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Get a look at photography with a purpose at this gala at Lanier Tech

By Lindsay Howard

DCN Regional Staff



ConnectAbility’s eighth-annual Thousand Words Gala is coming to a new venue this year.

On January 25, the Thousand Words Project Gala will take place at the Ramsey Conference Center at Lanier Technical College from 5:30-9 p.m.

The goal of The Thousand Words project is to give a voice to those with disabilities through visual photography that may not have one otherwise.

“We want to create a space where everyone is on a level playing field,” Brianna Brown, ConnectAbility’s Meet Your Neighbor coordinator said.

There are eight teams consisting of individuals with and without disabilities that work together in order to create a photograph that represents a certain theme.

The theme this year is “displaced.” The teams have been capturing places that are significant for them.

“It is a neat opportunity for photographers who may not usually have a platform for their work, to be noticed and recognized and get to sell their work,” said Jackie Daniel, director of ConnectAbility in Dahlonega.

These photographic works are then sold at a silent auction in order to raise money for future projects and programs.

Photos in the past galas have been sold for anywhere from $200 to upwards of $5,000. The photographers volunteer for the project.

After the silent auction, this year a new live auction will be added to the itinerary with some big-ticket items, according to Daniel.

Daniel is excited for the new venue this year and the new host city.

“We just want to encourage folks that may not be familiar with our work to come out and meet us,” Daniel said. “We have no geographic boundaries on the people that we serve.”

Tickets to the gala are $75 and include dinner and an open bar. Catering will be provided by Two Dog Café in Gainesville.

ConnectAbility is a nonprofit organization in Dahlonega that supports and empowers individuals both with and without disabilities.

“Our goal is to help people in the community create relationships with people they may not usually cross paths with,” Daniel said. “We want to make as many connections in the community as possible.”