Monday, October 18, 2010

How to put the "fun" in fundraising

Toddler Art Show

So, we've got a great idea - to frame, mat and display toddler art pieces and show it off as the "real" art that it really is.  Many contemporary artists would be hard pressed to find such freedom of expression, such joy in each and every stroke.  Not to mention the fact that some of the work they do is simply gorgeous and would look great hanging on YOUR wall.  Think what a great story it would make too!

We'd like to put together this art show/fundraiser in a great venue, one where the art is visible and there is plenty of daily foot traffic, so probably a coffee shop or cafe in the local area would work best. 

For opening night we'll like to host some live music from local musicians.  January or February would be perfect, timing-wise, for us.  If you'd like to be involved, help us think of the perfect location and ask your favorite local musicians if they'd help with a benefit concert! 

For another fundraiser, families may purchase some really great kid's music CD's for sale by Lois LaFond and the Rockadiles.  Lois, who has a grandchild currently in the program, has generously offered to donate 1/2 of the proceeds from each CD sale to our Natural Playscape fund.  Please visit the link above for purchase information.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Assembling the Outdoor Art Area

Phase 1 - Part II

Now that our concrete has been poured, we can dive into part two of this project: the outdoor art area.  We're so excited to have a place that is out of the weather to work on art and fine motor activities year round.  It will also be nice to have storage for our art supplies where they can't be blown away, rained/snowed on or taken captive by squirrels! 

We're working with an extremely tight budget so we'll need to find "previously loved" items for our art area if possible.  The items we need for this project are:
Getting There

1. Outdoor art storage that is weather, wind and squirrel proof, child-proof locks would be nice for some of the storage too, so we can keep "supervisable" materials outside and get them out as needed.

***Update***  We were able to sell a $65 backpack from our unsold yard sale items on craigslist and the same day pick up these nice metal shelves, also on craigslist, for $65!  We took the doors off of one of them so they could be kid accessible, the second one we left the doors on for storing outdoor art supplies.

2.  Art tables, weather proof, kid-art-proof and sturdy.  It would be great if they could be easily cleanable so they could double as outdoor snack and lunch tables.

Outdoor art chairs

3.  Chairs small enough for toddlers, and weather proof.

***Update***  We sold another yard sale item, a carseat for $35 and received an additional $30 in yard sale funds still owed to us, with this we were able to purchase 12 nice preschool-style chairs for $50 on craigslist, they normally sell for $30 each, and put the remaining $15 towards art tables!

4.  Chalkboard and easels - we already have these, but the chalkboards need a new coat of chalkboard paint and some buckets for chalk and erasers mounted on the wall for easy access. 

5. Planters to enclose the art area and protect it from "car traffic".  They will also extend our gardening options so in the spring and summer we can have flowers and veggies growing at kid height!  It would be ideal to find some that are already made, but we do have some extra lumber lying around and could try to make our own!