412th FSS Youth Art Gallery

Bringing the LA Gallery Experience to Edwards Air Force Base Youth
Milmark Award Winner

Installation: 412th FSS, Edwards AFB
Category: Age Specific
Year: 2023

Campaign Summary

As a kick-off to the upcoming Month of the Military Child, The 412th Force Support Squadron Youth Art Gallery was an enriching opportunity for Edwards Air Force Base Youth to present their artwork in an event patterned after the Los Angeles art scene. The family-friendly event offered an entertaining experience for attendees while showcasing the artistic interpretations of life as a military child.

Relevance to Category (Age Specific)

The experience of youth at Edwards Air Force Base is unique. While students may complete art projects as required in school, having work showcased in an art gallery and also having the opportunity to share their perspective gives them a voice. Although Edwards Air Force Base is located in a remote desert, it is still possible to bring enriching experiences to the community without having to drive too far away.

Campaign Overview/Objectives

The community expressed an interest in having an art and wine festival on the installation in a previous social media poll about what types of activities they would enjoy experiencing at Edwards Air Force Base. We did not want to exclude children from the experience. Looking at art displays in the surrounding cities, we found that a youth art gallery would be an ideal way to engage young creatives and the community in a family-friendly setting with a Los Angeles flair.
Our objective was to provide an experience patterned after the Los Angeles art scene. We hoped to foster excitement for a brand-new event at Edwards, and we wanted to provide a soft opening to the upcoming Month of the Military Child. Our goal was to achieve maximum participation of at least 50 youth artists.

48th FSS Marketing Team

Timeka Alesia Lucio, Marketing Director

Emily Thornburg, Commercial Sponsorship Coordinator/Marketing Assistant

Tanna Ayres-Choice, Visual Information Specialist

Emily Bostwick, Visual Information Specialist

Jaelyn Ureta, Digital Media Assistant

Insights & Strategy

Planning our campaign started with an Instagram poll in 2022. We conducted the poll to learn more about the types of activities the community wanted to experience on the base. We noticed that paint & wine nights with Arts & Crafts had doubled in participation over the year. Parents attended Paint & Wine night with children of all ages, but there were few paint classes available.

Interest surrounding our Design-A-Plane Contest in the summer and fall of 2022 welcomed enthusiasm by parents, calling for more creative opportunities for children.

In January 2023, plans were in place to hold a month-long customer appreciation event series. The Youth Art Gallery would be included as part of the event, showing appreciation to not only our adult customers but our base children as well. We would begin promoting the Youth Art Gallery in January, obtain sign-ups in February, and execute the events towards the end of March, days before the Month of the Military Child in April.

Concept/Big Idea

The 412th Force Support Squadron Youth Art Gallery, another first for Edwards Air Force Base. We would present a 3-day art showcase inspired by the LA art scene complete with an opening night, hors d’oeuvres, ambient music, artist biographies, and prizes supported by Commercial Sponsorship.

The gallery would be set up in one of our most highly trafficked and multi-purpose facilities, the ballroom of Edwards Club Muroc. The art was to be displayed as it would in a professional art gallery. Three categories would be made available to three different age groups to increase the opportunity for participation. The art gallery would close with an evening awards ceremony for participants, families, friends, and members of the base community interested in supporting the young artists.

Tactics/Creative Execution

We presented a creative brief for the 412th Force Support Squadron Youth Art Gallery to our Community Services Flight outlining the details of our campaign. Since our base has three schools housed on the installation and 4 youth program facilities including the Youth Center, Teen Center, CDC, the Annex, and a large homeschool community, we enlisted the help of our Youth Programs Flight and School Liaison to get the word out.

Our objective for the execution was to obtain at least 50 participants for the Youth Art Gallery. We also wanted to incentivize participation in the Gallery with a contest. Our goal was to get at least $1,000 in cash support to provide giveaways for the top artists. Additionally, we wanted the community to have an upscale art experience throughout 3-days. Our ultimate goal was to inspire youth to share their personal stories as they related to being a military child through their chosen art medium.


The 412th Force Support Squadron Youth Art Gallery was a resounding success. The event ended with 174 participants. Through commercial sponsorship with partners, we leveraged $1500 cash to provide prizes for the Top 3 winners in 3 different categories for 3 age groups. The Youth Art Gallery provided an event platform by which to advertise the upcoming Month of the Military Child festivities slated to happen in April. The Force Support Squadron as a result showed the community that it would respond to their demand by offering a unique event experience.

Brand Building

We build our brand by incorporating the Force Support Squadron ethos into every aspect of the campaign. From the initial design with bright, eye-catching colors to the 174 individual artists’ biography cards, and category displays at the event, the branding remained consistent. We utilized our #412Kids platform and our #412KidZone on our official website to house campaign information. We elevated our reach by utilizing social media to build anticipation before the event, and during the event, and created a sense of longing after the event with live streams and the use of reels.

Additional Information/Insights

The 3-day Youth Art Gallery was a first for Edwards Air Force Base and a seamless transition into Month of the Military Child.