Archive for January, 2013

Plan Smart when Selling Art!

Written by Pour Your ART Out peeps on . Posted in Pour Your ART Out, Uncategorized, Youth Apprentices

It was all about business today at Arts On The Block as financial educator Derek Sontz came to visit our organization. He encouraged our apprentices to think about the business and finance aspect of creating their artwork for clients. He proposed different approaches to financial strategies and working together as a team to meet their goals. To start with this business planning, our apprentices needed to have core goals–or S.M.A.R.T goals as Mr. Sontz referred to them, goals that were: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. While planning, our apprentices came up with numbers and figures for an item they’d all like to create for our Open House event, approaching in March. Working together, they configured important factors such as: production time, material costs, pricing, net and gross sales, marketing strategies, premium deals for clientele, and even exercising their leadership skills delegating individual tasks for each other. After Mr.Sontz’s engaging discussion, the apprentices brainstormed their various ideas to put their business plan into action. Now that they have greater knowledge of business planning when selling their artwork, I have no doubts that our apprentices are headed towards bright  and successful futures.

January 19th, 2013

-Aprill H.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Can we ever thank you enough?”

Written by Jan on . Posted in Op-Ed

Possibly the most humbling, exhilarating and unnatural season of the year came to a close for Arts on the Block — and a lot of other nonprofits — one day last week when the postal worker delivered the last in a six-consecutive-week stream of check-filled envelopes to the door.  With that envelope, and the thank you note that was returned to its sender the next day, the rush of the all-out annual end-of-year fundraising campaign was officially over.

Though this will be the 10th year of operations for Arts on the Block, it is only our fourth year of asking individuals for support. And while in some ways it gets easier each year, it is also an increasingly humbling affair.  Board members drumming up the courage to ask  friends and neighbors; online donations streaming in from admirers with unfamiliar names;  and this year, for the first time ever, even a donation from my very own mother!

It is humbling indeed. And exhilarating. And — unnatural. To know from the start that only a percentage of those who are asked will say “yes,” and among those who do not may be the neighbor you have to face each week taking out the garbage or the cousin who you will surely be seated  beside you at a future Bar Mitzvah. But you do it anyway because you know that in order to deliver on the promises of a mission, it takes a village, as cliched as that saying may be. And villages are made one person at a time.

Two thousand and twelve may be over, but the thanking will go on for a long, long time.  How, I ask, can we ever thank you enough? How can we ever let you know how grateful we are for reaching into your hearts and taking a chance on Arts on the Block. Taking the risk that we will put your generous offerings to good use. Trusting us to wisely leverage your hard-earned savings for the good of creative young people and the community at large.

We may never be able to thank you enough, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts. And may 2013 be a year of joy and wonder for all.

Gratefully yours,

Jan Goldstein, Executive Director

 

 

Art is Healing–Growth and Development

Written by Pour Your ART Out peeps on . Posted in Uncategorized

Today was a very productive one at Arts on The Block. Juan, a new apprentice at Arts on the Block this season gave us a presentation of his artwork and his sketches that were all done this term while working at AOB. Everyone really enjoyed seeing his work, because not only did he take pride in it, but it also showcased the amazing accomplishments that the apprentices have come together and succeeded in doing so far, here at AOB. He showed many past sketches and ideas of all our projects and commissions thus far, and it was great to see how far we’ve come in the past few months. Next, the apprentices continued to work on the flyer and come up with more exciting designs for the Pheo Para Alliance event. Together they came up with some really creative, inspiring ideas all surrounding the event’s main theme–“Art Is Healing”. Following the morning brainstorming for that event–we had three clients visit us today with great enthusiasm to work with us for their future projects. It was very exciting to meet one of Arts on The Block’s very own board members today Ms. June Linowitz. She was very excited to be working with us again –as were our apprentices as they shared their ideas for her house number commission. In addition to June’s visit, Dr. Gillian Caldwell and her children visited us with creative ideas for their house number as well. Later as I walked around–I noted that her commission involved two key elements–fairies and chickens, while June’s was a more subtle earth tone design. So it will be interesting to see our apprentices work with their clients and further develop these projects. Last but not least, AOB was visited by a third client and another AOB Board member, — Mr. Jim Neustadt, who came in for a design review meeting. Following all of our meetings with our clients today, everyone regrouped and shared their different interview experiences–and how much they looked forward to working with our clientele. As the day drew to a close, we all gathered around in the conference room and winded down today’s work with thought-provoking riddles to solve. The apprentices broke up into teams, and worked together to solve each riddle–it was not only a fun exercise, but it also really brought everyone together and challenged them to think independently and as a group to solve each problem. I feel that our apprentices are truly growing, not only with their progressing artistic skills, but also with their life skills–professionally handling their clients today with positive and diligent attitudes. It’s truly a great experience to watch them grow, and display ever-growing confidence in their capabilities.

 

January 9th, 2013

-Aprill H.

From Failure to Fulfillment

Written by Pour Your ART Out peeps on . Posted in Uncategorized

Tom Cooper visited us at our AOB organization today and gave us some great insight as to how to turn even your greatest failures into your greatest triumphs. As he gave us his motivational speech on “failing forward” it prompted new ways of thinking when we do fail in life, that failure is an everyday part of it, but with every failure there is some experience gained–thus new knowledge and wisdom to walk away with. He encouraged us to fail courageously–for the one true failure in life is to not try things at all out of fear. Mr. Cooper’s words were very inspiring to all, and our apprentices left our studio that day with a newfound sense of self and confidence to take on their challenges whether the outcome in the end be–success or failure–they will move ahead in stride as they take on the daily challenges they face on their roads to adulthood.

Here are some reflections made by the apprentices after Mr. Cooper’s uplifting words:

“I have a greater appreciation for the lessons in failure. I am now able to plan my resolutions.” -Nia

“I am now able to fail, comfortably.” -Max

“I learned that it’s never bad to fail, and that what you do with today is matters.”
-Elizandra

“I learned it’s okay to fail, no matter what stage of life you’re in.”
-Juan

January 16th, 2013

-Aprill H.

Team Work makes our Dreams work.

Written by Pour Your ART Out peeps on . Posted in Uncategorized

Today at Arts on The Block, we learned how working together can help us build a strong sense of trust and community among one another. We experienced this during our team building exercise that Jan had put together. Our task was to work in teams, reconstructing a set of objects placed in a particular way, and we had to replicate it only using our photographic memories. It was quite a difficult challenge, but when we really worked together and used team work- challenging and trusting one another–we were able to accomplish our goal. Throughout the day, we discussed our goals and resolutions for the New Year 2013. A photographer from the Bethesda Magazine came to do a photo-shoot for an upcoming article featuring our organization. Next, Ms. Carien showed us her own personal work with a presentation on how she became not only an artist but an art educator. Her work seeks to educate people and she showed us by example that our own work can have a great impact on our surrounding communities. As the day came to a close myself and the other apprentices continued to work on our mosaic projects. Today, was very eventful in that it really showed us the value of team work, and that by working together — we can really accomplish great feats.

January 5th,2013

–Horacio C.

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