A new ‘do: Art Reach director offers up her own hair for fundraiser

And the results are: Purple.

A few months ago, Amy Powell, Executive Director for Art Reach of Mid Michigan, was joking around with a friend, wondering how much people would pay to see her do something crazy with her hair. It was getting long, almost down to her waist.

As it turns out, people would pay a little over $5,100 to see Powell chop, dye, and shave designs into her hair. That’s how much she and Art Reach raised through their Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow fundraiser for the nonprofit arts organization.

Launched in January and wrapped at the end of February, the Hair Today fundraiser successfully reached their $5,000 goal thanks to community donations and a $2,500 gift from Isabella Bank. The money raised will support Art Reach in their mission to promote the arts in the region.

“Like any other zany idea, it started with sort of a napkin sketch and you just go from there,” says Powell. “The idea was born out of jest and then it just grew.”

The more money they raised, the more alterations she would make to her hair. Ultimately, Powell’s long hair was cut and all 18 inches of it was donated to the Wigs for Kids organization.

Stylists Mary George and Michelle Tibor helped shape the new ‘do and A Scott Harris Salon donated use of their facilities. A Facebook poll asked readers whether her hair should be dyed purple or green. “It was overwhelmingly purple,” she says.

She even had a hibiscus leaf shaved in the back.

The fundraiser provides a nice boost for the arts organization, now in its 40th year. And it’s been a great way for Powell to involve the community, too.

“Being an arts organization, we try to have the majority of things we do revolve around aspects of art and creativity. It’s not a stretch for me to say that hair stylists are in the creative arts, too. They have great artistic abilities. So it ties in non-traditional art forms,” says Powell.

“We’re always looking to connect the community through art and have artists show their work. So I was excited to tie in these hair stylists.”

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