Chicks for Charity ‘Mix’ to benefit Shared Lives art studioWritten by Paige Shermis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Chicks for Charity will host its annual Chicks Mix gala on July 16, with proceeds benefiting Shared Lives Studio. Chicks for Charity is an informal group of 1,900 women in the Toledo area who raise money for a local charity, which changes every two years. The featured charities are chosen through a vote.
Chicks Mix will take place from 5:30-9 p.m. at Toledo Botanical Garden. More than 500 women and girls are expected to attend, according to a news release. The event is open to the public.
Tickets for the event cost $37 for women 21 and older, and $20 for Junior Chicks aged 20 and younger.
Lori Schoen is Shared Lives Studio’s director.
“Shared Lives Studio is a nonprofit studio run by Lott Industries, which provides employment for artists with developmental disabilities. They create and sell their art at the studio and the gallery. That’s how they earn their wages. They can create art and express themselves artistically,” Schoen said.
Shared Lives’ two locations, on North Saint Clair Street in Downtown and in Maumee, employ 35 artists. They are partnered with the Lucas County Department of Developmental Disabilities.
“The first studio [opened] in Holland in 2008. It was the president of Lott, Joan Uhl Browne, [who] decided to get the studio going to provide employment for people after we lost so many jobs with the automotive plant going bust. There are studios all over the country [like it] and those were successful,” Schoen said.
At Shared Lives, artists explore a variety of artistic mediums, including painting, ceramics, sculpture, glass, garden art, jewelry and even making silk scarves.
“Everybody has their own individual interests, so we nurture those interests,” Schoen said.
Shared Lives Studio has been able to expand its activities with the money Chicks for Charity has raised so far.
“Already, we’ve started children’s classes with some of that money. What’s cool is that we’re letting our artists mentor the program. Some of our artists that have disabilities are helping the class and empowering them to teach. It [also] allows us to continue operations,” Schoen said.
“The Chicks money allows us to keep our doors open, and provides these opportunities for these individuals. What this studio does for them is that it allows them to have an equal playing field with anybody. It gives them a voice. Having Chicks allows their voice to reach to so many people.”
Artwork done by Shared Lives’ artists is set to be featured at Chicks Mix ‘13.
“At Chicks Mix, our artists will be there. We will have their art as their centerpieces. It will give more exposure to what they do. They will be able to come and talk about their work in a public place — something that doesn’t get to happen all the time for people with disabilities. For them, it’s an incredible way to be connected to the community,” Schoen said.
Chicks Mix will also feature heavy appetizers, drinks, basket raffles and silent auction items.
This is Chicks for Charity’s eighth year, said Jackie Zureich, Chick in Charge. She said the charity was ultimately chosen due to its mission.
“They’re committed to supporting people with developmental disabilities. They want them to become working artists and promote their work as an increasingly important contribution to the art world,” Zureich said.
To purchase tickets for the event or to learn more about?Chicks Mix ‘13, visit www.chicksforcharity.net or call (419) 241-2221.