I am writing to all of you lovely readers today in the hopes that your love of art and entertainment will inspire you to help a worthy cause in my hometown of Baltimore City. As you are likely aware, Baltimore has struggled over many years with significant socioeconomic issues that disproportionately affect people of color and the poor. Almost a year ago the city experienced significant social unrest after the death of Freddie Grey. The turmoil felt by the city during this period was broadcast worldwide and drew national attention. Despite the national coverage and dialogue, there is still a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done to help lift Baltimore’s communities out of their current predicament. If you have a desire to help, then I encourage you to look to the many non-profit organizations that help service those in need within the city; as there are many hard working men and women doing everything they can to increase the quality of life for their fellow neighbors. Despite the negative imagery depicted in the media, our city wants to be better.
So you may ask yourself, how does my love of art and entertainment have anything to do with helping Baltimore? Well, I have an answer for you. For the last half decade, I have served on the Board of Directors for a non-profit based in the northern Baltimore neighborhood of Hampden. The nonprofit is called Art With A Heart and we specifically focus on providing Baltimore’s youth with opportunities for positive creative expression. This year is Art With A Heart’s 15th anniversary and I have personally watched this organization grow significantly in both its reach and effectiveness at positively influencing change in the communities it touches. From the thousands of program hours spent teaching art classes within Baltimore City’s schools, to after school programs offered at community centers, or evening programming at shelters for battered women and children; the core mission remains the same. Give people a chance to use their hands and tell their stories through art. I would be happy to recount to you the many stories that I have to share about Art With A Heart and it’s programs such as, Heartwares, our retail store where students can sell their art and learn essential business skills. Another program of note is, The Art of Leadership, a 15 month long leadership program designed to bring young talent from different communities together to develop their thought leadership and community engagement skills. I am tempted to go on but I fear this post may become too long winded and I know your time is precious.
If you would like a true glimpse into our programming then the below video is perhaps the best way to catch a glimpse of the work that we do: Art with a Heart Baltimore
Thank you for your attention to this matter and I wish you the very best in your creative endeavors,My final appeal to you good reader is if you love art and have a desire to help affect positive change within Baltimore, then I hope you will consider donating to Art With A Heart. Since it is our 15th anniversary, we are hosting our largest fundraiser in the history of our organization with a concert at the Lyric Opera House with George Benson, a world class entertainer. If you are interested in attending the concert then you can buy tickets here. By attending not only will you be entertained, you will be helping with a good cause. If you are unable or uninterested in attending, then please consider donating here. Every little bit helps as we continue to service Baltimore’s most vulnerable populations with hope and dignity.
Thank you for your attention to this matter and I wish you the very best in your creative endeavors,
Bennett C. Robley
Spread the word!