At Children’s Mercy I am part of a group that meets once a month that focuses on the Visitor and Patient Experience at the hospital. They talked about a new department called “Guest Services” and the costs of getting things done at the front of the house. The goal is to have a good first impression as soon as they walk in. Often coming into the office can be so stressful so what can we do to make that better for the parents and kids. Sitting in on these meeting is where I got the idea mixed with an idea that me and my friend Max had talked about for a night for artists to draw to. This is what I was hoping would happen. 1. We have events where DJ Maxx and Joc Max get to play what ever they want. ( That very important to me ) 2. Artists who may be nervous about drawing in public come together for some new community, get over what they think it might be and meet new people. 3. Community comes together to help us meet some needs ( Sign Connection helped us with so many cut hearts of MDF. VML is helping us with the gallery space and auction. Blick Art Supplies on Main St. gave away so many art supplies to the artists. Poster Worx is helping with some printing for the event. CMH employees and volunteers are helping manage the auction. 4. Pieces start at $50 and max at $100 for a couple reasons. I really would like the playing field leveled between the different types of artists. I really don’t want too many comparisons. I’m sure that some pieces could fetch more but the other part I like is that a younger collector has the chance to get pieces from people they may not be able to afford if they go after what they want right away. Having a collector with less money not get bought out of their range is another thing I feel like is important. Having art priced out of reach is hard on lots of art lovers. 5. The money from the event goes to a great place and new friendships are made all around. It sounds pretty simple right?…. Honestly it took a lot more that I had ever expected for it all to come together. I really underestimated what it would take to get it all done. The great thing is that I am also surrounded by smart people and good friends that chipped in and filled in the gaps on the parts that I wasn’t so good at. Over time the other details started to come together. Our friend Missy at Children’s Mercy ( who was a constant help through all of it ) helped make a connection through her husband who worked at VML. VML has been a long supporter at Children’s Mercy and had a space in their downtown office called the Wise Gallery. VML turned into an incredible partner and couldn’t have been a bigger help. They had staff their that night along with volunteers from the Children’s Mercy Philanthropy Department. Every volunteer that came and worked that night just blew us away in how hard they worked to make the whole night go so well. One of the other supported that came up was Blick Art Supply on Main St. in Kansas City. Our friend the manager Stacy Hoyt really blessed a lot of the artists by giving free art supplies out at the events. By the time it was all done we had all made a lot of new friends, we got over 175 pieces turned back in for the event and raised over $11,000 for the Guest Services Department at Children’s Mercy. I learned a lot about accepting help and how so many people can give. It was amazing. Thank you to everyone who participated. Thank you to everyone who donated their time and efforts. Thank you to everyone that came out and supported Children’s Mercy! To hear some of the music please visit www.kcdjmaxx.comWhen we put together the first drawing night, I didn’t really know what to expect. I was pretty scared and curious if anyone was going to come out and be into the idea. My goal was to get 100 hearts or maybe 60 if people didn’t turn some in. Thanks to Sign Connection for hooking up the first batch of these being made. Their generosity is a huge part to why the ball got rolling in the first place. Later our friends Kevin and Missy partnered with Sign Connection on getting us more hearts which led to a total of 200 being given out at 4 different events until the show in December. All the events always had more people then I thought we would get and the common response I got back from people was how much they enjoyed it because drawing around others was out of character for them.