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‘Activators’ of Mass Appeal: Meet Carly Battin, Justin Booth - INTERVIEWS

blog by Erin Scherer  • 

Mass Appeal, the Elmwood Village Association’s signature fashion show fundraiser, was inspired this year by the activation that has sprung up in the Elmwood Village community led by several individuals. This week, I chatted with Justin Booth, executive director at GO Bike Buffalo and Carly Battin, executive director of the Elmwood Village Association.

“I think there’s been a very visible transformation here over the last number of years, and people are commenting on that. They see the positive energy that is out there and the people that are out there doing good things,” said Battin.

One of these transformations is a result of one organization’s hard work: GO Bike Buffalo.

GO Bike Buffalo was created in 2008 with the idea of starting a bike-share program—you might remember them back then as Blue Bicycle Buffalo.

One of the first projects that put them in the public eye was the installation of blue buffalo bike racks. Since then, the organization has evolved, working on larger projects like the bike path that was recently installed along Elmwood Avenue.

“A lot of what people are seeing now is a result of the policy work we’ve been doing. Through planning work we were able to identify health and traffic safety issues as well as take a comprehensive look at the entire city to determine what we wanted to accomplish. Once the policy was passed, we put out a bicycle lane request form. The No. 1 street that people wanted to see more bike lanes on was Elmwood Avenue,” says Booth, pictured left in his official Mass Appeal poster.

This bike lane connects Buffalo State College down to South Elmwood and will eventually run behind Buffalo City Hall.

What’s next for GO Bike Buffalo and the Elmwood Village? They’re working with Senator Sean Ryan to re-imagine the Scajaquada Expressway. 

“Hopefully if we’re successful, it will better connect the Elmwood Village and those institutions [Buffalo State College, Buffalo Historical Society, Albright Knox Art Gallery] to other parts of the city via a more complete expressway,” says Booth.

You’ll see Booth walking down the runway in You and Who.

As the Elmwood Village’s signature fundraiser, I asked Battin what people can expect to see from the proceeds of Mass Appeal.

“In the very short term, this will help to fund our holiday decorations—you’ll see wreaths going up and down the streets, and we’re working on some cool holiday events to make the Elmwood Village a fun holiday shopping experience. As we get closer to the spring you’ll see some bigger things coming out of our office, including some really big streetscape improvements: we have sculptures, planters, benches, bike racks and recycling stations,”says Battin.

Ten Elmwood Village boutiques will be featured in the show, along with local designers and wearable art. The wearable art designers are challenged to create a look inspired by a local business such as the Village Beer Merchant.

Event producer Erin Habes, along with the EVA, created Mass Appeal with the intention of kicking off the holiday shopping season in the Elmwood Village.

This year, a new pop up will take place at Ashker’s Juice Bar, where people can shop the looks from local designers and shops they saw on the runway. An opening reception will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. Nov. 27 following the Elmwood Village Black Friday Boutique Crawl.

The pop-up shop will remain open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Dec. 1.

“What’s great about the Elmwood Village is that you come here and you feel that you’re a part of something,” says Battin, pictured, who will walk down the runway in Blush.

At the show, VIP guests will be in for a treat. Event sponsor and co-owner of KC You There Karina Lopez says, “VIPs will be stimulated through an environment perfectly crafted for a night of taste, smell, sight, touch and sound.” 

“We’re really excited to expand the VIP lounge this year with craft beer and wine vendors; we have a custom scent for the VIP lounge which is something really interesting—Buffalo.com guest beauty blogger Katie Ambrose will be leading a team of makeup artists and hair stylists to do touch ups,” says Battin.

Other perks include: hors d’eourves, music by DJ Lulu, a step-and-repeat with Buffalo.com photographer Erica Morano, an interactive video experience by Squeaky Wheel and exclusive swag bags.

Mass Appeal is a showcase for the vibrancy and creativity of the Elmwood Village community. The event will feature the best local boutiques, designers and artists with the primary goal to promote supporting locally owned businesses in our community. Pre-party doors open at 6:00 p.m., with the fashion show starting at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are now available for purchase online. General admission seats are $35, VIP tickets are $125 and include preferred seating and admission to an exclusive lounge. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets early, as the event sells out quickly.

TAGGED: carly battin, elmwood village, elmwood village association, erin scherer, fashion, go bike buffalo, interviews, justin booth, mass appeal

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