Thursday, May 14, 2009

Human Rights Convening Video

The U.S. Human Rights Fund just posted the video from January's convening in New Orleans:

Monday, May 4, 2009


The watercolor painting was created by an artist with great attention to detail. First, he drew the buildings by hand. Then, he filled in the colors using a carefully selected palatte. The result is an easily recognizable yet whimsical view of New York City, a place where I'm constantly watching the scene at eye level, forgetting the incredible view above me.

The creator is a high school student with a developmental disorder and is just one of the talented artists that I experienced while working on the Newmark Schools Annual Art Show. I got to know the school staff and students over six months of planning and preparations, including in-kind donation solicitations to local businesses, sponsorship outreach and parent volunteer organizing.

With every event, there are some setbacks and there are some successes. The Executive Directors were open to trying some new ways to generate revenue and structure the event. We learned that an entry fee was possible, but difficult when the parents really do need to bring home the artwork - and that has a price tag too. We learned that the childrens' artwork sold by silent auction can bring in more funds, but the same problem, of who is buying it, applies. We learned that a live auction can be fun and worthwhile, if the PA system can handle it. We also learned that art teachers make great graphic designers and parents make fantastic display painters.

And we reaffirmed that the students' pride and success at their own work is always the best reward.