Julia Testa Speaks Up in Flowers for Africa

We love New York City for all its color and culture, something we get the chance to explore and promote through our work. We really get to feel like part of the fabric of the city when we do events that promote cultural diversity and strength.

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That’s the vibe we got from the event we did recently for Speak Up Africa, a charity that promotes international advocacy on the part of African nations, cultures and people. It holds governments all over the world accountable for consideration of African policy and concerns, including health care considerations and child care.

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Speak Up Africa held an event at the Upper West Side’s very own Museum of Natural History, one of the biggest museums in the world and one dedicated to the preservation and accurate presentation of cultures and people the world over. The consideration the museum takes to educate New Yorkers and guests from around the world about the history and present-day characteristics of the world dovetailed nicely with Speak Up Africa’s mission.

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They hired us to decorate the museum by giving a nod to Africa’s natural beauty without taking it too seriously. They didn’t want us to recreate the Serengeti, but they did want to give the event a sense of place. We used Manzanita and Camilla branches to create six-foot-tall treelike structures, which we lit softly with tea lights, and lit floating candles around the bases of the tree to create a soft, gentle effect. We created a special tree to hold the name cards to really get people into the feeling we wanted to create.

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The room was styled with orange votive accents, wicker plate-chargers, orange napkins, bamboo chairs and orange seat cushions to perpetuate the natural vibe while giving a nod to the bohemian and colourful accents of African traditions.

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We loved getting to work with a charity like Speak Up Africa. It gave us a chance to feel like we were making a difference and helping paint the Museum of Natural History with the rhythms of modern Africa.

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