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You think you have it tough as a freelancer bringing in enough money to cover your monthly bills?  The life of a freelance artist looks easy when your name is Shauna McClure and your job is as the Executive Director of the Hollywood Arts Council.  I’ve had the pleasure of working on a few projects the past couple of years with the Hollywood Arts Council.  I’ve seen the events they put on for the children first hand.  I’ve experienced the joy and unbridled excitement with the children as they got to try out something new in the arts for the very first time.  It is always a struggle to raise enough funds to keep the present service levels, with never enough to expand them to meet the real needs of the community.

Shauna McClure With Director Matt Leum Working The Donations Booth

Shauna McClure With Director Matt Leum Working The Donations Booth

One of my favorite Hollywood Arts Council Events is the Annual Children’s Festival. What makes this event special-besides being free- is the way the parents and the children interact together..  I’m an event photographer, so I routinely see quite a few live events every year.  Usually at such events with children involved, what you see is a sea of parental unit cell phones, with the parents glued to the recording screen.  These parents so intent upon recording the event for Facebook, actually missed the joy of their children’s performance live.  The phone becomes more important than the feelings one gets from actually physically participating.  I understand this problem, I face it each time I go out to shoot.  I can cover the event, or I can watch it.  I can’t do both!

Cellphones were present, but disciplined in their use for a refreshing change.

Cellphones were present, but disciplined in their use for a refreshing change.

You can only focus your attention on one thing at a time.  That focus can go to the highly technical challenges of good event photography (however simple cell phones try to make it look, it isn’t) or your focus can be on participating in the event itself.  Sadly, simultaneously attempting both almost always results in less than pleasing results in both.  Lousy photographs/video, and a less than spectacular experience with the kids.  You can’t expect magic when you only give something half your attention.  I’m happy to say the Children’s Festival of the Arts is a “hands on” event where you’re far too busy having fun with the kids to have time to text…

Arts and Crafts For Everyone, Without Charge, And Free To Take Home With You.

Arts and Crafts For Everyone, Supplies Without Charge, And Free To Take Your Creations Home With You.

The difference with the Children’s Festival of the Arts is both adults and the children are focused on interacting together.  It’s an old fashion direct experience, much like we used to have with my family long before cell phones or the internet was invented.  When the cameras did come out, it was to capture the smiles on the faces holding up their finished art projects.  That is the kind of a difference the Hollywood Arts Council has been making in Hollywood for the past thirty years, promoting the cultural health of the community by promoting the arts agenda in Hollywood.  Community culture thru accessing the arts is a vital service to the community and our nation, something we never seem to have enough of these days….

This Event Always Looks Like A United Nations Event, With All The Different Cultures And Nationalities Represented

This Event Always Looks Like A United Nations Event, With All The Different Cultures And Nationalities Represented

But it takes support from all of us to keep organizations like The Hollywood Arts Council alive.  And when I say alive, I’m not talking about living a life of luxury.  The Hollywood Arts Council’s tiny two room office would fit inside the larger bedroom in my apartment.  My bedroom also has air conditioning for these 100+ degree Los Angeles summers.  The Hollywood Arts Council office, built in the 1930’s, only has an oscillating floor standing fan.  If you don’t believe me, talk with them on the phone one hot summer afternoon to hear for yourself what that hurricane fan sounds like!  They’d love to hear from you and have your support.

The Level of Craftsmanship Is Truly Unbelievable. The Artist Volunteers are Some of the Best in Their Professions.

The Level of Craftsmanship Is Truly Unbelievable. The Artist Volunteers are Some of the Best in Their Chosen Art Forms.

For more information, to volunteer your services, or to help with a much needed donation, please visit http://www.hollywoodartscouncil.org/  Seriously folks, even a couple of dollar donations help, there is so much work to be done and so little funds available to do it. The Hollywood Arts Council works wonders with a small budget.  Can you just imagine the Miracles they would work with a little bit larger one?  Thank YOU in advance, YOUR help is greatly appreciated here in Hollywood!

Unforgettable Family Bonding Moments

Unforgettable Family Bonding Moments – In Hollywood!

 

 

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