Thanks(4)giving

It's all about the little things…

Tag Archives: photography

Week 33-Modern Marvels, Day 7-Camera

My interest and love of photography has grown over the years.  Scott likes to joke that I’m the designated photographer of the family.  I am definitely not a professional shutterbug, but I do like to try.  Cameras are also great because it’s one of the original ways we had to document our lives.  You may not have ever met your grandmother, but I bet you know what she looks like because you’ve seen a picture of her.  Pictures don’t make us who we are, but they do help us remember where we came from.

It turns out that I’m not the only one who appreciates the art of photography.  Marwen is an organization dedicated to educating and inspiring under-served young people in the visual arts.  MW was founded in 1987, with only four students attended the first drawing class, but they have grown into a state-of-the-art facility that teaches more than 85 courses a year.  MW has four different programs: Studio; College & Career; Alumni; and Marwen Institute.  The Studio program lies at the core of their mission, and they make sure their students are well-educated in a wide range of media including painting and drawing, ceramics and sculpture, printmaking, technology, and more.  Chicago is the perfect place for MW because the teachers and students are able to take advantage of its deep roots in arts, culture, architecture, and history.

Remember Bryan Adams?

If learning how to take a picture or paint a portrait can keep a kid on the right path, I say, art on!  You guys remember the crooner Bryan Adams?  He sang “Summer of ’69”, and the infamous love song from Robin Hood “(Everything I do) I do it for you”.  I’m imagining all you out there nodding your heads now.  Well it turns out that he’s also a very talented photographer, as well as the founder of the Bryan Adams Foundation.  BAF was founded shortly after the tsunami that hit southern Asia in 2006 to help people who are helping other people.  BAF provides grants to support specific projects that people all over the world submit.  The main mission of BAF is to protect the most vulnerable people in society, and give the gift of an education to as many individuals as possible.  The list of projects on their website that they have supported blew me away.  They are serious about aiming to transform thousands of lives.  Everything they do, they do it all for us.

Marwen Donation

Bryan Adams Foundation Donation

So here’s to you cameras!  Even though you’re not really essential to our survival like a stove, life would not be nearly as memorable if you weren’t around.  You help us capture the moments we never want to forget, and some we wouldn’t remember otherwise.  You come in so many shapes and sizes and have so many cool features to make us all feel like professional photographers.  And who doesn’t love those camera commercials with Ashton Kutcher in them?  Thanks for that!

He's so stinkin' cute!

Week 19-Letters, Day 2-P

P is for pancakes, Prague, and photographs of the beautiful city thanks to a fellow WordPress blogger, Rudolf.  I spent about three months in the birthplace of Kafka and to this day I feel like there are literally pieces of my heart all over the city.  Being there at that time was such a pivotal point in my life and I have no doubt I wouldn’t be where I am today without living there.  The whole reason I went there was to travel, explore, get away, and in the end all I wanted was to come home to the people I loved.  Now almost four years later I cling to the photos to remember how alive I felt there.  Prague also made me thankful for another P word, perspective.  Pancakes are just yummy and always delicious, especially when Scott makes them for me.

The International Center of Photography is both a school and museum that is dedicated to gaining people’s understanding and appreciation for photography.  Located in the big apple, ICP was founded in 1947 by the legendary photojournalist Cornell Capa, and expanded in 1985 to a satellite facility in midtown NYC.  Over the years ICP has presented over 500 exhibitions from 3,000 different artists to the public, and taught countless classes and workshops to students from all walks of life.  Pictures help us document our histories, track social change, are essential for visual communication, and allow us to express ourselves in a truly unique way.  Photography reminds us to be thankful for the good times and move forward to the next.  Photography can also help children find their voice.  Children Mending Hearts unites children at-risk in the United States and children living in conflict zones through the exchange of their art.  Children are supposed to be innocent and free of the all the weights of the world that they will have to deal with as they grow up.  Those who are homeless or constantly surrounded by war don’t have the chance to experience all the joys of childhood.  CMH conducts workshops in the arts such as photography, painting, music, and dance to give them the chance to experience that joy and to just be a kid.  CMH helps the children become better global citizens and work out their intellectual muscles through creative endeavors.  A little creative juice can water a lot of growing minds.

CMH artwork

International Center for Photography Donation

Children Mending Hearts Donation

So here’s to you P!  You give us yummy breakfast foods like pancakes, potatoes, pumpkin bread, and pancetta.  You start off words like police, pirates, princes, pyramids, paradigm, parchment, and periwinkle.  I also happen to be fond of an adorable little animal called a penguin, that also begins with P.  It’s my dream to have one as a pet and name him Chilly, like the Chilly Willy ice-pops.  Thank goodness we have P to help make our food cravings and wildest dreams all come true.

Week 4-Holiday traditions, Day 5-Sleep

After a day of ripping up wrapping paper, playing with all my new toys, and eating and drinking to my merry heart’s content, I was exhausted.  I have literally done nothing but nap and watch the first season of Sons of Anarchy with my Mom and Scott.  There is about 5 inches of beautiful, cold, wet snow outside but I’m thankful for my warm bed and comfy couch.

Sleep seemed like a funny thing to be thankful for at first, but after a long day there is no feeling like laying your head down on your very own pillow.  Sweet Sleep helps provide beds to orphans and abandoned children around the world.  Sweet Sleep was founded in 2003 after Jen Gash returned home from a trip where she was helping orphans in Moldova.  It broke her heart to see the terrible conditions of the mattress, and know that the children were sleeping two to a bed.  Sweet Sleep also works to provide mosquito nets for children in Africa and Haiti to protect them from malaria and other diseases.  It only takes $8 to keep a child safe at night while they sleep.  Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is a very unique organization that helps families who have lost a child through remembrance photography.  There are over 7,000 volunteer photographers around the US and in 25 other countries that will come to the family’s hospital or hospice room and have a free private photo session.  Having photographs made may not be the first thing that comes to the minds of parents who have a terminally ill infant but NILMDTS believes that it is an integral part of the family’s healing process.  It is literally the gift that keeps giving to the parents for years and years.

Sweet Sleep Donation

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Donation

So here’s to you sweet slumber!  You are there at the end of the day to hold us still for a few hours and wipe the slate clean for a new day.  You are there on a Sunday afternoon as NASCAR or re-runs of The Sopranos plays on the television.  Sometimes you aren’t there quite as much as we would like but we’re always happy when you come around.  Sweet dreams world!