In the first paragraph of our first blog post of the year, I talked some about the mutable nature of time. Today, on the second anniversary of the day the world had to say an early goodbye to an amazing woman, we’re thinking about that again. It’s hard to believe that it has been two full years since I met Lisa at the shop after the super bowl and heard the news. I expected news, bad news, that Jane, our friend and Practical Art’s founder, had gotten worse, bad test results, that the leukemia wasn’t going to let her make it home, something. But the news was that she was simply gone. Already. That day. I don’t know what Jane knew about how bad it was, or when she knew it, but there it was.
I know we’ve thought about her every day since then. That kind of spirit just never leaves you. I think it should be the goal of every human being to be that to somebody, and I think Jane was that to many of us.
Whenever someone comes in and says they knew Jane (which we love), we always have to ask… how? Jane was involved with more charities, boards, and civic projects than I think either Lisa or I can keep track of. Was it through her time at Lewis & Roca? Through Florence Immigration Project? Through all of her activities at Phoenix Art Museum? United Way? Taliesin West? Through Practical Art? Or maybe just from sharing a bar stool next to her at Palette or Gallo Blanco? I’m pretty sure that if you’d ever wound up within a 10ft. radius of Jane, she was trying to get to know you.
Lisa and I run Practical Art in this vein; we try to keep the locale a robust center of activity and engagement, where it’s as much about the art as it is about the artists and the community. We’ve attempted to appeal to folks who’re arts appreciators, as well as folks who’re interested in their community, the city; interested in one another. We’re thrilled that our friends WANT to shop at our shop and that many of our customers have become our friends. I want to chat and see what you’re up to for the evening. I want to know about what you do in the community, for work, for play, for whatever falls between. And from all of our conversations so far, you guys are up to some pretty amazing things. It makes me proud to be here in Phoenix, in this lively time. And, just so you know, I probably talk about you to other folks who’re doing amazing things. We’re your cheerleaders, we’re in your corner, we’re whatever-super-supportive-analogy-trips-your-trigger-but-doesn’t-strike-you-as-hokey. And we feel very supported by you guys, in much that same way.
We feel lucky. We’re happy, healthy, and in our favorite city on Earth. We’re grateful to have been bequeathed this platform that allows us to continue Jane’s legacy of community spirit. And we want to continue as much of Jane’s contributions to the city as we possibly can. We know she’s missed dearly, across a number of sectors: as a friend, as a charitable contributor, and as a force generously putting forth time, energy, and ideas.
In honor of this remarkable woman, we’re kicking off our Second Annual Recycling Drive for Jane, benefiting the Phoenix Art Museum. Jane put in countless hours through many support groups of the museum– as a Circles member, through Contemporary Forum, and through the Arizona Costume Institute. She was on numerous boards and committees at the museum, and, to acknowledge this service and dedication, her memorial was held in the Phoenix Art Museum’s Great Hall. Jane was also the one who encouraged me into the museum’s Docent Program, where I am now a touring docent. And, as passionate as Jane was about the arts, she was equally passionate about the environment and sustainability causes. All of Practical Art’s displays are repurposed, all of our bags and packing supplies are reclaimed, and we have a heavy emphasis on wares that are crafted through sustainable practices. (And, we’re *still* finding things that Jane saved in the back because she was sure they would eventually come in handy.) It is these two facets of Jane’s daily life that makes sense to us to bring together for our yearly fundraising event in her honor.
This month’s Charity Pie Night, on 4th Friday, February 22nd, will also be dedicated to raising funds for the museum. (Last month, we raised over $400 for Local First Arizona on our pie night, thanks to all of your contributions!) Then, in mid-April, we’ll lump the cumulative funds raised into a check (over-sized novelty check…. eh? eh?) and hand it to the museum’s director.So, from now until April 10th, Jane’s birthday, we’ll be accepting any of your recyclable metal goods, empty cans and the like, that we can exchange for cash. We will also be accepting direct donations for the museum until then, so feel free to throw a few bucks on to any purchase at the register. We raised over $1,000 for the museum last year!
So, what do you think? Can we set a new record, for Pie Night and for the Recycling Drive for Jane? Because we can’t do it without you. You folks have shown up time and time again, proving how much support you have for the things you believe in…. and we get the sense that you believe in us. You give us feedback, suggestions, and advice. You give us your old packaging materials (reduce, reuse, recycle!). You give us word-of-mouth advertising. You offer to help and to volunteer. You give us your empty wine bottles (sometimes you even bring us full ones! 😉 ). You attend our events. You purchase from our artisans, in shop AND online. And, you rally with us to support community infrastructure in these fundraisers for local non-profits. Consider this a virtual hug and a heartfelt thank you. We hope to see you sometime between now and April 10th. (And don’t forget: on the 22nd… there will be…. dun, dun, duuuunnnnn….. pie!)
A Share of the Pie: February Charity Night!
to benefit the Phoenix Art Museum
Friday, February 22nd, 2013 from 7pm-9pm