointed president of the board of directors for Paris Performers’ Theatre (PPT).
The community theatre company is “a huge part of my story and my life,” Jones said, because it’s where they got their start performing around 30 years ago.
After PPT announced the cancellation of its season for financial reasons in September, the local community rallied around the company, surpassing its GoFundMe fundraising goal and providing encouragement.
The company typically operates with revenue from shows, local sponsorships, and in-kind donations.
Over the coming weeks, Jones said the new board will make a plan for moving forward, with hopes to still offer some of the productions originally planned for 2024.
“But our immediate focus is fundraising, community engagement and diversifying the different things that we offer,” Jones said.
Celeste Percy-Beauregard is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter based at the Hamilton Spectator. The initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
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