PAINTING FOR A CAUSE
Public Color 15th Anniversary
By Phulbert St. Germain
On April 25th, 2011, New York City’s finest and brightest came out for “Stir, Splatter, and Roll,” the 15th Anniversary celebration of Publicolor. Publicolor is a not-for-profit organization that creates color collaboration designs to encourage students to stay in school, promote education, and foster thriving communities. Publicolor gives disadvantaged kids the opportunity to learn about many valuable life skills such as commercialized painting, finance, and marketing. On top of that, Publicolor paints schools and other communal areas to help bring some life back into drab and dreary places.
The organization was founded in 1996, by Ruth Lande Shuman, who believes that the lack of color and poor design in many of our schools and public places largely contribute to the high rates of depression and stress. Publicolor is comprised of community leaders, volunteers, teachers, students, school administrators, corporate and foundation sponsors, as well as private donors who ensure that positivity and creativity is fostered throughout places of learning and dwelling. The student programs help keep kids focused on their education and their future. Once a student gets inducted into the program, Publicolor is with them every step of the way–from the onset of their freshmen year all the way to their senior year of high school and beyond.
Esteemed figures such as New York City Schools’ Chancellor Dennis Walcott, Estee Lauder‘s Senior VP & Corporate Administration, Deborah Krulewitch and Executive Chairman, William Lauder, CNN‘s Soledad O’ Brien, and IMG’s former VP, Fern Mallis, were just few of the many faces in attendance. Some of the special guests went up on stage to give heartfelt speeches about the evening’s occasion and what it means to them. Deborah Krulewitch discussed how Estee Lauder has been a big part of Publicolor since its beginning stages. Soledad O’ Brian gave praise to the organization and all that it has done to foster growth and creativity in many a young person’s life. Perhaps the most touching speeches came from Publicolor students who shared their own experiences and how it has greatly changed their lives.
The event began with two floors of a big art / painting exhibit in which both kids and grown-ups participated in. Many artists and designers were on deck to create one of a kind canvases that were being silently auctioned at the event. Attendees were given Tyvek suits to put over their cocktail attires so that they may get down and colorful with design greats like Gap’s head designer, Patrick Robinson, Nicole Miller, Martha Stewart Living’s Gael Towey and Stephen Doyle, Chip Kidd, Takaaki Matsumoto, Jeffrey Banks, and many other giants of the industry. For dinner, the gym of Martin Luther King, Jr. High School was transformed into a lighted wonderland with the use of hula hoops and elaborately structured bulbs attached to extension cords. After dinner, the “super auction” for Publicolor’s Scholarship Fund began. Swann Galleries‘ Nicholas Lowry expertly asked guests to open their hearts and wallets in order to send kids to college. At the end of the segment, a staggering $955,000 had been raised. Congratulations to Publicolor and best wishes for continued success.
Thanks to Publicolor for letting The AUDRA Catalog be a part of this wonderful event. To learn more about Publicolor and how you can help out, visit: http://www.publicolor.org