The final two months of 2015 were loaded with activity. Sticking Up For Children hosted events and guests and was blessed with new friends and allies. 2016 is looking like a year of big steps forward and outward!
DONIS and EMILY with their drumsticks-as-art at the Music & Arts Day of October 24, 2015
We had our concluding Music & Arts Day of 2015 at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center on Saturday, October 15. As you can see, more art arose, to be gripped firmly in its creators; hands. Donis and Emily are students of Cole Williams' and they also drummed with Cole and the great Alfred Roberts.
In mid-November Maryse and I met Jon Schull, a co-director of the e-NABLE organization that has within the past 30 months produced more than 2000 3D-printed proshetic hands for children around the world. Jon was in New Orleans as keynote speaker for a bio-technology conference. He and colleagues at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Upstate New York have enlisted more than 6800 3D-printing "makers" as their all-volunteer source for free prosthetics. Jon's interview with Maryse over WWOZ on November 16 can be heard through clicking on the buton at stickingupforchildren.com. Jon excels at telling the e-NABLE story. He loves what they do.
As it happens, e-NABLE began a project in Jeremie, Haiti this year. We expect to collaborate with e-NABLE, FEPE, and College Canapé-Vert in Port-au-Prince during 2016!
Sticking Up For Children's third annual Festiva grew in several respects beyond our prior years. Our multi-course Dinner was of dishes from the Little Gem Saloon, Lola's Spanish Restaurant, and 1000 Figs. Our dessert was a Berry Chanilly Cake from Whole Food Market. We had wines from Second Vine Wines and beers from Bayour Teche Brewing. We were blessed!
WWOZ show-host Breaux Bridges (Rick Wilkof) gave us a richly detailed history and appreciation of the great New Orleans-born drummer and composer Idris Muhammad We had a Concert of songs and poems with the Rivers of Dreams band. The night finished with propulsive dance-music from the Cole Willims Band.
Sticking Up For Children has dozens of supporters to thank.
New friends include the Brand NOLA Art Gallery and the Positive Vibrations Foundation. Here are Nissa and Kimblerly of Brand NOLA and Ben and Wiley and the whole table of Posiitive Vibrations in photos taken by Philip Yiannopoulis, himself just back from Haiti two days before the Festiva. We have also to particulary thank Ken and Melba Ferdinard, Daniel Dreher, Dave Brinks, Maureen and Mike Smith, and Brock Hinzmann among those who bought Tables.
The teen-agers you see in the top-left photo above all are grandchildren of Collins and Sheila Phillips and nieces and nephews of our gifted videographer Aristide Phillips. All three, too, are musicians with Make Music NOLA. And all of them and their sister Jyra contribued either or both shadow-boxes as art or drumsticks as art to this third Festiva!
They and the orphan artists of FEPE and the creativiy and industry that they share really embody hopes and potentialties of Sticking Up For Children! We're lucky to know 'em!
Soeaking of FEPE, here is the orphanage's founder, the tireless model Marie-Jo Poux, with the second containter that SUFC was able to help with funding in 2015. Beside Marie-Jo are dancer Monique Moss of the FEPE Board of Directors and musician and educator Matthew Shilling, founder of NOYSE, with checks signifying the funding that our recent successes let SUFC pass along in December.
Our final events of 2015 were nice surprises. On the day before his and John Bukaty's December 17 art-opening at the Bukaty Gallery in New Orleans, Anders Osborne called. Johnny Vidacovich had contacted Anders, an accomplished painter, for advice about the Giant Stick that Johnny had as a work-in-progress. In the course and Anders' and my jolly conversation he invited SUFC to participate in his and John's opening the next night. Thanks to Maryse and to the generosity and grace of John and Joe and Megan at the Gallery we got set up.
The opening itself was a ball! Hundreds of Anders' far-flung fans showed up--he and John did action-painting of Pro-Mark Giant Sticks as Johnny played--and Sticking Up For Children connected with many extraordinary and interested folks.
Here are Johnny drumming and Anders and John painting.
The next night, Friday, December 18, Second Vine Wines hosted our Appreciation Night for friends. Big Queen Cherice Harrison-Nelson of the Guardians of the Flame and the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame visited us with the Giant Stick that she'd just finished. Its painting and adornments make for something spectacular and touching, we think.
Big Queen CHERICE HARRISON-NELSON points to her Giant Stick's bejewelled tribute
to New Orleans' drummer and songwriter Smokey Johnson.
We look for more in 2016! More art! More colors! More cities and countries! More 3D printing!
More empowerment of our youth-education partners in Haiti, New Orleans, and elsewhere!