This month, the Association for Fundraising Professionals commissioned ArtWorks 945 to paint the Charlotte skyline. These pieces are to be given as awards on National Philanthropy Day coming up on November 13. This exciting opportunity was more than a conduit for CommunityWorks and Urban Ministry Center to bring further awareness of our mission to the community; it was also a beneficial way for our artists to practice the life skills they have been learning.
To kick-start this project, we brought the artists to the Romare Bearden Park to begin sketching their skylines. It was not all work and no play for these gifted folks as we made sure to take the time to enjoy each other’s company out of the studio over a lunch of pizza and soda. It is amazing how much more we learned about each other being out of our normal environment. I for one learned that Ron and Frank are best friends, and that Dan thinks I should have been born in the 70’s. This experience reiterated the need for more field trips for our ArtWorks group.
At our next artist meeting, CommunityWorks Director Pete Fink emphasized some of the life lessons that our artists have been learning throughout their time in the ArtWorks program and how they should be applied to the skyline project. Pete made sure they all knew the due date and exact guidelines of the assignment, as well as the consequence if they did not follow the directions. Of course all of us who work at the Urban Ministry Center realize that given their complex situations, not everything recommended to our neighbors can be accomplished, no matter how convincing one’s explanation might be. Knowing this, we were hopeful for many of our artists to turn in their projects on time, but definitely did not expect all of our artists to complete the project as required. Much to our surprise ALL of the artists that committed to this job followed the guidelines and turned in their amazing work on the day that it was due. This was not only a victory for the artists who will be able to show their talents to the attendees at the National Philanthropy Luncheon, but also for the members of the CommunityWorks team who have seen such progress in each and every one of our artists, a product of hard work on both ends.
In addition to these commissioned works, we are also pleased to see our artists’ pieces hanging publicly at SouthPark Christian Church, and Theatre Charlotte during their production of Arsenic and Old Lace, October 25 – November 10. Theatre Charlotte is also allowing CommunityWorks to ‘share the stage’ on opening weekend, giving attendees an overview of our program!