There are so many ways art and artists can serve their community and I’m sure I don’t know the full extent of the choices here in my small town or county.
Of course, we are asked to donate pottery, which we do by giving gift certificates. Sometimes the non-profit wants an actual piece for a silent auction, and once again, we agree, though we hesitate each time. Not because we don’t want to support the group or the people, but because we have learned there is a ‘Get a bargain’ mentality that seems to pervade a silent auction. That doesn’t help the group, nor us, because we gave a large piece. We believe no one is being respected nor served then.
We give it anyway, after sharing our opinions with the nice person who is picking up the art. 🙂
We also are members of our local service club and donate our time. Of course we get so much in return, mostly the fun that comes along with doing fun stuff with friends, that it hardly feels like work.
Here is another way art comes into play. The Ellison Bay Service Club sponsors Olde Ellison Bay Days, the first festival of the Summer here in Door County, and we have been intimately involved for over 30 years. Intimate because John was the organizer of the art show when the Ellison Bay Men’s Club was sponsoring it. He just recently retired from running it. But he always paid a booth fee and attended the show, in addition to all the setting up.
Sometimes he would be caught napping around 11am on Saturday, his wide brimmed hat shielding his eyes from the blinding sunshine, the sports page on his lap. While he is at the art show at the Ellison Bay Woman’s Club and Beach Park he meets and greets old friends, listens to the great music, has a whitefish sandwich or two and a slice of strawberry shortcake and occasionally sells pottery. All in the first day.
I stay here, the Saturday peaceful and quiet because the highway is blocked off for the parade and no one can get to me. Sometime Sunday afternoon I will close up and head on down there to see the art available and get myself a sandwich and shortcake too, and shop, supporting the artists who come to our little show.
The booth fees go into the club’s bank account and then donations can be made to the Fire Department, or to help buy more playground equipment, buy benches to place strategically around our small town, buy uniforms for our Little League or Soccer teams, keep our skating rink working, build gazebos and park shelters and other worthwhile town projects.