Monday, March 10, 2014

Not about film. Not about advertising. This post is about the future.

Ophelia Belefant, Founder and Curator of The Heart Show
Last year, my daughter, who was in kinder-garten, heard about kids whose hearts needed to be fixed. It was part of a presentation for a fundraiser –– kids would jump rope to raise money for the American Heart Association.

She was really affected, but she didn’t know how to jump rope. If she couldn’t jump rope, what could she do, I asked? She thought for a moment and then said she could make a painting and sell it.

I tend to be a big thinker, so I prodded her to think about how she could do even more. What she came up with was an art show.

She invited all the kids in her class to participate. I got canvasses and paints for everyone, and asked my favorite local patisserie to let us take over for three hours one afternoon. I made up forms for a silent auction. Then I called up the hospital where she was born –– which has a highly regarded pediatric cardiology unit –– and told them what we were up to. The executive director of the foundation came to the show and accepted the donations from the kids.

Long story short, the kids raised $375.

More important, they realized that their efforts could generate immediate results.

And my daughter got to see first hand that the first two steps toward accomplishing anything are figuring out what you want to do and then believing that it’s possible.

My daughter is putting on the show again this year. And my son, who’s in kindergarten himself –– is inviting his classmates to join in, too. That means twice as many artists and hopefully, twice as much money raised for pediatric cardiology.

A radio station found out about the show and interviewed my daughter, too, so maybe we’ll get even better attendance than parents and friends.
Your very own invitation. Please come.

So here comes the ask:

My kids have identified something worthwhile that they want to contribute to. If you like the sounds of it, we sure would appreciate it if you’d help.

The show is in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday. Come by if you can. We’ll have a silent auction where the highest bidders will bring home some stunning art created by five- and six- and seven-year-olds.

I created a Facebook event where you can find out more information, see the masterpieces (once I photograph them all), and download an invitation you can forward to friends, members of the press, and art collectors you know.

If you can’t make it, consider writing a check to the Randall Children’s Hospital. Put “The Heart Show” on the memo line, so whatever you give will add to what the kids bring in. Here's the address: 2801 N Gantenbein Ave, Portland, OR 97227

These kids –– all kids –– are the future. And this is why I’m so passionate about what my daughter and son and their classmates are doing. I sincerely hope that all of them come to believe that good can be done and that they can be the ones doing good. Not just the kids putting on the show, but also the ones benefiting from the money raised.

Thank you.