I have decided to hold off on recapping about my Flea Marketing weekend to introduce a fantastic program called Chase Community Giving.
This project, started earlier this year, is Chase's new approach to corporate giving. The new approach is that they are letting the public vote to choose who gets the money.
Chase will be donating 5 million dollars to be dispersed to almost 200 charities all over the country. One charity will receive $250K, but there will be 195 awards of $20K each! All you need in order to vote is a Facebook account and approximately 4 minutes. To vote go here.
$20,000 is an incredible gift to give an organization - that could be somebodies salary, a new out reach program, scholarships, computers, etc. As a non-profit arts organization in a time of recession, SCC is facing large cut-backs in Federal, State, and Private support of the arts, making it difficult to for us to grow and develop our programing. We serve the community as a free resource to see cutting-edge contemporary craft- one of only a handful in the country. SCC supports a number of incredible Outreach Programs that bring art to homeless women and children, the elderly, and at-risk youth in Pittsburgh. In addition to free admission, we have a free hands-on art activity for children in our drop-in studio, and offer affordable classes in a wide range of craft.
Some people feel that art is expendable, that there are more important things to support. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I have to loudly disagree. Art is transformative—it can save lives; it can change lives. Art is not just passively looking at stuff in a gallery or museum. It's not something that only the Avante Garde can understand. Art is a way for anybody to communicate anything that they can not say in words; it is a way to feel capable and confident through using your hands to create; it is how we learn to appreciate the beauty of the world all around us - trees, architecture, rust spots on sidewalks, patterns of light. Art and Craft warm the soul, sooth the mind, and empower body.
Through Chase's logo, a painted hand-print on white paper, they are expressing solidarity, community, and interaction through art...or design if you would rather, but the reference to a child creating with paint and bare hands makes me think that Chase values art. Maybe I'm reaching here, but I am sure you see it too.
I think that the Society for Contemporary Craft is a very worthy organization to support, that is why I work here. I hope that you will agree and vote for us to have a chance at a $20K donation!
VOTING STARTS JUNE 15th, 2010. To vote go here.
And now, three really cute pictures of students participating in one of our projects, Artist and Kids. This gave a group of students without much access to the arts the opportunity to work with a professional artist in a two-day workshop to create environmentally friendly furniture using found sticks and reclaimed wood.