Sunday, September 30, 2012

An Abundance of Riches

At the Children's Museum of the Arts'
"PoetTree Station"
The Artists-in-Residency Partnership Fundraiser for PS347 was held on Monday, September 24, 2012 at The Children's Museum of the Arts.

The goal was to raise $40,000 to continue art education in our school because Department of Education budget cuts slashed funding for this outstanding program.

As of this writing we have raised $21,410!  The online auction is still underway so if you want to check out the fabulous items--from vacation packages to original artwork--click here.

The highlight of the evening for me centered around the nine award-winning children's book authors and illustrators who donated their time to attend the event.  We were blessed to have Jim Benton, Peter Brown, Floyd Cooper, Tad Hills, Victoria Kann, G. Brian Karas, Ann M. Martin, Bob Shea and Dan Yaccarino in attendance.

I excitedly scooped up their magnificent books and headed off to the "library" section of the gallery to pose for pictures and get my treasures signed!

With Ann M. Martin author of The Baby-Sitters Club

With Peter Brown author/illustrator of You Will Be My Friend and illustrator of Creepy Carrots!
With Dan Yaccarino author/illustrator of Lawn to Lawn, Unloveable and Every Friday
With Victoria Kann author/illustrator of Pinkalicious, Purplicious and Goldilicious
In addition to the silent auction and children's book signings, the organizers--led by the indefatigable Kirsten Hall--arranged for two workshops in the art studios of CMA.  Workshop One focused on creating a large-scale and collaborative "expanded alphabet" mural collage while Workshop Two consisted of miniature book-making inspired by and in honor of the children's book authors and illustrators present at the event.

I was asked to speak a few words about the program from my perspective as an educator.  The gist of my speech celebrated the role of art in our schools as a counter balance to the ever increasing demands for standardized tests and assessments which dehumanize children into numbers and hinder policy makers from seeing them holistically.

All in all it was a great evening to support a worthwhile cause.  A huge thank you to Kirsten Hall, Lucia Sheckner and the generous authors and illustrators for sharing their time and talent.

As Dave Bowell, our principal, pointed out in his speech..."Our EARTH without ART is just EH!"


Barbara said...

What a treat to meet all those great authors of children's books! It is art that defines many of my memories of primary education. I hope you are successful in keeping your school's art program alive. All work and no ART makes Jack/Jill a dull child!

Steve Reed said...

Love the quote from the principal. And how great that there's a children's book called "CREEPY CARROTS." (I always loved carrots, and why someone would think they're creepy I don't know, but I'm sure that appeals to kids!)

Gary said...

Barbara - It is truly amazing that I have found myself in such impressive company.

Steve - The Creepy Carrots book is pretty amusing. It's about a rabbit that loves carrots but fears they are striking back. Check out the video on the side bar by clicking on the book cover for a back story on the artwork.

Pauline said...

Everyone should take heart from this example of keeping the art in earth. How silly those who try to manipulate education for their own gains seem in the light of people who actually care about children!


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