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Giving Back with Creativity

By Greenfield/Belser
March 24, 2015
Giving Back with Creativity

This past weekend, AFCEA Bethesda held their annual Children’s Gala at the Woodley Marriott in Washington, DC. Over the last 16 years, they have raised over $6 million for charities benefiting the health, welfare, and education of children. Sponsorship starts at $2,000 and individual tickets are $500—so, it’s a significant event that really makes a difference for the charities. Additional funds are raised through silent auctions, contests and a live auction event of three original artworks by three featured artists. These artists are chosen by AFCEA to work directly with each charity to create an original art piece to be donated for the live auction.

I was asked to be the artist for House of Ruth, DC and was tasked with creating a painting that represented House of Ruth’s mission with a wide-audience appeal. I wanted the children to actually be a part of the final piece so I went to the House of Ruth’s Kids Space and worked with six amazing young children. I created a charcoal drawing of DC row houses and had the children finger paint on the drawing. I cut apart that piece into feathers to make up the two doves on the painting. My mixed media painting represents a better tomorrow, a transition from a colorless world into a vibrant life. I focused on capturing the happiness and energy the children expressed while painting and turning that into an art piece full of light. The children’s hand and fingerprints, which form the color in the wings of the doves, show just how real House of Ruth’s mission is and what makes it so important. My piece ended up raising $3,500 for the House of Ruth. I couldn’t be happier to have had a hand in helping such a great organization.

This was truly an amazing experience. I can’t thank AFCEA enough for choosing me to be one of their artists and having me at the event. It was such a beautiful night.