Saturday, May 04, 2013

An Open Letter from Arts on the Block

Dear Fellow Artist:
Both of us have rarely asked fellow artists for a contribution to any the various arts organizations we‘ve been involved with over the years, unless the artist is rolling in money (an all too rare state), but we’re making an exception now. We’re both on the board of directors of a non-profit organization called Arts on the Block (AOB), and it could use a little help financing a very important part of its mission, which as an artist we think you’ll appreciate.
AOB's signature program involves high school students, many of whom are  economically disadvantaged, but all of whom identify themselves as creative types and lovers of art.  Mosaics are what the students (called apprentices at AOB) focus on, and over the years they have created a number of great public and private murals in the DC area. As a team the apprentices work with a public or private client to design a mosaic, and then they build it. Through this program AOB does a truly remarkable job of fostering art, life, and business skills. (You can see some to our apprentices’ work by going to the AOB website and clicking on Buy & Commission Art.)
A unique cornerstone of the program described above has been paying the apprentices a stipend while participating in the AOB program. This stipend is a important teaching tool as it adds concrete value and incentive to their creative work. The appentices have historically been paid $30 a day for their participation in the program. 
So why are we asking you for money now? Arts on the Block, like the vast majority of non-profit art organizations, is trying to weather the current economic woes. Unlike most non-profit art organizations AOB consistently stays out of debt;.This, however, can lead to budget cuts. Thus, we’re hoping you will contribute $30 for one of our apprentices for one day in the AOB program. We will not stop you if you’d like to finance 2 days for $60, or even a  whole week for $150. But, again, We’re hoping you will at least  consider financing an outstanding young artist for one day’s participation in the of Arts on the Block program.
Or you can mail a check to:
  Arts on the Block
  11501 Georgia Ave.,  Ste 104
  Wheaton, MD   20902-1952
Whatever you can give will be greatly appreciated.

Richard Dana and June Linowitz