Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Satellite Project 2015 - CCT / ARI Global Fundraiser... We Need Your Help!

Dear volunteers, friends and supporters of CCT and ARI,

For the first time in its nine year history Cultural Canvas Thailand and Art Relief International will coordinate a worldwide fundraising event campaign we are calling ‘The Satellite Project 2015’, which will take place from June 15 to August 15. The objective of the campaign is to raise funds for CCT and ARI via the coordination of various satellite fundraising parties hosted by previous volunteers, supporters, friends and family members at different locations across the world. 

Party hosts will assist party goers in making donations via the online donation feature on the CCT / ARI websites or via CCT’s PayPal, or the host will collect cash and then deposit it in to CCT’s bank account. This will enable CCT and ARI to achieve its ongoing goals through delivering further workshops, increasing volunteer programs, enhancing our marketing and communications, purchasing more art supplies and better managing ongoing costs. You will also be promoting our programs!

As you probably know, CCT / ARI is a very small, local non-profit and Non-Government Organisation, and therefore every dollar (or baht) we make goes straight back in to the organization, so we are able to continue to run art workshops and manage our volunteers whilst serving the most marginalised across Chiang Mai.

We are seeking individuals or groups who are willing to host a party or event any time between June 15 and August 15 to help us raise as much money as possible. Anyone is able to host a party – previous volunteers, family members, friends, organisations, artists, human rights advocates - as long as they’re passionate about our work, the people we work with and they are committed to creating a successful party. The party host who raises the most money will also win themselves an ARI Merchandise pack!

The party itself can be anything you want it to be, and we will try and support you as much as possible by providing you with event ideas and lots of information, by being available to answer any questions you might have, by sending you a party pack to assist with your organising and by facilitating a Party Host Facebook Group where ideas, hints and photos can be shared. It can be as big as a Thai banquet, a fancy dress party or a fashion parade, or as small as a morning tea. To keep the event on track we will also provide you with links to our various websites and social media platforms, numerous on-line videos and we would also love to host a live Skype session with you during your party.

So if you, or anybody you know, might be keen to host an event during the above mentioned dates and help us achieve our 2015 goals, then please contact Dan Hales at admin@culturalcanvas.com to register your interest and nominate a flexible party date. CCT / ARI will keep a log of all parties and check in before, during and after.

We are super excited to host The Satellite Project 2015, and perhaps even make this the cornerstone of our future fundraising efforts, and we would LOVE for you to join us in the fun!

We look forward to hearing from you, and we hope you are all keeping happy, healthy and arty.

In creativity and compassion,

The CCT / ARI Team

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Using Art to Soar Like Birds

Earlier this month Cultural Canvas Thailand and Art Relief International were lucky enough to host seven students and one professor from a University in Utah, USA. The group are spending three weeks in Chiang Mai as part of a Global Studies Program which encourages students to visit a country outside of the USA to immerse themselves in a different culture and broaden their experience as global citizens.

The students had a very tight schedule whilst in Chiang Mai, and could only spare one day to spend with our team. It is generally quite difficult for CCT / ARI to do anything that demonstrates clearly the work we do with our partner organisations in such a short amount of time. We usually require even temporary visitors to undergo a solid orientation to our organisation, our mission and objectives, the population groups we work with and the methods in which we facilitate our workshops.  Given the issues our artists are experiencing, our primary consideration is always their wellbeing, and whether what we are doing with them is of benefit.

In this instance however fate intervened, and whilst considering what we could do with this group of American students beyond a typical information session, we received a phone call from the manager of Baan Nokkamin, a home for young girls who are either homeless or from unstable family situations, asking if we had the time and resources to help them paint a bright and happy mural on all four walls of their common room. This is a big project, but with extra hands we could potentially complete this in a day. We quickly spoke to the Utah student’s tour coordinator, who quickly agreed to assist us, and two weeks later all twelve of us crammed in to the CCT van and headed out to Mae Rim where the home is located.

After a quick introduction and ice breaker with the group and the twelve or so girls, we paired off the students with the artists and got to work by first drawing the mural on to the wall using led pencil, allowing for any mistakes to be quickly erased. The girls had requested birds, butterflies and other flying creatures, symbolising their new found hope and freedom through the support they received at Baan Nokkamin. It was no real surprise that some of the artists (and the American students) were gifted artists, and some of the drawings of birds, trees and flowers were very cute, typifying the feeling of the warm and welcoming home.

The final result, whilst possibly needing some very small and final touch ups (we did indeed run out of time, just), was absolutely beautiful, and the girls (and the manager) were very pleased. What was even more pleasing however, was the seamless way in which students, artists and ARI staff collaborated and worked together, sharing ideas, colours and smiles throughout the day despite the perceived language barrier. A big thank you to participating students from Utah, and of course an even bigger thank you to the staff and artists at Baan Nokkamin for hosting us and being so hospitable as always.

Dan Hales