The Fifth Annual Art of All Ages Auction and Martini Bar benefiting Comprehensive Child Development, Inc., (CCD) will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center Theater Terrace for the first time on the evening of Friday, June 26 at 6:30PM.
In its fifth year, the event has grown tremendously, drawing in new artists and attendees in support of an organization that has made it its duty to strengthen the Long Beach community and neighboring cities.
CCD has served the cities of Long Beach, Wilmington and San Pedro for over 30 years in providing low-income/homeless children and families with free and low cost child care, family support services and nutritious meals. The organization now supports 20 family child care homes and oversees 700 nutrition programs throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, serving nearly 8,000 children and families per day.
Nichols St. Louis, development and communications director for CCD, got involved with the organization two years ago because “it has been such a rock in the community.”
“Since joining this team, we've been able to get our name out in the community more, fund raise to bring in even more opportunities to the children and families we serve, and look ahead to creating even more ways to support parents in our program," she said. "The upcoming years will be even more exciting for our organization and I'm thrilled to be on this team.”
The Fifth Annual Art of All Ages Auction will not only seek to raise money through the donated artwork, but will also honor Long Beach local artists John Montich and David Early for their many years of support. This year's show will also feature canvas, multimedia, photography, pottery, glass and wood art by established artists, as well as works by CCD's talented children. For a quick look at the art to be featured, click here.
Local artist John Montich is a long-time contributor of the CCD’s auction. He donated his gallery installation skills early on when the fundraiser was still held in the organization’s facility. He noticed at the first event five years ago that perhaps the the overall aesthetic of the show could use a little TLC, so he lent his freelance time to revamp the space for the second and third annual events. When the show moved to California State University, Long Beach, CCD relieved Montich of his duties, while the artist continued to donate his photographs to the auction.
“When Nichols told me that I was just kind of speechless and I said, 'You know, why me? There's a lot more deserving people out there,'" said Montich. "I just offered some of my art and did an installation [...] So jokingly I said, 'You ought to evaluate who you honor.'"
He called the CCD a "worthwhile organization," noting that as the main reason he's involved.
For this year’s fundraiser, Montich has donated three pieces (pictured) to which he hopes his viewers will easily relate and bid upon.
“I hope they make a lot of money," he said. "Like I said, I just think they’re a worthwhile organization. It’s one of those things where I wish I could write them a large check, but that’s not possible. [As an artist] who still in his gray days has to work a job here and there."
According to St. Louis, if raised, the $30,000 will be vital to CCD because most of their funding comes from the California Department of Education and Child and Adult Care Food Program grants.
“All these funds are restricted for various purposes, leaving little flexibility in spending needs,” she said. “Funds raised through our Art of All Ages event and other general operating fundraisers allow us to replenish needed children's supplies/educational materials, keep our playgrounds up-to-date, provide our staff with training and support, keep our curriculum updated, and so many other important pieces to program and operations that our grants have limited funding for.”
Last year CCD was able to raise $22,000 through the event, while this year’s goal of $30,000 is nearly a third of the way accomplished.
Long Beach stalwarts have signed on to varying levels of sponsorships, including SAVOR… Century Villages at Cabrillo, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC, Pacific Premier Bank, Pacific Palisades Volleyball Club, Long Beach Airport and Innovative Playgrounds Co., LLC.
Honoree and local painter David Early first heard of the event through Lisa Wibroe, founder of the Long Beach Open Studio Tour. Early has contributed work since the auction’s inception four years ago while this year he will have two paintings in the auction (one pictured left).
Early said he finds the time and energy to donate to CCD because it is a "good cause; Better yet, a great cause."
He said he was raised by a wonderful family, where every evening after school they would sit down at the dinner table, enjoy a balanced meal prepared by his mom and discuss the day’s events.
“If only all children could be this fortunate and have these means,” he said. “For this reason, I make time for CCD, as they do make a difference by supplying a Nutritious Meals Program and an Early Childhood Education and Care Programs to some of the most disadvantaged children and families in our communities.
Early said the All Ages Art Auction Fundraiser occurs only once a year, so all the artists involved "try our best to make it a success.”