This past May, the Tanner Dance Program of the University of
Utah performed our nationally best-selling children's book What Do You Do With an Idea? as a dance routine with an entirely
original score. What Do You Do With an
Idea? is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps bring it
into the world. Tanner Dance adapted the book for its biggest event of the year,
and we are so honored to have been a part of it.
Tanner Dance put on three inspiring performances in just one
day. More than 500 dancers used ballet and modern dance to show how ideas come
to life. Each dance had different choreography, and what made the performances
especially incredible was that every dancer had the freedom to improvise parts
of their routine and integrate their own ideas into the performance.
"Throughout this whole process, the children have been
delighted with discovering their own ideas, creating their own ideas and
dancing their own ideas," said Joni Wilson, program director of Tanner Dance. Built
into the program’s foundation is the dedication toward creating imaginative
humans—one dancer at a time. By offering classes to people of all ages and
abilities, Tanner Dance gives its students the skills to take their dance ideas
and grow them into beautiful, impactful works of art.
Kobi Yamada, the book’s author, was thrilled to attend the
event and witness the amazing production. Kobi signed books after each
performance, and even went backstage for a peek behind the scenes. "It was a
lifetime highlight to be invited into the circle of hundreds of dancers backstage,"
said Kobi. "It was humbling to see these young talents in costume so earnest
about their roles."
Nothing makes us happier than to see how our products are
inspiring other people. Tanner Dance's production of What Do You Do With an Idea? is a wonderful example of how anyone
can take an idea and turn it into something incredible. The performance has
resonated with us here at Compendium, and we thank Tanner Dance for such an inspiring
I believe that one of the most important things to learn in life is that you can make a difference in your community, no matter where you live. I have seen so many good deeds – people helped, lives improved – because someone cared. ~Rosalynn Carter
Ashley Mengoni saw a need in her community and decided she wanted to help. Ashley is the manager of The Essential Baking Company in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, nestled five minutes north of downtown and three blocks from our Compendium office.
Inspired by the caffe sospeso (“suspended coffee” in Italian) concept of a “pending” coffee paid for by one customer as an advance donation toward another needy customer, Ashley wanted to implement something similar at the café. She recruited her fiancé Jimmy, and together they went to the hardware store and bought some wooden rods. Jimmy sawed the rods into small rounds, creating 75 tokens that the couple then glazed and painted with hearts and coffee cups. The concept was simple: a charitable customer could purchase a $2.75 token and it would remain in a glass jar near the cash register for anyone in need to inconspicuously use as payment for a cup of coffee.
The 75 tokens sold out at the café in three days. The suspended coffee concept was so warmly received by the community that Ashley and her team decided to expand it to include bread. One token bought a cup of coffee and two tokens purchased a suspended loaf of freshly baked bread.
Ashley and Jimmy have made hundreds more tokens in recent months. Impressed by the success of the tokens, The Essential Baking Company expanded the program to their other three cafés in the Seattle area. Ashley also regularly delivers tokens to Mary’s Place and Homeless in Seattle, neighborhood charities that work directly with the homeless.
It never ceases to amaze us the power that one individual has to affect the lives of others. Even if it’s a simple cup of hot coffee and slice of fresh bread, the kindness in the gesture is priceless.
Image copyright Rex Hohlbein, Homeless in Seattle.