Sat 12/16 @ 4-8PM
Nearly three months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the American territory remains in a state of chaos with displaced residents, many of whom are in shelters, as well as experiencing food and water shortages.
Now Northeast Ohio artists are coming together to help out the Caribbean island with the CLE ART for Puerto Rico fundraiser December 16 at the Shore Cultural Centre in Euclid.
The art sale and auction fundraiser takes place in the studio of Creative Crafts owner Eileen Sheehan, who is helping organize the event along with Hector Vega Art Studio, Richard Romero, Collinwood Rain Barrel Project and Lisa Pucci Delgado. CoolCleveland talked to Sheehan about CLE ART for Puerto Rico.
CoolCleveland: Tell us about the fundraising efforts.
ES: We had some artists donating artwork from Cleveland. We’re doing a fundraiser in a silent auction format, so we’ll have tables that will be displayed. We’ll also have food from local restaurants. We’re trying to get all Latina. We have a GoFundMe page running now for donations if people want to be involved or they can buy a $10 ticket. That donation lets them come to the event. And we’ll also be accepting $10 at the door.
CC: Why did you feel a need to help organize the fundraiser?
ES: I’ve done some fundraisers before. I did Potters and Protest fundraiser last year. This is the first one that I’m organizing for Puerto Rico. It all started when Linda Zolten Wood, who is also helping us put this together, posted on a Cleveland art page if anyone was interested in doing a fundraiser for Puerto Rico. I said I was interested and I have space to do this show. Shortly after, Hector Vega and Richard Romero became interested. So we’ve all been working together to put this together because obviously the state of Puerto Rico is still far from being rebuilt. We were hearing stories from Chef Lisa Pucci Delgado, who has family in the mountains of Piedra Azul. She’s been sending packages there. We started thinking about how we can help her, and then we realized maybe we can help all of Puerto Rico. We looked at different foundations to give our money. We found Foundation for Puerto Rico, which is a grassroots, on-the-ground nonprofit. They’re going out and bringing people what they need.
CC: Are you surprised by the varied artists donating their works towards CLE ART for Puerto Rico?
ES: It’s kind of exciting being with some big-name artists. I just want more awareness, more people to see event and more artists to donate. There’s a huge network of artists, and I know many of them. I understand they all have their own holiday shows, but one piece goes a long way. We’re still accepting donations.
CC: What kind of responsibility do you feel to use your artistic talents to help out various causes?
ES: I’ve always felt very invested in my community. I have very strong connections. I always want to help people. This was one way where I felt like I could give my talents I’ve been given from God to help other people. I’m good at organizing, and I have a fairly large network of artists. I had been thinking to myself how can I help Puerto Rico? I think a lot of people were thinking that, but making a $20 donation to some charity, you often feel like it gets lost. So we really wanted to try to find the most direct route for the money to go to as many different people as we could. I just feel like I’m going to do everything I can to help people in need.
CC: What’s your message to the public on why they should either donate to the cause or partake in the event?
ES: I would hope everyone can spare $10 and realize that money is helping someone. That goes a long way for people who have very little right now. I feel like this is an opportunity where artists can come together and make a big difference.