Big O Benefit for Island Teens

Open Space for Arts and Community’s Drive-In Gala returns on August 14th.

OPEN SPACE FOR ARTS & COMMUNITY- An outstretched red carpet. Classic award-winning short films under the shimmering stars. A Bramble House box of deliciousness. Together, they can mean only one thing: The Big O Gala Drive-In is back! Open Space for Arts & Community is excited to bring back the Big O Gala on August 14th at 7:30 to benefit the re-opening of ORBIT teen center at Open Space.

The star-studded evening begins with a drive down the red carpet and the chance for a physically-distant photo op. Come as you are or bling it up and strut your Hollywood-self!

Once parked, you’ll experience moments from one hundred years of cinema in just ninety minutes with a curated collection of award-winning short films. The Open Space artistic team chose films across a variety of genres that will inspire, captivate, and entrance all ages. The evening will also feature live music before the films. Plus, the show will wrap up early enough for everyone to be in bed by 10:00pm. Now that’s a win/win!

Guests will enjoy top-notch al fresco fare perfect for a front seat or folding chair, dreamed up and prepared by Chef Lia Lira of Bramble House. Refreshment will include delectable sweets and savories along with a glass of wine or sparkling water.

The 2021 Big O Drive-In benefits Open Space’s ORBIT initiative. Launched in the summer of 2019, ORBIT (Open Space Recreational Base for Island Teenagers) provides meaningful opportunities for high school-aged students on the Island.

After a relentlessly challenging year for teens, Open Space is thrilled to relaunch our teen center, ORBIT. Before the pandemic cancelled in-person gathering in March of 2020, ORBIT events and programs had taken on a life of their own. Teens planned dances, art installations, and even entrepreneurial and vocational projects with support from the ORBIT program coordinator. Funds from this benefit will go towards reopening this center with gusto.

“As the parent of a teenager, I have been amazed by the resilience our youth have displayed over the past year,” says event producer Janet McAlpin. “It was crushing to suspend ORBIT’s in-person operations as the pandemic began in 2020. We’re looking forward to applying funds from this year’s Big O effort to ORBIT, putting island teens back in the driver’s seat and giving them a space to gather and be themselves again.”

Thanks to the generosity of one Vashon family, Open Space has secured a match towards this effort. Donations for the Big O will be matched up to $25,000, meaning that Big O guests and anyone giving toward this initiative will double their investment in supporting island teens. Last year, The Big O Gala surpassed its goal, ultimately raising over $60,000 towards paying artists to create public art.

The evening also features a fabulous array of door prizes, including desserts, gift bags, and more! Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for wine, a gift card towards Vashon Adventures, a brisket dinner prepared by Barbecue Emergency.

Doors open at 7:30pm at Open Space for Arts & Community on Vashon. Film Reels Roll at 8:30pm. Space is limited. Tickets are $60 per person. A select number of “just-the-films” tickets, which do not include food or door prizes, go on sale August 11th. Tickets are available at

If you would like to support ORBIT and have your donation matched but are not able to attend this event, please visit the Big O Ticket page on and look for the donate link at the bottom of the page. Please, leave your pets at home but bring your favorite folding chair, pillows, and comfortable blankets.


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