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Education And Health Organizations Benefit From Art Off The Main

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New York, New York, September 29, 2006— ART OFF THE MAIN: The Show of African, Caribbean, & Latin American Art—an annual display of the painting, sculpture, and photography of Diaspora arts from cultures around the world—is on a mission to raise awareness for the artistic aspects of African, Caribbean, and Latin culture, and to also highlight the social issues plaguing these communities by contributing funding to community-based non profits. Held in New York City’s historic Puck Building from October 5th-8th, the exhibition will feature health and education organizations in communities of color.

The opening night Gala Charity Benefit on Thursday, October 5th., is a reception for traditional art collectors and novices alike, will benefit the African Medical Research Foundation, an African-based not-for-profit, dedicated to improving the health of disadvantaged people in Africa as a means to combat poverty. Since its inception in 1957, AMRF is the only international health NGO headquartered in Africa, with offices in Ethopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda; and field offices in Somalia and the Sudan. They provide information, treatment, counseling, and public advocacy services in six major priority intervention areas: HIV/AIDS, TB, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Malaria; Safe Water and Basic Sanitation; Family Health; Clinical Studies, Disaster Management, and Emergency Response; and Training and Heatlh Learning Materials.

Another Gala Beneficiary, the University Of New Orleans Scholarship Fund, is set to provide funding for individual scholarships to students affected by Hurricane Katrina. UNO, the urban research university of the State of Louisiana, provides essential educational, economic, cultural and social training for New Orleans’ rich and diverse cultural metropolitan area. The principal sponsor of the Gala is The School of Culinary Arts at Monroe College and its campus chapter of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (the sister chapter to the University of New Orleans).

Upliftment Jamaica, (UJ) a 501(c)(3) organization offering both health and education services in St. Thomas, one of the island’s most rural and impoverished areas, is also an active part of the Art Off the Main Gala Charity Benefit. A U.S.-based organization and headquartered in St. Thomas, UJ has been hard at work in local basic and primary schools refurbishing and restoring dilapidated school buildings, providing academic scholarships for students, raising money and in-kind donations for school supplies, and assisting educators in raising the standards of basic education. In addition, UJ has established a technology center, equipped with computers and free internet access to improve technological information skills, reduce illiteracy and connect the area to the rest of the world.

The New Collector’s Night, Friday, October 6th, a cocktail reception for the younger generation of art enthusiasts, collectors and novices, will benefit the Young Survival Coalition, a non-profit community of breast cancer survivors, as well as SHARE/LatinaSHARE, a cancer support organization for women.

Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the only international network of breast cancer survivors and supporters dedicated to concerns and issues unique to younger women and breast cancer. Founded by three breast cancer survivors under age 35 in 1998, the organization was born out of the lack of information and resources available to younger women facing breast cancer and the lack of representation of these women in breast cancer research and studies. Under the motto “Action, Advocacy, and Awareness,” YSC is a movement of thousands of young survivors and supporters, running annual awareness campaigns, lobbying elected officials, and encouraging research, services, and support for younger women facing breast cancer.

Similarly, non-profit organization SHARE/Latina SHARE offers survivor support for women affected by cancer, namely breast and ovarian cancer. For over thirty years, SHARE has been providing women of all ages with support services and lobbying medical researches and elected officials to increase access to care, improve treatment models and research funding. SHARE offers both English and Spanish programs and services free of charge.

October 7th and 8th , are general admission days, with special workshops and lectures on artistic and cultural cross sections. Noted gallery exhibitions include the Clinton Hill Art Gallery in New York, Caribbean Fine Arts out of Los Angeles, Montreal’s Galerie Bourbon Lally, Medalia Art/The Art of Haiti, Trios Galleria de Arte from Honduras, and Inteporel of Paris.

Art Off the Main is produced by Loris Crawford, Founder and Director of Savacou gallery, and a leader in the promotion of Diaspora art. General admission to the show is $12; admission for the opening night Gala Charity Benefit is $100.00 and the New Collector’s Night is $60.00. For tickets or additional information, contact Crawford Billings Associates, Inc., 240 E. 13th Street, New York, NY 10003; 212-473-8649 or visit www.artoffthemain.com.

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Written by Staff Writer