On Saturday, November 17, 2012, we will be having our first annual fundraiser. You can read the official description of the event here, but we’d like to give you the real reasons we’re having this fundraiser.

Sam Coronado started this non-profit in way East Austin (the Montopolis neighborhood), long before it became hip to live here, back in 1993. He envisioned a workshop where artists could benefit from collaboration and learn the serigraphy technique in a positive, encouraging, intimate, apprenticeship-type setting, and where affordable printmaking services and fine art prints could be made available to the community.

Because of Sam’s vision and tremendous dedication, the Serie Project has fostered over 250 artists to produce a rare collection of serigraphs, launching many of them into successful creative careers.

Late this summer, we completed the 19th annual Artist in Residence program. It’s one of the few programs in the country that offers a one-on-one mentorship absolutely free. Each artist is given one to two weeks to produce one design and create up to 50 serigraphs plus additional proofs, half of which the artist can keep. The program also includes accommodations.

Sam has selflessly given himself to the community as a teacher, artist, activist, director, and friend. In addition to helping artists kickstart their careers, he has also helped other young people get started in their careers as curators, arts administrators, publicists, journalists, writers and countless other creative professions.

Running a nonprofit is extremely difficult work, especially when we’re not offering a widely popular or tangible service such as healthcare or children’s charity. With so many recent cuts in funding in the arts and humanities, there has been a shortage of philanthropic and grant money, so it’s become even more challenging.

But art has been an important part of our civilization since the beginning of time – it’s allowed humanity to express themselves through universal images that everyone can understand. It’s allowed us to share a common language.

Screen printing is especially important because it’s the most versatile of all printing processes, and basic  materials are affordable and readily available. As a result, it has frequently been used in underground movements, political evolutions, and social activism – it has been a way to create art, with a message, for the masses.

The Serie Project has also developed significant collaborations – in Austin, working closely with the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection and the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Mexic-Arte Museum has archived every single Serie Project print created as part of its permanent collection.

Nationally, serigraphs from the Serie Project have gained the support and attention of various museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Hispanic Research Center at Arizona State University in Tempe. Artwork from the Serie Project is also part of a number of prominent private collections, including the Ricardo and Harriett Romo Collection at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio,  and the Gilberto Cardenas Collection at the Institute for Latino Studies University of Notre Dame.

Let’s not lose this important form of fine art – by and for the people. Help us meet our fundraising goal at this event. We’re also currently working on an individual giving and membership program to help the Serie Project become financially sustainable. Join us in helping Sam Coronado continue a significant part of the Austin and world community – join us in planting the roots of a new beginning. We can’t do it without you.

The Roots of a New Beginning - A Serie Project Fundraiser

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