As we start another year of operations at Rukmini Foundation, we wanted to start the year off with a big event.  We wanted to do something we haven’t done yet, and we wanted to get creative.  The idea for an Art Sale had been kicked around, but without ever having hosted such an event, questions like: where could we do this, who would be willing to showcase their work, and how to make it beneficial to all parties.  In order to answer these questions, we had to define our objective for the event.  Of course we would like to raise funds to support the girls of Rukmini Foundation, but we also wanted to increase our presence locally in Pittsburgh, as well as giving local artists a chance to show off their stuff.

Art Sale @ Assemble

this event has allowed us an opportunity to collaborate with local nonprofits and increase our presence within the Pittsburgh community

With our Art Sale @ Assemble, we believe that we have achieved that and more.  We have been able to bring together local artists who will be displaying an eclectic collection of art, we will also be able to meet our current supporters and potential supporters in person to better educate them about our programs and progress, and finally we have been able to partner with a local nonprofit (Assemble) that has a mission that aligns with many of our core values.

Putting the event together has not been without its challenges.  As a small organization, it is not uncommon for one person to do a lion’s share of the organization work.  Our creative director, KJ, has put in a herculean effort to not only conceive of this idea, but to do all of the grunt work like: finding a venue, reaching far and wide to find the artists, follow up with the artists, and more to make this event happen.  We have certainly realized that this kind of an event cannot be done by one person in the future because there is just too much to do.  We are thankful to have such a dedicated CD who put in some serious overtime to pull it off though.

Nina Barbuto of Assemble

Nina created Assemble, a stimulating nonprofit community space in Garfield where kids learn about art and technology working together.
– Pittsburgh Magazine (40 under 40)

We would like to thank Nina Barbuto, the principal at Assemble for allowing us to use her space to hold this event.  Nina has been doing great things in the Pittsburgh area like the mentoring of girls in the fields of math and sciences.  Nina was awarded a 40 under 40 honor, which is bestowed on 40 people in the Pittsburgh area under the age of 40 who are making a positive impact in the community.  We are proud to be collaborating with Nina and she seems to believe in what we are doing so this has the making of a beautiful long-term relationship.

Nina even teaches art at the Carnegie Museum of Art and is a program manager for Carnegie Science Center’s Girls, Math & Science Partnership. The women engineers of tomorrow “need mentors and role models,” she says. In her, they’ll find an inspiring one.

Pittsburgh Magazine

We also need to thank the artists who are giving a portion of the sale to benefit Assemble and Rukmini Foundation.  While this is an opportunity to showcase their work, the artists are also motivated to do good locally and globally.  We thank them for that.  One of the artists is actually one of the Foundation’s board members, Lauren Shuty.  Lauren will be showcasing her great photography from her travels to Nepal.  If you have not had a chance to read about her journey through Nepal and her path to becoming a teacher, it is a worthwhile read.

Standing in front of the top of the world. Everest.

Lauren dreamed of becoming a photojournalist for National Geographic, but a trip to Nepal paved her way to becoming a teacher.

Finally, we need to thank some of the volunteers who are helping to put the finishing touches on this event.  Kristin Berman, a dear friend of the foundation, has been baking cookies for the past week to get them ready for the show.  She is also in charge of preparing some healthy, delicious snacks for the guests.  We will also be furnishing some wine for our guests.  We want our guests to feel comfortable and really enjoy this evening.  The problems our foundation is trying to address are grave, but there is hope in the form of our Rukmini Scholars who are forging a new path for themselves, and we want this event to be a celebration of that as well as the beauty and power of art to change the world.

We hope you will join us at Assemble this Friday and Saturday for this exciting event.  We will have a follow-up post with some pictures from the festivities.  Be on the lookout for that.

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