One of my greatest pleasures as an artist is being able to donate my art to raise money for worthy causes. I hear some of you snorting with disbelief, and I fear that by admitting this the number of solicitations I receive will surely double. But I am serious. It gives me terrific pleasure to pick and choose causes I want to support. I know I donate more through my art than I could ever afford in cash donations.
Right now I have a couple charitable requests on my desk, both local events, one for The American Cancer Society and the other for a group called Therapeutic Horsemanship. I gave a piece to the Cancer Society last year and will give them one this year. My grandfather and John's Mom both died of Cancer and I have seen it (that being the C-word) touch families of probably everyone I know.
Therapeutic Horsemanship is a new group for me in that I have never heard of them. I am intrigued by their mission though: to provide equine assisted therapy programs for individuals with disabilities in order to develop their maximum physical and psychological potential. I mean how cool is that? I love the idea of children and adults having an opportunity to work with horses. I need to see if I have anything that seems appropriate or possibly I will make a special piece.
So what do I get for these donations anyway? One thing I don't get is a reasonable tax write-off. Due to some idiotic law, artists are only allowed to deduct the cost of materials, not the retail value of the piece. But I digress. I do get exposure because the art is generally on display in a silent auction and everyone who attends the event will see my piece. Typically, all donating artists are also named in the program.
But better than any of that is the reward of knowing my art can help others, even in a modest way. And I really really love that part.