Kyla Frye + Brittny Herbert: The Trailblazers
“The film is a message of support and inspiration but it also highlights the reality of the challenges that women face day-to-day that we don’t really talk about. We wanted to bring that to light in our event and let our community know we understand and are going through the same thing.”
Amarillo, Texas may seem like an unlikely place for a Dream, Girl screening. But it turned out to be one of the warmest communities the film has ever entered into.
After watching the trailer online, Brittny Herbert and Kyla Frye from the WT Enterprise Center wanted to screen the film as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. While they connected immediately to the message of the film, they said not everyone in their community was initially on board with bringing the film to Texas.
“We still live in a pretty traditional, male-dominated region when it comes to business so we were just trying to figure out a way that we could make an impact,” Kyla said.
In partnership with the Amarillo National Bank and the Amarillo Economic Development Corp, Brittny and Kyla decided to go big with their event, throwing down their support to not only host multiple screenings, but to also bring Erin cross-country to participate in meaningful conversations about the film.
For Erin, this screening was a homecoming in many ways. Her great grandmother was from Amarillo and her Texan roots run deep. When the opportunity to bring Dream, Girl back to the region arose, she knew she had to be there.
With the Dream, Girl director heading down south to the Texas Panhandle, Brittny and Kyla went the extra mile to make the events beautiful and inviting, tailoring their screenings to the female entrepreneurs at the Center and in their community.
“The film is a message of support and inspiration but it also highlights the reality of the challenges that women face day-to-day that we don’t really talk about,” Kyla said. “We wanted to bring that to light in our event and let our community know we understand and are going through the same thing.”
Before the screening, the ladies put together an exclusive brunch at the Amarillo Museum of Art to give their attendees and opportunity to network and chat about the challenges facing female entrepreneurs. They led break-out sessions to give a 360-degree view of entrepreneurship, including everything from how to build a framework for your business to providing tips on work/life balance, to professionalism and social media. The women filled the room with candles, fairy lights, and flowers, making the space exude femininity, warmth, and comfort.
That night, at the screening itself, the women set up a gorgeous flower wall with fuchsia and purple roses (think Kim and Kanye’s wedding with a little bit of Dream, Girl flare) and a message board, encouraging women and girls to write down their biggest dreams and hopes.
“There’s something about Dream, Girl that lit a fire within me,” Kyla said. “Even though I’m young and I work in a heavily male-dominated industry, there’s nothing to say that I can’t accomplish my goals and I think the film inspired many of us in this area to keep pushing and help each other.”
Over six months later, Kyla and Brittny continue to see the power of the event rippling through Amarillo.
“Our screening was in November and we still have women walking into the Enterprise Center who say “I attended Dream, Girl and I thought about it and I wanted to come in and talk to you,” Kyla said.
“We reached so many more people than we normally would have at traditional events. I would definitely call this a non-traditional event for us as far as a film screening, but hands down – I think it was one of the best events the Enterprise Center has ever done.” Brittny said.
To close out the week, the Enterprise Center sponsored a screening at a local high school. Before hitting the road to head to Oklahoma, Erin decided to make one last stop on her Amarillo tour to surprise the girls.
“Over 300 high school girls were just cheering for Erin because she was there,” Kyla said. “It was just really cool that she made the effort and it ended up being one of my favorite moments from her stay.”
The response to Dream, Girl in Amarillo showcases the way the film stands alone in its own political space as a documentary about female entrepreneurship.
When women of all ages and backgrounds come together to share their experiences and stories and have their words be heard and validated by their peers, the impact is powerful beyond measure.
Check out the photos from the WT Enterprise Center screening in Amarillo, Texas!