The Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance hosted a comedy event on Thursday featuring acts from Humor U, Studio C, ImprovBroadway and ComedySportz in order to promote the theme “Do Good Better.”
The Ballard Center is a part of the Marriott Business School and helps students use the skills they are learning to further social change in the world.
Glenn Rowley, a PR rep from the center, said they offer a number of classes, clubs, internships and other programs to help students get involved.
“Our programs help students seeking to solve intractable problems in the world (like poverty, education, access to clean water, etc., in new, innovative and effective ways,” Rowley said.
The Ballard Center hosted the comedy showcase to give students a night of entertainment while showing them how they can get involved in the center.
The audience had a good round of laughs with some standup routines from Humor U comedians. Studio C cast member Whitney Call then introduced an exclusive viewing of one of their new sketches and told some behind-the-scenes stories.
Musical theater comedy group ImprovBroadway crafted a musical adaptation of the story of Hercules as told by a member of the audience. ComedySportz entertained the audience with fast-paced games and use of crowd input.
The Ballard Center then presented a new commercial based off the saying, “Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.” The commercial took the saying a step further by promoting change in the fishing industry to help a man be more successful.
Lehla Kisor, a marketing analyst and internship director from the center, appeared on stage afterward to say a few words.
“Before I joined the Ballard Center I really kind of felt my efforts to give back were about as effective as throwing a fish,” Kisor said. “When I would give my money, I wasn’t sure where it was going, and when I would donate my time I wasn’t sure I was making a real difference.”
She gave an example of when she bought a pair of shoes from a company that pledged to donate another pair to individuals in Third World countries. The shoe company has allegedly harmed the economies it was trying to help by taking away local jobs. Kisor explained how good intentions can sometimes do more harm than good.
“The Ballard Center is an awesome place where you can learn how to do smart charity. Learn how to do good, better,” Kisor said.
“Do good better” was the theme of the night, as Kisor urged the audience to participate in social media pledges and join in the center’s interactive string-art installation. The event also offered several booths with more information on the many resources the Ballard Center has to offer.
The center has clubs and events, classes for social change, on- and off-campus internships and competitions like Social Venture Academy and Innovation in Social Entrepreneurship Case Competition.
“Since I’ve joined the Ballard Center I’ve learned how to do charity smarter,” Kisor said. “Instead of fishing how to make a difference, I’ve been able to start my charity off on the right foot. Put simply, I know how to do good better.”
Students interested in helping to facilitate social change while still in school should visit the Ballard Center in the Tanner Building or visit its website at ballardcenter.byu.edu.