a moment at city hall

post by Michael Lagocki
photos by Sherry Smith

On Wednesday August 8th, ArtLoveMagic was recognized and honored at City Hall for our work pairing artists with local children in our Kid’s Workshops. It was a great experience.

Thankfully, Photographer Sherry Smith was among those there to be honored, and she took these photos. Also present to be recognized were Kelly Nygren, Deborah Driscoll, Michael Lagocki, Conor Muldoon, and David Rodriguez.

We didn’t really know what to expect going in. We were invited and accepted. It was a really nice gesture. The Mayor and the City Council were in attendance, and in front of everyone a slide show played of photos from the worksops. Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway spoke about artlovemagic and what we do, and the importance of recognizing it.

The workshops are the result of a ton of people’s efforts, many more than were able to be at the ceremony. Most certainly the Deep Ellum Foundation, who found space and funding for the program, Jeanne Blanton generously provided that funding, and over a dozen more artists and musicians associated with the artlovemagic family brought their time and talents.

I wasn’t expecting to speak. But Barrry Annino of the DEF asked me to. I thought it was a cool gesture. I told the Mayor and those present that they really needed to create space and funding to kid’s art and music programs. That when children learn to think creatively, they learn to think metaphorically. And if you can do that, you can be intelligent in any situation.

Ashleigh Vroom (pictured far left) coordinated the latest round of workshops. She helped us find the kids, find the environments to work, feed everybody, etc. Aidan Reese (9 yrs old) attended the experience as a student.

The whole experience was kind of surreal. Even seeing the inner workings of city government… watching the procedures that took place before we were called up, citizens addressing the mayor with grievances about budget cuts and local libraries, it was wild, something I’m sure we’ll all remember.

A certificate of recognition was presented to us..

Afterwards, we got to hang out a little outside of City Hall and enjoy time together. The artists involved in this day know each other pretty well. We’re close friends but don’t always get time together outside of shows. It was good to fool around a bit.

We work pretty hard. So something like this is meaningful. We’re proud and thankful. And we hope to do more with kids, especially in Deep Ellum which has been so welcoming to us. Want to learn more about our experiences at the Kid’s workshops?

Click here to read a blog post about our most recent ART workshop.

Click here to read a blog post about our most recent MUSIC workshop.

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5 Responses to “a moment at city hall”

  1. What a rewarding thing to be a part of. I was so proud to be associated with artists that actually take the time to improve kid’s lives. I can attest to art being a huge part of my personal recovery. You never know what kind of influence you are having on these kids. …and to have the Mayor and Dallas City Hall recognize our efforts!!!! HUGE.

  2. agreed. I think the program is important and I think we can do a lot with it to make it impact more people and on a deeper level.

    Example- out of the first kid’s workshop, we actually put one talented student in a show! Underground no less.

    Looking forward to a bright future with all of this.

    -ML

  3. Jeanne Blanton Says:

    Congratulations to everyone actively participating to make these workshops happen and to the City of Dallas for recognizing the worthiness and value of the program! Thumbs up to ArtLoveMagic!

  4. Thank you, Jeanne. And thank you for your contribution to these workshops. I know kids have gotten truly unique experiences out of them.

    Bravo to what we did together.
    -ML

    • Jeanne Blanton Says:

      Let’s keep up the good work. Every child deserves an opportunity to find out what they really love in life…… and most kids believe in Art…..Love…..and Magic………. (Music fits in there somewhere)…………..

      Thank you so much!

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