It’s been a pretty good couple of years for me lately, amazingly fabulous, to be honest. I swapped a failing business for a solid job in sales, traded up the ancient Miata for a shiny new Murano, lucked into a deal on an incredible condo and fell head over heels for one of the best guys out there. When I look back, I’m truly, staggeringly grateful for all the abundance and blessings in my life.
That gratitude, however, comes with the reminder that not everyone has been so fortunate. It leaves me with a real desire to give something back, to write some kind of physical “thank you” note to the Universe in general. And while I’ve been doing much better financially, I’m still not in the position to cut checks to deserving organizations; nor, with my insane schedule, do I have much free time to donate.
What I do have is passion, intensity, creativity (especially the kind that works best with good intentions but shoestring budgets) and a whole bunch of wonderful friends garnered from years in the bar and restaurant industry.
Cue the heavens to send in my friend, Kathryn Guay, who represents a marvelous Non-Profit Foundation called Art on Atlanta, that needs exactly what I gots – passion, energy, and while maybe not a lot of money, at least the commodity of great friends.
Art on Atlanta is a very unique charity, since it has a two-fold mission. Primarily Art on Atlanta (or AOA, to spare typing tendonitus) is committed to changing the lives of people with spinal cord and brain injuries through art therapy.
They’ve figured out an astounding way to do this – by incorporating the city’s burgeoning art scene.
The absolute best thing is that AOA is about people like us, in their 30s and 40s, not the big society folks you see at the star-studded galas showcased in Atlantan Mag, or Jezebel, but normal guys like you and me, our friends, neighbors and family, who are doing well for ourselves and are looking for a way to “pay it forward,” by contributing to others not so lucky. Like me, you’re probably full of great ideas and intentions, but short on practical time, money and energy.
Here’s your chance. AOA needs you, your passion and intensity and most importantly, your pool of friends and contacts. We need your support both mentally and physically, to spread the word about the impressive things this program is doing and to come out and show you care. We need you to make a difference in the lives of people who don’t have it as great as we do.
I’d like to share this with you, from AOA’s website (they say it so much better than I could):
From Margaret Mitchell to Steve Penley, Atlanta has always had a vibrant artistic tradition. Unfortunately, it is often difficult for these talented persons to get the necessary exposure to support their important work. Recognizing this need in the community, Art on Atlanta serves as a platform for Atlanta’s visual artists to publicize their work and, at the same time, provide much needed financial support to the art therapy community.
Art on Atlanta will provide funding to enhance Shepherd Center’s current art therapy program resulting in a greater impact on patients’ quality of life and recovery. The center utilizes art therapy as one of many therapeutic interventions to help spinal cord and brain injury patients in their recovery and rehabilitation post injury. In the words of Phoebe Whisnant, Art Therapist at Shepherd Center: “Art therapy gives our patients the opportunity to visually express the full spectrum of emotions that accompany the journey of rehabilitation, from grief and loss to the restoration of hope and the courage to begin rebuilding their lives again.”
Here’s where you come in! Our next event is the 2nd Quarter Artist of the Month Showcase at Emerging Art Scene in Castleberry Hill on June 10, 2011. It takes place during the monthly 2nd Friday Art Stroll hosted by the Castleberry Hill Neighborhood and it’s FREE (yes, no dinero) to get in from 7-10 p.m., plus you’ll have a ball touring the galleries all over the district. There’ll be trucks from the Atlanta Street Food Coalition schlepping divine and delicious snacks. There are excellent bars and restaurants (No Mas Cantina, Bottle Rocket, and the Elliot Street Pub) to hang out in before and after, and a really cool crowd of 20 – 40s people, just like us, who are spending a Friday night having a great time, enriching their lives with art, music and friends and coincidently…helping a phenomenal cause.
Here are some fast, easy (and cheap or free) ways to be a part of this great Foundation! Trust me, little things can still make a BIG difference.
1. Go to Art on Atlanta Foundation’s Facebook page and “like” us. That helps in marketing, promotions and public awareness and is unbelievably valuable!
2. Take it a step further: At the top right corner, click on the “Suggest to Friends” and send a message to all your other friends to “like” our page.
3. Make plans to attend the AOA 2nd Quarter Artist of the Month Showcase in two weeks, Friday June 10, 2011 at Emerging Art Scene Gallery located at Castleberry Point Lofts, 321 Nelson Street, Atlanta GA 30313 (404) 890.0532. Invite some friends and come out for a fantastic evening!
4. Take it a step further: Come early at 6 p.m. to Emerging Art Scene for our pre-stroll VIP/Meet the Artists reception from 6-7. Not only will you get to hobnob with the artists, musicians and entertainers, but we’re offering a bourbon tasting, an artisan cheese and antipasto spread from Endive Catering, and complimentary drinks. We’re asking for a donation at the door of $20. What’s $20 – a Yuppie foodstamp? What bar can you go to and have a couple of drinks, some snacks, and great company and know that you are contributing to a great cause – for $20? No brainer!
5. If you can’t make it yourself that night, tell all of your friends and invite them to attend.
6. If you can’t attend but still want to make a contribution (or if you can and want to do even more), please go to http://www.artonatlanta.org and click the “Donate” button in the top right corner. Every dollar helps.
7. Accept my thanks for reading this. You’re probably one of my wonderful friends and I wouldn’t be me without you. Thank you for all of your support through the years. Please don’t stop now! Call, email or Facebook me for more information. And sincerely, thank you.