“To hell with circumstances, I create opportunities.” – Bruce Lee

With Ann Marie "Jade" Bryan, Brainchild, Pioneer, Community Liaison, Committee Chairperson, and a Visionary, at the reigns, MICA Runway 2000 was born. Jade was a long time active member and board member of Deaf Women United of the Greater Metropolitan of New York City (DWUGMNYC) and New York City Black Deaf Advocates (NYCBDA).

Jade’s background is producing films and as an entrepreneur, her appreciation and love for the Art, entertainment and fashion, has given her the power to fundraise for her own projects and to evolve her ideas. She saw an opportunity to serve as a vessel to help raise funds for both organizations by collaborating on a community affair, celebrating diversity through Art, fashion and film. Voluntarily, it was her way of giving back to the community.

Not many have the audacity to share her great passion, vision, paragon of excellence and intensity for working long hours tirelessly for something she strongly believes in.

Before entering the crazed event of the Y2K and the millennium year, the name behind MICA was originated and conceptualized as a theme, “Millennium International Caribbean Africa” to celebrate diversity. One day, while brainstorming for the show, Jade showed the theme concept on paper along with a list of other names to Patty Ordonez, one of the core team members and an emerging fashion designer in her own right. Jade convinced Patty that they should go with the theme Millennium International Caribbean Africa, an acronym for the letters (M I C A) because it was more appropriate for a community event. It’s chic, classy and sophisticated! Having to hear Patty pronounced the theme “MICA” made it sound more alive than hearing it inside your head. Then it became MICA Runway and the rest is history.

That’s when MICA entered into the millennium century.

Working with her groups of dedicated and creative teams from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities, persons such as Sofia Normatov-Seitchik, Guthrie Nutter, Patty Ordonez, Ana Fatima Acevedo, Mee-Ling Eng and Amy Pollick set goals and formed committees. Inspiration from the common vision of MICA is what brought this group together and led to a most successful first event in 2000.

NYCBDA and DWUGMNYC, New York Deaf Theater (NYDT), as well as other generous organizations and corporations, co- sponsored this event. Two hundred people attended this inaugural event and by the end of the evening we had raised close to $18,000. They had an amazing time at the China Club.

Six years has since passed, and many asked if there were any plans to produce another MICA event. Jade realized that MICA Runway is indeed an important event for the community. It makes them feel like a celebrity, “red-carpet” style. It’s all about recognition for their talent and a sense of feeling self-worthy. With the resources that she has accumulated over 18 years, she decided to pick it up again for the year 2006 and produced it under her own production companies.

Since we are now recognized across the globe, this is the third episode of the MICA Runway 2008 and she believes it will be bigger and better as it expands. She is on a mission to do it. The next big thing. That’s her calling, her big vision.


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