Because we CARE

Part of owning a business is not only what you sell, but who you are to your community.  We strive to use the gallery to give back to our community.  We feel it is a gift to be in such a great community, so we like to do what we can to support our community.  We do this in a variety of ways but one of my favorites is the CARE Gallery.  I became involved with the CARE program about 5 years ago.  CARE (Career Awareness Related Experience) is a summer program for at risk youth (ages 14 – 18).  Each summer students are paid a wage by the program to work.  They are mentored and employed by area business.  A small faction of the CARE program, which employs over 200 students, is the CARE Gallery.  The Gallery portion of the program actually pays student to create art for the summer.  The students are mentored and taught by local artists.  They attend workshops, create work, and work on community art projects.  At the end of the summer they have an exhibit of the work at PS:Gallery.  We show and sell the work and all the proceeds go to helping fund the program the following summer.

Here is what I really love about the CARE Gallery.  I love those kids.  Every year, I am amazed at what they can accomplish.  But more than that, I am proud to be a supporter of kids that don’t always get a lot of support.  I love when they get to hear people from the community talk about how great their work it.  I love the look of pride on their faces when their pieces sell the very first day.  I love how they seem to stand a little taller and speak a little clearer.  There are always a few of the students that I get to know well.  Several of the students come and help hang the show. Several of the students are sales helpers the night of the reception.  There are students who have gone on to other things that still stop by the gallery and say Hi.  I am thrilled to hear about an admission to college, or an art program.  I like to think that we helped in some small way.

I have been so impressed and moved by my minimal involvement that I have joined the CARE board.  I hope to encourage more businesses to get involved and to bring more money into the program so that more than half of the kids who apply for the program can actually participate.

The 2010 CARE Gallery exhibit opened on Tuesday.  It will hang through the end of the month.  The reception is Thursday, August 5th from 4-6pm.  Please stop by and introduce yourself to one of the student and buy a piece of art.  Donations directly to the CARE program are accepted as well.



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